June 24, 2010

I Sure Love a Good Concept.

Sometimes designers just get it right. It's that moment when everything just comes together and makes sense in the most simple way (even though you know how hard and complex it was to get to that point), and you can't help but think "why didn't I think of that?".

The Mangrolia Chaussures stores designed by visiondivision is a project that got a lot of hype in 2009. But, I wanted to revisit it because I think the concept is a perfect example of one of those "aha!" moments.

Project: 3 stores, including 1 flagship store
Location: Réunion Island, France
Main Materials: Plexiglass shoeboxes that can be configured and stacked in various ways
The plexiglass boxes are the unifying design component between all 3 stores and they also act as a sort of trademark for Mangrolia

The flagship store, located in Saint Denis, is conceptually known as "The Ocean". This is designed to be the most spectacular of the 3 stores.

The store is comprised of 2 floors; the upper floor which has the plexiglass boxes installed into the floor in the shape of a flowing river which lead from 2 main entrances to a staircase. The staircase leads to the basement floor, which is entirely covered in the plexiglass boxes.

This concept creates an awesome and interactive retail experience for shoppers. Rather than having shoes displayed on typical shelves and table merchandising systems, they are now seen from the viewpoint you would actually see them from when wearing them. Shoppers could easily places their foot on top or next to a pair of shoes they are interested in and then take them out of the plexiglass box to try them on.

Boxes will also be used to display legendary/famous shoes to also act as a "shoe museum" to attract additional customers.
The Saint André location, taking on "The Library" concept, utilizes the plexiglass boxes as stacking units to create different rooms throughout the store. Each of the rooms takes on a different theme (i.e. casual, formal, sport) to provide another unique shopping experience.

The last location, Le Port, has "The Loop" concept. All components of the store, including cashier stations and seating for trying on shoes, are integrated into a loop created of stacked plexiglass boxes at varying heights. The main shoe display areas sink into the floor to create an ease of circulation.

What do you think of this concept? Anything you would add or change? Have you seen anything like this before?

Images via www.visiondivision.com


blow8 said...

this post is fantastic!

Coolio said...

amazing concept, i love the work of visiondivision!

evad said...

Wow, I never heard of this and admittedly my knee-jerk reaction was that it's sort of gimmicky until I fully comprehended this IS in fact the way shoes are viewed. This is way innovative in that it not only allows for a clean uninterrupted space, but it turns marketing display into something more functional.

Dale at Hospitality Design Inspirations said...

This is a great concept! I've actually seen something similar to this a few years ago in Toronto. I can't remember the name of the store, but it was on Bloor Street, and it was a china / dishware company. They had a glass floor you walked over, and underneath it was filled with sand, like a beach scene, and these fine china plates and goblets were sticking up out of the sand on display. It was kind of weird. But for shoes it totally makes sense to see them at that level!

EMILY said...

ooohhh this is quite neat! love the idea with the glass displays :D