Shopping Center Business

MAY 2018

Shopping Center Business is the leading monthly business magazine for the retail real estate industry.

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RETAIL REVIEW 56 • SHOPPING CENTER BUSINESS • May 2018 I n the changing retail landscape, suc- cess is often garnered by an ability to adapt and evolve to fit the shift- ing wants and needs of today's shopper. Now more than ever, offering an experi- ence and a space where consumers can emotionally connect with the retailer's offerings and brand is paramount. From its beginnings as a mail-order cat- alog company, lifestyle and interior design retailer Frontgate has grown to include brick-and-mortar locations and a success- ful e-commerce operation. The company recently tapped design firm FRCH De- sign Worldwide to roll out a new flagship design that further embodies the brand. "For the design model, we were trying to imagine taking this idea of grand living that the brand represents, and bringing it to life," says Robyn Novak, vice president and creative managing director at FRCH Design Worldwide. "We had abstract ideas based on imagining a grand home or a luxury resort. When the shopper walks in, the experience really starts from the outside. It's nontraditional for retail, in that we set back the entire storefront, allowing us to showcase Frontgate's beau- tiful collections of outdoor dining, living and entertaining products while bringing them to life." The interior of the store is now de- signed through room vignettes that dis- play various living environments and curated collections to allow shoppers to see and feel what the products might be like in their home. These vignettes are cus- tomized seasonally to reflect the different times of the year. Each location offers a cafe at the front of the store, alluding to the company's entertainment focus, and a design studio with staff ready to help consumers customize a perfect design for their specific needs. "Seasonality really plays into Front- gate's business," says Novak. "To cater to this, we included rotating vignettes and stories that the company can tell. At cer- tain times of year, you may want to show- case more outdoor living, and in others, dial up holiday offerings. The space is very flexible, and allows Frontgate to tell a dra- matic story." "The cafe and studio are also locat- ed off of this space," continues Novak. "These spaces provide the opportunity to toast the customer and provide them with a special amenity that compliments their lifestyle. It provides a great space for con- versation around the products that Front- gate offers, as well, because its products are used in that experience." The recent renovation was largely driv- en by a need to better reflect the compa- ny's brand. "When we looked at our retail locations in Texas and Georgia, we did not feel that they reflected the experience that we wanted the brand to have, both vi- sually and with regard to consumer expe- rience," says Jenn Reeves, senior vice pres- ident of brand marketing at Frontgate. "We wanted to create a more welcoming, entertaining space where the shopper can come in and actually experience the brand and shop at their leisure, have a cup of cof- fee at the cafe and work with the design team on creating their space for free. It was really meant to spotlight the product and show the entire collection and how it works together." The company's typical customer is a more affluent female, and the head of her household. "We like to believe she's very much style and design conscious, and her home is designed for life and bringing friends and family in," says Tyler Thomp- son, senior manager of public relations and partnerships at Frontgate. "That is re- ally where she gets excited about her day." Frontgate appeals to this customer by providing an outlet for all of her needs around the household. "The quality and uniqueness of our offering sets us apart from other retailers in our space," says Reeves. "We really deliver and sell for all The exterior of the newly redesigned Frontgate stores are nontraditional for retail, as they are set back to allow the company to showcase its collections of outdoor dining, living and entertaining products. Frontgate's New Look Mail-order catalog staple Frontgate has teamed with FRCH Design Worldwide to unveil a fresh brick-and-mortar concept. Katie Sloan

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