Sumit Kumar, Managing Partner, Catalyst Design Retail & OBS LLP, shares with Retail4Growth his thoughts on in-store lighting in our ‘Spotlight’series presented in association with retail lighting solutions company Gardler.
In your observation, are most retail brands convinced enough about investing in the right kind of lighting? How much of a challenge is it to convince them about the need to choose the right kind of lighting for their stores?
Yes I think so. In the current scenario of the growing experiential aspect of the retail industry, I think most retail brands today understand the importance of lighting in bringing around the brand image and customer experience to life. The opening of flagship stores and experience centers by brands have only added to the cause, although the awareness around the right kind of lighting still remains an area that needed to be worked upon. Once more awareness is created, convincing becomes a much simpler task.
What are some of the most common myths and misconceptions when it comes to retail lighting?
There are a few. For instance, doing a lighting revamp or upgrade of the store is an expensive process and does not add enough value. On the contrary, if we can specify the correct lighting for the correct areas and switch to the energy-conserving grade of lights, the change can be economical in the long run. On the other hand, upgrading store lighting can lift the level of consumer experience to a whole different level.
And, no. not every corner of the store needs to be well lit. Lighting up the right areas with the right kind of light lays emphasis back on the product and works a great deal in influencing consumer’s cognitive purchasing behaviour.
What has been your own approach to lighting when it comes to your store projects?
1. Set the mood of the store as demanded by the design
2. Decide on the layering of different kinds of lighting to create the cohesive lighting experience as per the design. Eg. Ambient, task,etc.
3. Decide on the luminosity and the tone of lighting.
4. Chose the correct fixture for the lights to achieve the effect.
5. Look for available options and execute
6. Suggesting right fit lightings for window display and focal point
What are the most critical parameters while deciding on the quality of lighting?
There can be a lot of technical parameters but I can sum it up to :
What are some of the common challenges faced in terms of getting the right lighting for a store?
How does the right lighting partner make a difference?
Actually, the right lighting partner can be a game-changer. The best of the designs are of no use if they are not met with the right solution. And if you have a technically sound lighting partner who exactly understands your requirement and matches it with the correct product then you are home. Besides being technically sound, it is also important that the lighting partner is efficient and has very good service standards after installation. Additionally, the right lighting partner is instrumental in getting innovative and sustainable lighting solutions to the table and keeps educating us on a regular basis. This can definitely give us better tools to achieve the correct fit in terms of design.
Can you share details of any store project you have worked on where lighting played a big role?
‘NEOS’ is a one of its kind running specialty multi-brand retail chain. The brief was to create a sports multi-brand store that offers premium products from different niche brands, all under one roof with an energetic and new age look and feel. To achieve this overall cool lighting was used across the space to give a more young and futuristic look and feel. Accent lighting was used at different locations to enhance the visibility of the product and create contrast. LED lights in the form of sharp triangular structures were used on the ceiling to re-emphasize the fast and energetic aspect of the brand. Lights were also used strategically to enhance product communication which plays a vital role when it comes to communicating active sportswear technology.
I would end by quoting something I read somewhere, “In the right light, at the right time, Everything looks extraordinary.”
11 June 2020
The experience centre for ILIFE’s robot vacuum cleaner brand EASINE, located in Bangalore and designed by Catalyst Design, is all about reinforcing what the product can do to keep homes clean.
Catalyst Design recently designed an experience centre for ILIFE, which manufactures the robot vacuum cleaner brand EASINE. The ILIFE group, which has expanded their business to over 30 countries, wanted to transform their experience center, which existed in a traditional lounge setup, into something that “more strongly represents the brand and accentuates brand identity more prominently”, as shared by Catalyst Design. The idea essentially was for the design to help in depicting and presenting the products in a more effective way.
Catalyst successfully created a space that reflects all that the brand stands for — cutting-edge technology to meet various cleaning needs and a product that offers versatility and convenience for everyday use. The 2000 sq ft store located in Bangalore is indeed a reinforcement of the brand values.
Catalyst Design shares that the main highlight of the design project, that was executed between December 2021 and January 2022, was the theme – movement and motile aspect of the product. Hence lines were used across the designs, depicting motion and flexibility. Lights have also been used to create a futuristic look resonating with the brand’s focus on cutting edge technologies.
The store’s window display sets the main brand narrative, the idea being to establish the ILife robotic vacuum cleaner as the premium cleaning technology. The design team carved out a larger than life ILife robotic vacuum cleaner shape with a CNC cut MDF base. The unit was then painted in black glossy plastic finish and embedded with programmed LED chip lights. The LED chip light’s programmed movement emulates the real robotic vacuum cleaner. “We have created four monolith like structures to showcase the robotic vacuum cleaner range. The monolith was cladded with different surface types like wood, tile, marble, and concrete to resonate with the product category. The spotlights highlight the robotic vacuum cleaner,” informs Catalyst Design.
The Diamond mesh metal frame at the back holds and houses the entire structure.
The lounge space, aimed at making customers comfortable enough to try on the products, also carries forward the product imagery and houses and showcases different variants of the robotic vacuum cleaner products, providing a tactical experience to the customer. And as Catalyst informs, the profile light with strip led accentuates the lighter environment where customers can relax and try on the products at the same time. The backlit ILife brand identity on the orange brand color surface completes the look.
Three different levels of surfaces have been created at the try-on zone with wood, tiles, and carpet to give customers a practical understanding of the product functionality. The column adjacent to the try-on zone is adorned with backlit fabric graphics to create buzz the product while also serving as an information interface for the customers. Further, a miniature living room has been created on the pedestal to simulate the actual home setting and demonstrate how the products flawlessly navigate through the furniture.
Overall the space reiterates what a product experience centre aims to do.
11 June 2020
Executed by Catalyst Design in the South and West, innerwear brand Zivame’s new window campaign, which was rolled out across 88 stores pan India, is based on the theme ‘Dekho Maine Kya Kiya’ and encourages women to push their boundaries.
nnerwear brand Zivame has executed a window campaign around the theme, ‘Dekho Maine Kya Kiya’. The idea was to encourage women to push their boundaries and live out their desire to be comfortable with themselves in new and exciting ways. Executed by Catalyst Design, the window campaign aimed at inspiring women to break out of the question, “Can I pull it off?” which holds them back as the right The right intimate wear, made for her body type, is an enabler of personal style and body flair.
As the Catalyst teams informs, talking about the VM concept and execution as part of the campaign, “The right intimate wear supports a woman to confidently push forward. Zivame’s ‘Dekho Maine Kya Kiya’ campaign captures this confidence and freedom. The window itself consisted of a central circular MDF structure that mimicked a bioscope. The internal 4 circles revolved around the centre of the reel. This movement impersonated a running showreel, showcasing captured stills from the brand campaign.”
Total Number of Stores – 88 ( Pan India)
Vendor Involved – Catalyst Design – West & South / North – KVC Retail Solutions
Courtesy – Divya Vandal
11 June 2020