- Various Associates, SND Buyers Shop in Chongqing, China
If you want to get an idea of how the world of retail is responding to e-commerce, then you need to take a look at China. We've already shared quite a few examples of what they are doing with our readers; the concept of the traditional shop where you go and browse for and buy a given product is old hat here, where they are coming up with something a lot different. Something that has not yet been fully replicated with e-commerce, which is making huge inroads into the traditional shopping experience.
We're not just talking about emotions, we're talking about real experiences, transmitted through the skilful design of the architecture spaces where these stores and physical showrooms are located. Although with Virtual Reality taking off we really are heading towards feeling those exact sensations and living those same experiences.
In the case of the SND Buyers Shop in Chongqing, an administrative municipality with a population of over 30 million located in south-east China, where the Jialing River joins the Yangtze River, the creatives from the Chinese firm Various Associates have designed a shop as a medium where customers can explore the relationship between body and space. The layout is pure and simple, with a symbolic “milestone” placed at the centre right on the central axis. The “milestone” holds an obvious implication - a new starting point for SND to move towards being an internationally representative retailer.
Not only that but the church-like architectural form embodies the credo of the SND fashion brand - to strike a balance between holding on to the brand personality and keeping in line with the latest fashion trends. The open display area on both sides resembles a square. Through its unique layout, customers can clearly find their way around and can view every product on display as they walk among them, making it easy to choose and compare their selections.
In this project, Various Associates has transcended the conventional concept of traditional brand stores Not only are the products all on full display, but the brand personality of SND has also been highlighted in its own unique design language. The window display area has been expanded as much as possible and, at the same time, the product display remained flexible and diverse, making it possible to easily adapt to new and changing needs.
These large openings onto the street mean the project by Various Associates is closely connected with the urban context around it. This meant the architects were able to create an association between the retail space and city life, also by engaging passers-by in the unique visual experience that they can have inside.
An important step in retail design that boosts interaction between customer and product through the beauty of the architecture space, which not for nothing references the sacredness of a church. An invitation, a beckoning, to devote yourself to the fashion on display here “body and soul” in order to experience emotions of the senses that go a lot deeper than the momentary thrill of online purchases.
Design firm: Various Associates (https://various-associates.com/)
Main designer: Dongzi Yang
Project leader: Qianyi Lin
Designer team: Dongzi Yang, Jingjing Tang
Project location: Shin Kong Place, Chongqing, China
Completion time: 2019.03
Area: 288 sqm
Photographs: Shao Feng