Award-winning New York City design firm GRID2 suggests a better way to sell mattresses as its 7,230 square-foot, unique retail store concept for King Koil [The Comfort Solutions Company] debuts, during the inaugural Las Vegas Furniture Market at the World Market Center.
GRID2’s approach is the antithesis of car-lot marketing – typical of mattress galleries in many retail stores. Here, King Koil’s four product lines, which include a recently launched collection by Jaclyn Smith, are featured in alluring, semi-private rooms along a circular footpath. Anchoring the floor plan, in a central rotunda, the mattress company’s luxury bedding line takes the starring role on a rotating pedestal. An upscale styled café beckons at the end of the tour.
Make it beautiful, make it understandable and make it credible, the design gurus say. The bottom line: more time spent shopping in comfortable surroundings corresponds to higher purchase rates. “Poorly merchandised areas deter customers from exploring the full range of mattress choices,” says Martin Roberts, president, GRID2. “Even if they manage to negotiate the clutter of promotional signs, shoppers are generally unaided when it comes to product differentiation.”
Higher purchase rates for higher priced products are even better, says Dave Roberts, executive vice president for King Koil. The elite car manufacturers understand this. “If you enter a Lexus showroom, you find an environment that reflects the product’s quality and luxury status,” says Koil’s Roberts. “And so it goes with mattresses,” he adds, “Consumers are embracing better bedding products at higher price points, in large part due to better merchandising.”
Signage is key – not only to educate consumers, but also to reach them in emotional terms. On the elegant entrance marquee and gracefully curved walls in King Koil’s space, GRID2 uses the company’s brand messages – which includes words like pamper, support, sumptuous and comfort – to speak to its visitors. The design firm fashioned ornate headboards from acrylic that additionally serve to communicate individual product features and benefits. Soft lighting,sheers, and draperies throughout the showroom add a touch of drama and, importantly for mattress testing, a sense of privacy.
“We believe the use of emotional branding is what makes this design so successful,” says Martin Roberts, president, GRID2. “And while we don’t expect every retailer to do what we’ve done here on the same scale, we hope we can help them adapt the concept to their needs.”
Thoughtful design, consumer concerns and Hollywood-worthy glamour were all used by GRID2 to create King Koil’s new store concept for mattress retailing.
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