Pablosky, a Spanish manufacturer of footwear for children and teens, is sprinting ahead with a global retail expansion that includes stores in Cyprus, Kuwait, Lebanon and Taiwan. Serving as the design template for that growth initiative is a 600-square-foot space in the retail section of Dubai Festival City, a sprawling new resort complex in the United Arab Emirates.
The Pablosky pilot store was designed and outfitted by Grottini Shopsystems (Macerata, Italy). To make a big brand statement in such a small amount of selling space, “no design detail is there by chance,” says Keith Gibson, Grottini’s head of design. “All elements within the Pablosky store serve a functional and visual purpose.”
That approach is perhaps best illustrated by the BMX bike pedals that serve as shoe mounts in the stores’ wall and floor units. “Displaying the shoes on the pedals puts the merchandise in a visual context that all children and parents can instantly recognize and relate to,” says Gibson.
The store’s side-wall fixtures display shoe-bearing pedals on a glossy white background covered with a golf ball-like pattern of dimples. “That background helps highlight the breadth and depth of Pablosky’s shoe lines,” explains Gibson.
The wall fixtures are anchored at their corners by fasteners that resemble shoestring rivets, and are bordered by opaque plexiglass panels backlit in one of the retailer’s signature green, purple, blue and orange colors. That use of the company’s colors is repeated throughout the store.
In the store’s front window, for example, the Pablosky logo is displayed in a series of brightly colored blocks, each with a letter in a circle. Inside, the logo colors and circle-within-a-block shapes are repeated in standing fixtures and display wall frames.
The store was also outfitted with a variety of whimsical, kid-friendly design and merchandising touches, including a floor gondola whose base is an abstract of a loose shoestring; a big ball that kids can sit on while trying on shoes; a pair of movable, connected cubes on in-line skate wheels that resemble train cars; and a series of “super-ball tubes” high on the bright green wall behind the cashwrap.
The latter devices are activated when a customer buys a pair of shoes, explains Gibson, and is given a token to receive a Pablosky-brand ball from one of the gumball cylinders.
It’s one last design-feature-with-a-purpose as the shopper leaves the store: The kid gets something to play with, and the retailer gets a bit of post-sale advertising.
Client: Pablosky, Toledo, Spain -- Luis Mioni, brand manager; Rajagopala Kaipangala, site manager
Design: Grottini Retail Environments, Macerata, Italy -- Keith Gibson, design head; Nicola Evoli, chief information officer-strategy-international operations; Luana Santarelli, technical office assistant; Pravinsinh Solanki, student design team manager; Narayanan Rajagopalan, student design team; Paolo Tiani, head, technical office; Francesco Grottini, sales and marketing director
Audio/Visual and Signage/Graphics: Grottini Communications S.n.c., Macerata, Italy
Fixtures/Furniture: Grottini Shopsystems S.r.l., Macerata, Italy
Flooring: Al Hhaleej Ceramics, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Lighting: I Guzzini Illuminazione, Recanati, Italy
Photography: Grottini Communications S.n.c., Macerata, Italy