Bernard Dooling, creative director at 20/20 Ltd., the London-based design firm, feels too many eyeglass buyers are treated like patients, not customers. So the design team launched a new concept for the 15,000-square-foot London 20/20 Optical Store flagship, creating a retail experience that offers an extensive product range with an individually tailored customer-service experience. The store is intended to appeal to the patients, but at the same time show its awareness of face-fashion. In the first 15 feet, referred to as the customer "hot zone," designers incorporated a custom merchandising system that features translucent acrylics. Since the product is small and repetitive, 20/20 used a sophisticated display system. Halo lighting in the recessed wall bays puts the focus on the merchandise. The mission statement, "Seeing things differently," is present throughout the in-store design. Large-scale graphics convey this message, as does the store directory, which reads, "Seeing where you want to be." A ground floor café brings another unexpected element to the store. A call center, laser-surgery suite and eye-testing facility are downstairs.
The mission is again reinforced in various graphics mimicking the standard eye test. Instead of the expected chart, though, the phrase, "seeing things differently" is spelled out. "The general idea is that customers should come in and receive the message 'enjoy, indulge,'" says Dooling. "It's very much part of the trend in which people want to stay younger for longer -- but on their own terms."
Client Design Team: 20/20 Optical Store, London -- Stephen Isaacs, managing director; Jin Georgiou, operations director Design Team: 20/20 Ltd., London -- Vicky Stafford, architect; Justin Starck, graphic designer Outside Consultants: Into, London; Abacus, London Suppliers: Kuadrat, London (fabrics); Hadley Shopfitters, Portsmouth, U.K., 20/20, London (fixturing); Floorcraft, London (flooring); H3 Contracts, London, Astro Designs, London, 20/20, London (furniture); Superchrome, London (graphics/signage); Into, London (lighting) Photography: David Barber, London