At the trendy TOMS store in London’s Carnaby Street, the core elements of customer-centric store design catch your eye – right along with the feel-good factor.
Located in the midst of London whilst featuring plenty of wood and simple yet cozy furnishings, TOMS is in stark contrast to most of the nearby major flagship brand stores that showcase a more futuristic design. That’s mainly because of the integrated Café and the many seating areas all throughout the store.
A table with chairs invites people to chat. Next to it, a display asks shoppers to come along on a “Virtual Giving Trip“: customers can watch various videos on a supersized touch-screen on the rear wall and get informed about the company’s projects.
The corporation’s sustainability concept is reflected everywhere throughout the two-story building. It is communicated via the store window lettering and signs inside the retail store but is also revealed by the use of natural materials. “One for One“ is the shop’s primary slogan. The model’s explanation: ”With every pair of shoes you purchase, Toms will give a new pair of shoes to a child in need.”
The company states it has already donated 60 million pairs of shoes to children in need thanks to this business model. What’s more, the materials are sustainable and vegan. In other words, you can shop in good conscience.
The actual products – shoes, bags, and sunglasses – are presented on shelves in an almost casual and low-key manner. Right next to the entrance is a white shelf with various shoes whose features are explained on the rear panel. Only a few select pairs of shoes are highlighted in small square display cases.
A brick wall adjacent to the window facing the street is next to the bar made of untreated, light wood boards, which offers cold and hot beverages as well as little snacks. There are also several barstools. The lighting – simple, large light bulbs- dangle at different heights on a rod above the stools and the bar.
Right by the staircase and on the upper level are simple wooden shelves that display the sunglasses. They are also part of a social project that is committed to saving or restoring the eyesight of children in need. And the mirror? Next to the simple pull-out mirror that’s mounted on a shelf, are two wooden hand mirrors, giving things an almost familial touch as if you were at home in your own bathroom.
The entire store features large photos above the shelves with smiling assistants and children living in developing countries. The images convey a positive and authentic vibe. Here and there are rugs and patterns from South America where specific projects are being implemented.
Along the entire surface area of the staircase is a type of hand-drawn map with keywords and slogans on the concepts and ideas behind TOMS. This has an individual and very direct effect.
Once you are upstairs, you are greeted by a distinctly British-inspired ambiance. On the left is an iconic red phone booth door, offering a view and access to the adjoining room. Another small screen is mounted here as well.
Next to a simple couch is a table made from Euro pallets painted in white and decorated with the British flag. Next to it are wine crates that serve as shelves and hold magazines for browsing. From here, you have a clear view of the small room.
The design of the store that communicates the company’s sustainability message with slogans and materials, reveals a coherent concept. Trends that enhance the retail shopping experience are cleverly used here – ranging from digital elements to a small food venue with a bar and various seating areas all the way to well-chosen eye-catchers, like the strategy map on the wall and the red phone booth on the upper level. The loving details and friendly staff complement the relaxed atmosphere. This creates a stress-free shopping experience.