Why Customers Love To Shop In Desigual & Free People's Stores

Why Customers Love To Shop In Desigual & Free People's Stores

Sunday, February 08 2015

Brands are Rethinking Store Environments

A decade of tech-driven motivation has caused retailers to rethink their store designs. These  physical retail spaces are not just places to purchase goods, they are also places to experience a brand’s story.  

Customer Service is Still Lacking

As they think about the stories conveyed through the decor and products featured in these stores, customers are not as eager to spend time or dollars in them. The problem is the loss of customer service. Today, a brand’s loudest voice is heard through various social media channels, yet their strongest voice, their retail environment, is left unheard.

It really has to do with treating shoppers with a true and incomparable shopping experience. This adds value to physically entering the store to purchase, as opposed to shopping online. Think customer service etiquette, which seems to be lost for some retailers. Salespeople, put away your personal mobile phones and focus on interacting with your customers. Afterall, isn’t that what the store of the future is all about – interaction and connection?

Desigual and Free People  – MAGIC Brands Focusing on Customer Service

While many retailers are still trying to educate their employees on customer service, there are two retailers that stand out in regards to customer service and retail space:  Desigual and Free People. Both of these brands have showed at WWDMAGIC in business-to-business capacity. With Desigual and Free People, the experience begins by drawing in the shoppers with a strong brand opinion, formed by clothing designs and store layouts.

Why Desigual’s Customers Love the Brand

Desigual encourages their customers to think differently. In their messaging, they encourage customers to:

  1. Be different and proud

  2. Think of fashion as art

  3. Live vicariously and never miss an act of self-expression

If we look at the second point, “fashion as art,” retailers will find that Desigual’s stores are set up as art installations that enable the shoppers to share in the brand’s vision of the remarkable signature designs seen in the collections. The rise of current art events, such as Miami Art Basel, has given Desigual power to continue to create clothing with an emphasis on art + design. Consumers who shop Desigual are in search of bold, eccentric, and creative styles that are offered in a mashup of prints merchandised around a theme and overall lifestyle based upon art.

A great example of staying true to the retailer’s artistic expression and quality can be found in its 2011 collaboration with Mr. Christian Lacroix, which debuted at WWDMAGIC. Mr. Lacroix, a legend in his own right, brought his topsy-turvy manner to Desigual in an artful collection of apparel, bags and accessories that embraced the idea of self-expression.

Why Free People’s Customers Love the Brand

There are three reasons people love Free People. Its customers shop the stores because:

  1. They are design leaders. Consumers view the brand as a leader, tastemaker, and trailblazer when it comes to carefree lifestyle, so they put faith and trust into the products being sold in-store.

  2. Their merchandising tells a cohesive story. Mannequins used inside the retail stores serve as at-a-glance style guides for products that might initially appear obscure when found folded on a table or hanging on a rack.

  3. Their stores are inspiration points. Even if a customers doesn’t buy, they might find themselves going inside the store for inspiration or to gain insight on trends they are seeing in magazines or on websites.

Discovery and service are key for both Desigual and Free People. When you enter their stores, you will not find staff on their phone texting a friend or checking their personal Instagram accounts.  You will find the employees of these brands continually reworking the floor space and connecting with the consumers throughout the store.

What are some of your favorite retailers that have stores you want to shop in? Share them with us in the comments or on Twitter @MAGICMarketWeek.

Want to learn in person? Register for February 2015's show and attend the seminars.