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More-than-Store: Expanding the Experience of Retail Phenomenon

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Title: More-than-Store: Expanding the Experience of Retail Phenomenon
Authors: Abhari, Maryam
Advisor: Ashraf, Kazi
Issue Date: May 2014
Abstract: Architecture is an important part of modern retail environments. Architectural design affect customers’ experiences, feelings, memories, and ultimately their decisions. This research focuses on retail design in order to understand the connection between architecture, customer experience, and brand identity. The intention is to explore how architecture affects our experience of retail spaces. The first phase of this study was to understand the Apple Phenomenon, which refers to a paradigm shift, occurred in contemporary retail stores’ design. Apple Phenomenon was used as a point of departure to formulate a new design-thinking approach that can transform the traditional approach to retailing. The research results revealed that rather than focusing on offered products or services in a retail environment, retailers with the help of architects can focus on customers’ experiential desires (i.e. Sense, Feel, Think, Act, and Relate) and program-driven environmental experience formation and value co-creation. In the light of Apple phenomenon, the concept of ‘more-than-store’ was introduced as an alternative approach to retail design and then three alternative designs were proposed to exemplify this concept. This design thinking approach addresses key concerns in retail planning and design in order to (a) overcome commoditization problems, (b) improve differentiation strategies, and (c) narrow the gaps between conventional retail planning and real customer desires.
Pages/Duration: 137 pages
Appears in Collections:2014

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