The new Edgars brand concept is unlike anything we’ve seen before in South Africa, seamlessly translating the brand’s new positioning and business direction into a physical open-floor space that immediately evokes a sense of play.
Ever since Edgars re-launched the brand last year, the retail giant has been collaborating with South African culture and actively encouraging authentic self-expression. This first concept store is an impressively inspiring space for all South Africans who want to express themselves through fashion, no matter how conservative or edgy they choose to be.
Internationally, retailers are purposefully rewiring themselves in the ever evolving retail landscape toenable the ‘experience economy’. Retail isn’t dead, only boring retail is dead. In order to thrive in a time where customers can do anything anywhere and get personalised real-time experiences both online and in real life, big retailers need to make the shift.
And Edgars is no exception. Working closely with design-and-build focused agency Design Partnership, Edgars has created an environment that goes beyond the transaction, setting an enticing stage for meaningful and memorable experiences.
Blurring the line between shop and mall walkway, the Edgars Fourways Mall shop front opens up completely, effortlessly inviting people to move into the store and participate in the Edgars experience– nothing less than an 8,000 sqm space of fashion, beauty, and homeware.
Edgars Fourways Mall is a subtle nod to the heritage of retail stores as the heart of the high street. Just like a town square, a multi-sensory, tree-lined central social space anchors all Edgars’ in-store departments on both floors, activating the in-between-space with key services and exclusive food partnerships.
The bespoke Mugg & Bean coffee shop in the central square heightens the concept of creating entertainment through shopping and socialising. This beautifully designed space invites customers to take a little time out without having to leave the store.
For those customers pressed for time to browse in store, Edgars has just launched a new click and collect service. Shoppers can now shop online (or on their mobile devices), choose a store for delivery, and collect their order at no additional cost – This online service is now available at the new Edgars, Fourways Mall.
Other special in store features and services that customers can look forward to interacting with include the denim bar, home zone, footwear world, custom zone, personal shoppers, and beauty rooms.
An elevation of the beauty counters that Edgars has always been known for, the beauty rooms’ house beauty experts trained to give customers head-to-toe makeovers and to share their knowledge on thebrand’s latest exclusive beauty products.
Activation spaces for cosmetic events, home demonstrations, and new launches bring in an experiential element to the store. There are play areas for kids and digital multi zone screens with in- store music.
All this without any traditional clutter or stuffy aisles. Capitalising on the iconic Edgars ‘Red Square’, the floor is a liberated space. A focal bulkhead and feature overhead lighting naturally lead the customer throughout the store towards the central square and other key customer services.
Adding another unique finish to the total shop experience, non-transactional spaces that focus on customer service have been designed with a hospitality-led approach. For example, instead of a typical counter service, the customer/financial service zones are far more welcoming and friendly with their service booths, soft seating, and informal pause areas.
‘Ultimately it’s a social retail space designed for pure experience,’ says Edgars Chief Executive Mike Elliott. ‘That was the starting point for the design that is the new Edgars Fourways Mall. In line with future retail trends, we’re prioritising interaction over transaction, and we’re doing it all especially forthe South African consumer. As a brand we are unapologetically South African about our love for everything local, and this store is our latest expression of that culture.’
The design language and iconography for the entire store not only makes navigation simpler for the customer, but also embraces an authentic local tone in a way that represents all South African walks of life. Every element in Edgars Fourways Mall is designed to create a contemporary yet warm and friendly South African environment. A home. A place to relax, a place to take it easy, a space to be free.
Because retail is always adapting to market and customer needs, Edgars Fourways Mall is designed exactly for that: for change. This enables the brand to advocate South African culture of its time through product and to continually embrace in-store experimentation newness, building an ever- growing Edgars experience.
The entire store environment is agile enough to allow departments to shift and adapt. Each department is set up with tracks that not only house the technical display lighting but also allows for feature lighting and other power requirements to be plugged in and suspended wherever needed as the departments move.
The brand is currently working on a further evolution of the new Edgars store design for Edgars V&A in Cape Town, which is anticipated to open in 2020.