The consultancy was appointed to the project in Spring 2011 and developed a series of pilot stores in Middlesborough, Birmingham and Bluewater.
Urban Salon brought in Michael Wolff as a consultant before holding workshops at Three, which were built around the themes ‘people, tools and processes, design and environment,’ according to Urban Salon architect and project leader Kenny Tsui.
These were held ‘to know how to make ideal customer experiences’ in response to a two part brief, which required Urban Salon ‘to attract the early majority customer – people just getting into the world of new mobiles – and to ensure the new stores are delivered within the brand strategy, which positions Three as brand leaders,’ says Tsui.
Fascias have been simplified and given more prominence with a full-width illuminated white sign.
Old signage reads ‘3 store.’ This will be replaced with the ‘3’ logo accompanied by ‘three.co.uk,’ which can be viewed on additional signage, and on the main fascia the word ‘Three’ will be used.
Large lampshades and a full-height back wall graphics have been introduced to create focal points and to evoke a ‘confident presence’ says Urban Salon.
With an emphasis on ‘browse and buy’ rather then ‘be sold to’ Urban Salon has introduced live devices instead of dummy ones, so customers can try phones without staff assistance.
The devices are installed around a series of round tables, forming one of three areas. There is also a ‘support bar’ at the front of the store, and a ‘comfortable area’ for customers and staff to set up contracts.
Furniture within this zone has been designed by Urban Salon to encourage conversation between customers but ‘hide cabling and equipment from view’ says the consultancy.
Larger stores will have a ‘discovery zone,’ which enables customers to access Three’s online information and a children’s area with Eames elephant chairs, which Urban Salon says is a ‘safe and fun environment for children.’