The consultancy was appointed to the project in January following a credentials-based tender process.
It was initially tasked with overseeing the development of the Tottenham Court Road branch, including in-store graphics and signage, aiming to appeal to ‘the urban demographic and time-poor browsers’.
For the new store designs, 20.20 will apply the recently updated branding created by DFS’ advertising agency, Krow. In-store communications have been tailored to align with the in-store experience and the brand’s new tone of voice, according to 20.20.
Jim Thompson, 20.20 managing director, says, ‘[DFS] was driven by price rather than product. They’re aiming to improve the whole experience so our remit was to create a new retail experience for shoppers to allow them to find out more about DFS and get the stores better integrate with the online experience.’
The new store features large screens that display moving images of the products in the shop windows and at the back of the store. Staff are now equipped with iPads to help customers browse different finishes, and there are three designated ‘pause points’ where shoppers can use the in-store technology or rest.
‘It’s a very relaxed and informed process now’, says Thompson. ‘We’ve segmented the store more into looks and tastes but it looks subtly modern. It works from a customer’s perspective but it can also highlight the premium ranges. They’re much more assisted shops and we’ve defined a much more meandering route.’
The centrepiece of the store is a huge handmade Union Jack sofa suspended from the ceiling, and Thompson says that fixtures and fittings have been pared back form previous store designs to create a more neutral environment in which to showcase the products.
The Tottenham Court Road site concept will now be gradually rolled out to the edge of town stores, with the next site opening in about three months time.