Maxis store designers create ‘retail experience of the future’

Australian retail design firm Public Design Group and retail consultancy Fitch have collaborated to create a “retail experience of the future” for Malaysian telco Maxis.

According to Public Design Group, the new Maxis flagship store at Gardens Mall – which follows the consultancies’ previous collaboration with Singtel – is a contemporary twist on a cafe-style theatre set, where shoppers receive “the highest level of personalised service from a brand new human service model” based on a conviction that “mall retailers have an inherent responsibility to engage and entertain shoppers well beyond the confines of product”.

The store features a Gallery of Living Potential – a series of product-solution stories told through products, staff and large-format digital screens leaning back against the “gallery” wall. Waiters serve shoppers at tables in the “street”, while maitre d’ sales staff engage browsers throughout the store to discuss the new Maxis proposition.

“The business focus is no longer on selling third-party devices,” said Public Design Group’s director of retail strategy Jason Pollard. “It’s now all about raising awareness of how the internet enables better living. This leads to multiple devices, premium content, and managed services all being sold under one umbrella lifestyle story, for example Wellbeing”.

The store’s retail experience is designed to optimise human exchange with personalised demonstration of product solutions, digital queuing systems and seamless transaction processes.

“Motivating store teams is key to ensuring a sustainable increase in business performance, and that’s what we have been able to do by creating a theatre set for customers and staff alike,” said Pollard. “When staff can play and enjoy the product, they self-educate whilst becoming advocates. The staff in this store stage a singing and dancing performance for customers daily; their happiness directly influences the quality of shopper experience.”

“The lack of corporate colour and the recessed store entrance is part of the Maxis corporate brand being deliberately recessive,” said Public Design Group chief designer Dan Cooper. “We are seeing a gradual shift in retailers understanding of the importance of brand experience over and above branded environments. 

“Shoppers believe this environment has been designed for them to experience rather than for Maxis to sell; it’s very much a ‘pull’ rather than a ‘push’ psychology. When we look at what the Maxis brand means to people, it’s not their logo, their promotions or their tone of voice any more, it’s a fantasy world that shoppers can escape into, full of optimism, colour and compelling lifestyle stories.”

Fitch Hong Kong collaborated with Public Design Group to create the digital content in the store, as well as developing a number of tech-driven initiatives to optimise customer processing and transactions. They are now working on phase two of the customer experience plan, where the stories in the Gallery of Living Potential are being taken to a deeper level of digital immersion.

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