Our specialism at ‘Box of Frogs’ is retail and leisure design. Therefore, we thought we’d take the opportunity to chat about the importance of ‘Front of House Design’. Naturally, clients want to create a space that is aesthetically impactful to their customers. It’s also important that the FOH design represents the brand. However, there are many other factors to consider to ensure the design is functional and makes the best use of the space.
The layout is one of the most important considerations when designing a retail space. The proximity of the till points, seating areas and products have a significant impact on the success of the store. A poorly laid out space will add to the workload of the store. In contrast however, a well organised space will be easier to manage. For example, a typical Costa Pronto store FOH layout is designed to maximise speed and efficiency of service.
Pronto stores generally have a smaller footprint. Therefore, the layout is crucial to facilitate the speed of service and anticipated heavy footfall. The customer experience is hinged upon the FOH layout of the space. Simple thought out solutions can create an organic flow that is pleasant for customers and sets the tone as soon as they enter the store. For example, a wider main entrance utilising bi-folding doors, where feasible, maximises customer flow. Upon entry, the customer journey begins with multi-deck units positioned either side of entrance where possible. An eye catching product offer & display encourages the customer to make their product selection. From here customers move straight onto the counter to place their order. They can select products from the impulse buy section on the counter should they wish too. Finally, the customer pays for their chosen products before navigating to the exit.
The aim in this design is to create an experience that increases repeat business, brand loyalty and positive word of mouth. This is achieved by providing speed of service and efficiency when serving customers combined with them leaving with the products they wanted. In turn the customer is hopefully satisfied & recommends the brand.
As we mentioned above the visual design is extremely important FOH. You want your customer to feel something as they enter the store. Whether this is warm and inviting or upbeat and hip, the brand’s personality should immediately translate upon their arrival. Aesthetically, there are an abundance of options. A current trend has seen retailers embrace the natural fabric of a building and use it in a positive way within the space. Costa Pronto finishes have been selected to promote speed, slickness and are limited to a smaller colour palette due to the typically smaller footprints of these stores. Artwork & graphics have also been designed specifically to reflect the feeling of speed eg. ‘TAKE me AWAY’ or ‘BEAT the CLOCK’.
You may also consider design solutions in spaces that pose further challenges. This may involve creating the illusion of space in smaller premises. You can achieve this by elevating the ceiling height to create depth. This provides the feeling of a larger, open space.
We would love to hear about stores that have stood out to you because of their FOH design and why in the comments below. Even better, share your pictures with us over on our social channels.