Design: Double Retail
Opening date: June 2017
Store size: 60 sq m
After a seven year absence, watch retailer G-SHOCK has returned to Carnaby Street in London. The concept store is spread over two floors, allowing visitors to discover CASIO’s reputable brands including BABY-G, Edifice, ProTrek and Oceanus alongside the latest styles, collaborations and designs from around the world.
Focusing its London retail offering to a single location on Carnaby Street, G-SHOCK selected Double Retail to design and build a new flagship that would physically interpret the brand’s core values and surpass their previous retail offering. Working with the existing architecture of the building, Double Retail created an environment that clearly segmented G-SHOCK’s extensive product range, elevating the premium product offering and amplifying the brand’s values through the use of lighting, display and materials.
Shoplight worked alongside Double Retail to create a complimentary lighting design that would work with the store interior, finishes and secondary lighting (those in the cabinets). 'We proposed the use of our Elys range of track spotlights; these offer very high colour rendering (CRI90) and 4000K cool white colour temperature as we felt that a cooler light source would work better with the modern finishes in the space. Finally, a fairly narrow beam angle was used so that we could create contrast in the space,' says Mark Shortland, managing director of Shoplight.
The material palette was chosen to boast the retailer’s core brand value of toughness, with concrete wall panelling, a slate floor and raw, hot rolled steel surfaces throughout. 'Accompanied by statement pieces such as an exploded, up-scaled original DW5600 laser cut in clear acrylic or the oversize cast aluminium watch breaking through the right-hand wall, the environment is an embodiment of the G-SHOCK brand identity,' says Tom Parker, business development lead at Double Retail.
The London flagship is packed with details that represent the brand. The centre of the store is dissected by a timeline feature, chronicling a full lineage of product over white backlighting. Opposing walls then present a series of modular, moveable cabinets that house the main product collections.
'The brief detailed a space that could comprehensively display G-SHOCK’s varied product range in such a way that appeals to a mixed demographic shopping at vastly differing price points. The cabinets are designed to be movable, sliding independently with a power-track located in the wall behind the supporting bar. These cabinets can be removed and added easily, presenting Casio with a versatile and futureproof space that can be adapted for specific collections or product launches,' explains Parker.
In addition to the bold, eye-catching features in the store there are also subtle engagement points such as the tough test machine located at the entrance that requires customer interaction. The spring-loaded carbon fibre cartridge fires a watch up inside a glass cylinder before gravity pulls it back down, demonstrating G-SHOCK’s indestructible product.
The rear enclave of the store houses the most premium product line, Mr-G. 'Inspired by a fusion of traditional Japanese tea-houses and futuristic sci-fi dystopias, the exclusive space is bathed in neon light from the floor and showcases its product offering on upholstered leather padding through a wrap-around letterbox of crystal clear glass,' says Parker.
Downstairs in the basement is an innovative and creative event space, serving as the go-to hub for all things G-SHOCK.
Photography: Max McClure