Our latest feature is one of retail narrative for furniture brand Arlo & Jacob – a retailer with an exciting story to tell and a beautiful space to host it.
Located in Fulham, the very first showroom for Arlo & Jacob is a product of an old Victorian ice-cream factory – one with stunning architecture. Based away from the hustle of central London, the furniture brand had created a destination showroom for their diverse consumers.
In its rawest form, the brief was to enhance the entire showroom to improve the customer experience; from browsing the range to making a considered purchase.
From this point, D4R have formed a close relationship with the A&J team, collaborating with key individuals to develop the brief into tangible designs and formulating a palette of materials that reflect their place in market.
As a family-run business with firm British roots, designing a friendly yet distinguished tone of voice for the showroom was imperative. With their website ‘shop-window’ thriving, we took influence from the online representation of core brand values before crafting our interpretation for the showroom.
Key signifiers such as ‘It’s the best seat in the house’, ‘A lifetime guarantee’ and ‘Made in Long Eaton’ make a positive impression throughout the online customer journey; underpinning the assurance that the customer is making the right choice in the brand. With this in mind, the online marketing signifiers became almost the trailblazers behind our 2D statements and graphics, as we looked to communicate these brand ideologies in the showroom.
These signifiers developed into sleek wall-mounted acrylic statements, leather strapped hanging banners and lifestyle imagery, promoting the exciting story of the retailer as well as their key brand values.
Strongly influenced by the heritage of Arlo & Jacob, we continued to express the brand's tone of voice and core values in our 3D realisation of the evolved space. Designed with brand expression and customer journey at the forefront of our minds, the design concepts were brought to life in 2018; creating an entirely new look and feel for A&J.
We designed and produced bespoke branded fixtures to be implemented throughout the space, with the overall aim of enhancing the experience. An interesting factor is the use of timber in the showroom with each piece being supplied by the brand's own manufacturer; meaning that the woodwork on display would be the very same in the A&J furniture. Finished and installed by D4R, the use of this timber is the perfect call-out to the brand's craftmanship.
We introduced a bespoke fabric studio, with attention immediately drawn to a display of Arlo & Jacob fabrics – all 120 of which can be used throughout their furniture range. Below the hanging fabrics, the samples ready to be taken home, can be found within sleek grey sliding drawers. To either side of the fabric samples, timber units display the individual product postcards and a crafted social wall with polaroid-style images of customers enjoying the furniture. High-level tables, equipped with a computer for further browsing, are the final realisation of the hub; an area for customers to relax and consider the various elements picked up in the fabric studio.
In prominent locations throughout both floors of the showroom, trend-led hotspots highlight A&J’s commitment to following the latest interior design crazes. The ground floor features a raised plinth with a bespoke metal structure, creating a space for an Arlo & Jacob armchair in an exciting seasonal print. Surrounded by a premium banner hung with leather straps, a seasonal dated roundel and backed by a complimentary print and clipboards with trend-led articles – the whole area is a dedication to trends of the moment, entirely led by A&J. Throughout the rest of the showroom, further call outs to these trend-led discoveries can be found by visitors; sleekly interspersed between furniture sets.
This preference for visual moments throughout the space is mirrored in the House & Garden areas, delineated with the use of raised plinths, the deep hue of grey walls and large-scale graphics of the beautiful sofas.
The finer details is what brings this showroom to life, incorporating bold colours to turn the space into comfortable and a realistic home vibe.
Each design, development and installation decision for the revitalised Arlo & Jacob showroom was a product of a considered response to their brief. The introductions to the space – from entire fabric studio through to individual graphic hotspots – contain exciting brand-led content with a relaxed and friendly attitude akin to the Arlo & Jacob brand.