In the face of Covid-19 and the convenience of online shopping, retailers are having to work harder than ever to entice people back into stores. For many people, shopping is not just about getting what they need, it is an immersive experience. Creating a pleasant and enjoyable environment for shoppers is vital for attracting customers, and keeping them coming back.
One of the ways we can improve the retail environment is through biophilic design — designing nature into our built environment. This includes considering natural light, improving airflow, and bringing in vegetation. Plants have been proven to make us feel good, reducing stress and improving feelings of wellbeing. Shopping is a multisensory experience and including greenery in retail spaces helps to create an environment in which customers can relax, take their time, and shop around.
While traditional planting is not always practical, especially when space is at a premium (financially and literally), living walls offer a dynamic space-efficient solution.
Interior Living Walls:
When used inside, living walls can enhance a shop’s brand identity, creating Instagram-friendly features and communicating green credentials. They also improve the space’s air quality and acoustics. In retail, it is always important to keep things fresh with different displays and new experiences. Seasonal planting can create an ever-changing feature giving customers something new to look at throughout the year.
Biotecture designed a 160 m2 indoor living wall for Anthropologie’s flagship European store in Regent Street. The wall fills the full height of the retail space; at 15 meters high, it creates a dramatic backdrop to the retail brand’s eclectic and creative aesthetic.
BMW Showroom, London
BMW chose to install several indoor living walls into their prestigious London flagship showroom on Park Lane as part of a major refurbishment for their new brand store. The plants reflect BMW’s green agenda and provide useful air quality benefits for staff and customers, whilst the minimalistic design is intended to keep customers’ attention on the cars on show while creating a high-end, relaxing backdrop.
In September 2017 Smeg, the well-known manufacturer of kitchen appliances opened their flagship store in London’s St James’s Market. A big part of the new design was a large internal living wall created by Biotecture. The living wall is two-story, so can be enjoyed from the ground floor retail space as well as the mezzanine level design lounge and meeting space. "The living wall of lush greens with red, white, and silver accents make for a beautiful in-store environment and reflect Smeg’s love of natural materials and the environment," the company states.
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