OPSM’s new Eye Hub in Melbourne strikes up a two-way dialogue with the customer. Alice Blackwood reports.
September 9th, 2010
“Whether you’re five years old, in your 40s or older, every customer will have a different experience,” says E2’s Creative Director, Alex Ritchie.
Ritchie’s experiential design agency, E2, are the creative masterminds behind OPSM’s new flagship store, known as OPSM Eye Hub, in Hawthorne, Melbourne.
Created by multinational, Luxottica, and designed by E2, the space is experiential in form, striking a “two-way dialogue with customers and staff alike”.
Shopping in an optical store can be quite an alienating experience, says Ritchie.
“It took us a long time to differentiate between the different categories [of eyewear]; there’s a lot of products and choice [making it] harder to navigate and more frustrating.”
Recognising the nature of this, OPSM were looking to start a conversation with their customers, and cultivate a positive relationship. And with 1,500m2 of retail space, it needed to be highly navigable.
The layout of the space is based around “the retina of the eye”, with the very centre devoted to OPSM’s most exclusive products and brands.
The rest of the store revolves around this in a clock-like fashion.
“Think of where the arms come from,” says Ritchie. “At the centre you have the hub; between seven and four – that’s where you have the product area; from nine to three you have sunglasses.” And so on and so forth.
Complementing this floor layout are experiential devices such as interactive monitors that film you at every angle. This allows customers to see themselves and their glasses face on and in profile. “It allows you to shop on your own. You can email the pictures home, or go live and email them to a friend.”
Overall, the space engages both “human” and “business” factors, as Ritchie describes it. It is about educating the customer, elements of health are involved, fashion is also very important – and all “underpin what the brand is about”.
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