Project: Etude House

Design: Dalziel & Pow
Opening date: May 2017
Store size: 195 sq m


The flagship store of South Korean cosmetics brand Etude House has undergone a refurbishment to reflect its new brand positioning. The Myeong-dong store is presented as an interactive beauty destination, the 'House of Color Play', where customers can be creative with cosmetics. Bringing a sophisticated, confident attitude while staying true to the brand’s playful spirit, it expresses Etude House’s refreshed 'Sweet Dream' philosophy.

'We were briefed to develop Etude House’s signature Princess Fantasy design into a new, more modern concept. The new House of Colour Play concept we created is a little bit more confident and grown up, yet stays true to the label’s brand pillars: lovely; sweet; trendy,' says Benedetta Sodini, senior designer, and Richard Marking, design project leader at Dalziel & Pow.

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The transformation includes digital interactions, a revamped store facade and a cohesive brand identity for Etude House. The flagship store offers a brand experience over three floors. Complementing the refreshed façade are the sleek, on-trend and contemporary interiors that instantly wow customers entering the store and offers a glimpse of the mezzanine level.

Complementing the refreshed façade are the sleek, on-trend and contemporary interiors that instantly wow customers entering the store and offers a glimpse of the mezzanine level. Dalziel & Pow devised a layered approach for the retail experience principles: essential touchpoints reflect the core store offer for target customers, while signature touchpoints were designed to elevate the Etude House experience above and beyond its beauty retail competitors.

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The space is filled with colour, charm and fun, and has the feel of a real home with a blend of classic and modern details. Though the iconic pink roof has been retained, Dalziel & Pow introduced a secondary palette to balance the brand’s trademark pinks. An eye-catching pink door has been installed on the side of a façade, now a popular photo spot for tourists in Myeong-dong. POS and signage have been simplified and clarified, while signature motifs based on hearts and circular patterns were built upon.

'We had to work within quite a tight brief and incorporate the brand's three signature pink shades. We decided to take one as the main shade and use the others more sparingly, and interject them with pastel hues inspired by the brand’s iconic “life is sweet” logo,' say Sodini and Marking. 'It was important that we introduced colours that were not just pink in order to bring a more mature look to the store. The circular patterns and mirrors in the store are inspired by the brand’s signature round makeup cases.'

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On the ground floor customers are encouraged to explore all products, share looks and socialise around an oval mid-floor table that’s haloed by a modern lighting feature and illuminated wall mirrors. Key Etude House décor details such the parquet floor and Georgian panels have been mixed with more contemporary fixtures and materials.

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The mezzanine level features a Personal Studio offering, My Colour Finder and My Color Draping services for finding each customer's most suitable shades. New ‘Find your Look’ demos empower and educate customers, adding a unique Etude House twist by including skincare to the how-to guides. Dalziel & Pow created nine signature looks for this section, with beauty experts on hand to demonstrate and advise.

Digital is also a strong part of the Etude House experience, with expanded product stories and immersive tutorials. For example, girls can use a face colour scanner to find out their exact skin tone.

'Experiences like makeovers, skincare tutorials, beauty classes etc. are all important ways of engaging customers that lots of brands have been doing for a while and should continue with,' say Sodini and Marking.

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The second floor offers even more personalisation and play with the Color Factory concept. Customers can blend bespoke lipsticks at the My Lips Bar using cutting-edge beauty technology. They can then select a favourite lipstick case and have their name engraved on the packaging.

Helpful hints and tips permeate the whole store, sharing simple beauty advice in the brand’s distinctive tone of voice, while a strong loyalty and gifts offer rewards customers in fun and engaging ways. Etude House also features an enticing Snap & Share space, encouraging interaction on social media.

The store is emblematic of the brand’s steady evolution over the years, becoming more sophisticated and contemporary with every new phase while targeting customers in their early 20s. The store is currently out-trading the rest of the Etude House retail estate, a clear sign of the power of engaging design.

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