Levi’s has begun a global roll-out of Checkland Kindleysides’ latest retail concept for its high street and shop-within-shop stores, with the first UK outlet to be refurbished opening in Belfast next month.
Eight further stores will participate in the roll-out before the end of the year, says Levi’s store design manager Henry Barnes. This represents the conclusion of a four-year cycle of consumer-researched design refinements by the retailer, he adds.
‘In the past we’ve been rather schizophrenic – introducing a new design concept every year,’ Barnes explains. ‘But [with this programme] the elements within the store remain constant and we review modification on a yearly basis.’
Improving navigation and creating a more emotionally resonant brand experience were the two key aspects of the brief, according to Checkland Kindleysides managing director Jeff Kindleysides.
‘Overall, the design is about creating a warmer look than the [conventional retail] white box,’ says Kindleysides.
Levi’s red has been painted on the walls and ceiling and timber-slatted gates added to the merchandising displays in order to help create greater standout. The original idea for the product display was inspired by the presentation of fresh food in a delicatessen, Kindleysides adds.
In-store graphics have been updated, with tints and varnishes used to denote a fabric quality and ‘broken typography’ communicating a ‘sticker-like, used feel’.
Segmenting the gender appeal was also an important consideration, says Kindleysides. This has been achieved with ‘more emotional displays for girls and more rational displays for boys’.
The group, which is Levi’s retail design guardian, was appointed without a pitch and started work on the project in January, led by design director Jason West.