Retail Column by Heidemarie Kriz, Point of Sale Doctor and Retail Architect (KRIZH, POSitive Affairs)
A star has risen in the fashion sky: the fixed star Aldebaran, a red giant more than 65 light years away in the constellation of Taurus, better known as Alpha Tauri or Oculus Tauri, the eye of the bull. Red Bull already started to put all its values, demands, and visions into one fashion line in 2016. A few months ago, they opened another flagship store at the heart of Vienna, on Am Graben 10, a prime location. In addition to Salzburg and Graz, this store is thus the company’s third store in Austria. The next opening is scheduled soon in London at a prominent address.
Visitors meet their senses
The doors open and shortly thereafter, I find myself at the stargate, which transports me to another world, another galaxy. The monochrome gray shell, partly made of brushed aluminum in different variations and finishes, creates a pleasantly reduced ambience without seeming cool. This is supported by both, specially developed signature lighting and green areas, which are repeated in different ways within the approximately 400 sq m space. The focus, however, is on the products, which are given the spotlight they need. Technical information and photos of the new collection are accessible on modern screens.
The company’s DNA is omnipresent here as a digital and natural combination, present and future, technology and craftsmanship, product and innovation. Behind everything there is a story, but also a solution that finds its purpose in maximum comfort for the customer. In addition to focusing on a relaxed, pleasant customer experience, the human senses are also stimulated. Supporting this is a very well-trained staff, which unobtrusively and eagerly conveys a welcoming feeling. They invite you to linger around without aggressively pressuring you to buy. My visit ends with a gustatory experience of a product unknown to me, and then I wonder when was the last time I came out of a store so relaxed.
Substances from which dreams are made
In addition to the olfactory and gustatory sensory experiences, I also remembered the tactile perception of the fabrics, which were previously unknown to me. Product innovation at this level requires at least one visionary with an idea, but it also requires the right minds to share this vision with the usual high precision. A team of excellence – because only the best global experts and technical developers can dream up product innovations, such as these ultra-thin, waterproof fabrics with maximum wearing comfort; or sustainably produced, seamless knitwear manufactured in demand on a Japanese knitting machine. A 3D knitting machine for accessories is available at the store in Vienna – fast fashion thus takes on a new meaning here!
My tip: Whether it is as a brand, as a retailer, or as a person: authenticity pays off. Stay authentic – that way you own your power, you are in your center, and you usually reach your goal faster and with less strain on resources. For retailers, the shop window is – the business card of the physical store – it often acts as the main attraction magnet. With good intention, you want to present the entire product portfolio in the window until walking inside is almost unnecessary. It makes much more sense to rely on clearly presented, interesting (themed) displays – in the evening with depth effect – that make people curious for more!
Am Graben 10
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About Heidemarie Kriz
In this monthly retail column, retail architect Heidemarie Kriz shares with us her Retail Shop Tip and lets us know her thoughts and expertise regarding her experiences visiting some of the latest and most innovative shops. Heidemarie Kriz has been an architect and shop designer for more than 25 years. For decades, she has held senior positions with major brands across Europe, but she has also worked as a freelance concept designer, an architect, and a consultant specialising in shops, furniture design, customer and purchasing behavior, and visual merchandising. Kriz and her team of experts specialise in retail concepts, analysis, and holistic advice in the retail sector.