Best Choice is a chain of retail stores with 190 retail outlets in Lagos, Nigeria. They cater predominantly to the lower middle class but wanted to upgrade the store design to also rope in the upper end of the spectrum. Our brief was to propose a smart, contemporary design which had a sense of ‘grandeur’ and used bright colours. The shops would vary in size, based on franchise, but would employ a common layout and lighting plan, to be implemented by local contractors.
We started by analyzing layouts and the implications of shape, access and size on display, circulation, security and point of sale. Based on the type of products sold and basic retail principles, we developed a ‘kit of parts’ which we placed in different configurations to test fit. We then ran these through typical shopping scenarios to check the suitability and success of each layout. After several permutations and a round of client feedback, we narrowed it down to 2 layouts which fit all the criteria. These were then developed in terms of designing the ‘kit of parts’ – all loose and fixed elements and services.
Our two visual responses evolved from marrying the bright colours Nigerians love, with a clean, crisp layout and plenty of flexible display systems to accommodate any kind of product. We kept the view from the till and the internal customer circulation clear and ensured most product display was stacked on the wall. The elements we played with were recurring ceiling elements, display signage, the standalone display unit and the sale desk itself.
VRISHTI JAIN, DEVYANI GUPTA