British fast fashion womenswear e-tailer Missguided has moved into bricks-and-mortar commerce with the opening of its first standalone flagship store in Westfield Stratford City shopping mall, east London.
Focused intently on the teen market, the theme of the 20,000 sq ft store is ‘On Air’ – a reference to the always-on nature of broadcasting hubs and the brand's audience. Accordingly, it revels in the capacity for creating ultra-shareable social media moments, fun interactions and self-steered exploration.
Key features include:
- Responsive Displays: Inspired by its hyper-connected fan base’s hunger for social media-ready content, and their short attention spans, the space emulates the ambience of a youth-centric TV studio. Live streams of lookbook and street-style imagery, social media visuals and content generated by brand fans online or in-store are broadcast on large digital screens.
- Instagrammable Installations: Heavy on pink and white neon lighting, the store features emoji-inspired signage and hosts a series of overtly Instagram-worthy visual merchandising installations. The footwear area features an installation of mirrored discs and lights wrapped with chain curtains, while a giant pink monster truck and mannequins shooting dollar bills reside in the atrium.
- The Living Storefront: Acknowledging the huge amount of time its audience spends online, a double-height storefront resembles a deconstructed version of its website –thanks to a multi-layered display of suspended light boxes showcasing letters, textural backdrops such as panels of fabrics, and more digital screens playing branded content.
- Navigation 2.0: Traditional signage has been usurped by emoji-oriented wayfinding based around light boxes and neon letter signs more appropriate for the 'visual first' generation. For example, a giant dollar sign prop indicates the cash desk, while a ‘Send me nudes x’ sign in neon telegraphs the lingerie department. A light box with a ghost icon prompts shoppers to follow the brand on Snapchat. See also The Emoji Economy and the section Power Up with User-Generated Content in Christmas 2016: Digital Trends & Tactics.
- Socialised Fitting Rooms: The fitting rooms are unusually located at the front of the store and feature a communal lounge area encouraging customers to socialise. Encircled by the changing rooms, comfy seating boasts a distinctly holiday-esque vibe, thanks to fake palm trees and a swimming pool animation projected onto the ceiling. As sustenance for those awaiting friends, a vending machine sells 'Unicorn Dreams' – canned water by British brand CanO Water – an exclusive to this store. Meanwhile, a complimentary VIP concierge helps with outfit selections. See also Future-Facing Fitting Rooms.
- In-Store Services Forge Female Empowerment: Missguided is also collaborating with female-led businesses on a rotating basis, pushing a feminist agenda. For the first six months, nail studio Wah Nails (see our full blog post on Wah’s own recent flagship) and hair braiding studio Keash (both London-based) will host pop-up salons in-store. Look out for our blog post Feminism-Fuelled Retail Concepts, publishing January 11.
See also Teen-Targeted Beauty: Retail.
Designed by London-based creative agency Dalziel & Pow, more stores are planned for 2017 across the UK.