A challenge to all retailers: Take a look inside your stores.

What do you see, is there anything that differentiates you from the store next door?

If the future of retail lies in the experience, and we deliver the same looking store design as every other store in the mall how can we possibly differentiate from the rest to attract and build a relationship with our customers?

When was the last time you felt the warm glow of love and excitement in a retail space in Australia? Why is it we constantly travel overseas to find this inspiration?

It’s precisely that feeling that propels us to shop. We know we don’t always need all the stuff we buy, but we want it, and we want to feel good about it. Currently the main differentiator we have in the consumers decision making process is price. Sure we feel good about a bargain, but it doesn’t keep us loyal. Quite the opposite, we will shop around if that’s the only driver of the decision.

Given the experience and product on offer are largely the same (read more on this from Donna Player in our previous post here ) not to mention the pull of the international online shopping world at our fingertips what can retailers do to connect with and build a loyal customer base?

The physical retail space is the crucial difference. It’s the main differentiator we have between online and bricks and mortar retailers, and should be invested in as the main way customers can identify with and experience a brand. Read more on the retail store as media here.

Lets look at 2 examples of Australian retailers doing exactly this.

Aesop – ah, yes, remember the feeling of entering their cocoon like spaces celebrating the beauty in their product by elevating them to art installations. Every store is different to the next. Each designed with meticulous attention to detail and respect to its location and surrounds. It’s no surprise that Aesop, a brand that knows who they are and what their customers seek is now a global success with locations from France and Switzerland to Japan and the US. Take a look at more from them here.


Aesop Flinders Lane, Melbourne


Aesop James St, Fortitude Valley

Monk House Design – a small fashion retailer based in Melbourne, they have 2 physical stores with the latest looking like this. Amazing right? Kudos to Flack Studio who worked with them on the concept that sits beautifully within the heritage building while bringing a sense of fun and modernity to the experience. Read more about it here at YellowTrace.

Monk House 2

Monk House Design Driver Lane, Melbourne

monk house x flack studio

Monk House Design, Melbourne


The future is here but are your stores ready? It doesn’t take a lot of money to be creative and innovative with store design (start with VM and work on funding store of the future fit-outs in time). What it does take is guts and belief in your creative team or partners. Back them to do what they were born to do, your customers will notice and love you for it.

Be bold, stand out from the crowd… your customers will love you for it.

Thanks for reading and have creative day!