March 9 2023  |  Retailers

​CDFG and TDS open "phygital" store with category focused QR rooms

By GTR Magazine Staff

The cdf Global concept store is spread across four rooms targeting four key categories

The Design Solution (TDS) has partnered with CDFG to create a new digitally-focused travel retail concept at the CDF Haikou International Duty Free Shopping Complex.

The "phygital" cdf Global store is spread across four individual "QR rooms" targeting four key categories: Perfumes & Cosmetics, Mother Care, Health, and Liquor. The product displays encourage shoppers to scan the QR code on the shelf to discover more information on the product. Items can then be placed in digital baskets and shoppers have to confirm their purchase and make payment from their phones. All purchases are given express delivery to the customer’s chosen address (within China). Shoppers also have the option to interact with store staff at a special service lounge area, supported by a number of information desks.

"While the global retail sector has seen the gradual development of digital convenience from operators such as Amazon Style as well as numerous contactless airport store concepts within travel retail, both the operational and design emphasis have almost invariably been focused on convenience," explains a press release. "cdf Global is presented across four key category spaces or ‘QR rooms’ creating a customer experience built on much more than convenience as the TDS design blends the speed and simplicity of digital innovation with one of the most dynamic retail environments ever seen in the travel retail world. The store concept is specifically designed to address the surge in Chinese shoppers’ digital behaviour, creating a retail experience that combines the technical ease and functionality of the ‘scan and buy’ format with an eye-catchingly theatrical and engaging in-store experience."

The QR code has been made the central design motif of the store’s identity. "The experience begins in the store’s entry area, attracting footfall with the use of floor-to-ceiling digital screens and dramatic, contemporary styling. The welcome space uses dynamic store design to inform shoppers of the operating format, engaging them with the intrigue and adventure of the retail journey, with the QR code informing the patterns of the floor and ceiling throughout the experience."

The first and largest of the four ‘QR rooms’ hosts a Customer Service area and the Perfumes & Cosmetics category. "A key feature is the dramatic Edit Wall, a contemporary gallery-like display of highlight products from across the four rooms as a ‘taster’ for the discoveries ahead. In front of the wall, four stylish, low-level plinths act as color-coded beacons to signal the product experiences offered by each room. Although the store design shares the QR motif as the core design theme throughout, the assignment of a guiding color to each room creates a unique ambience and personality in each of the four product spaces."

QR Room 1: Perfumes & Cosmetics/The Beauty Room – "The tones of white and silver, including highly reflective surfaces, suggest the clarity and glamour of the P&C category."

QR Room 2: Health – "Hosting a wide range of health and nutrition-focused products, the space is toned in green to suggest a spirit of nature, health, rejuvenation and growth."

QR Room 3: Mother Care – "Blue tones express the calm, chic modernity of the product range."

QR Room 4: Liquor – "The deep orange color of the room, complemented by dark wood wall features, echo the hues of the liquid range it hosts, including suggestions of aged barrels."

Kim Zhang, GM of store planning & development department, CDFG, said, "The Haikou International Duty Free Shopping Complex is built on the principle of ‘customer first’ in everything we do and this is reflected in the creation of the cdf Global store. CDFG has a powerful understanding of customer needs and behaviours, including a demand for the ease and convenience of a ‘scan and buy’ experience, particularly among young shoppers. However, the concept is not simply about speed and convenience; it also provides an original and exciting in-store experience. We are very pleased to be working in partnership with The Design Solution again and we are confident that our customers will be delighted with this exciting and radical retail concept.”

Commenting on the design strategy, Christos Malecos, Lead Senior Designer, TDS, said, “At its heart, the performance-driving beauty of the cdf Global store is that the design blends the smart functionality of QR-code shopping with a vibrant and engaging store design. CDFG not only had the ambition and commitment to share our unique design vision they also backed that up with an equal commitment to using high quality materials and craft processes. The result is that the rooms look visually striking and they are also exceptionally high quality environments creating a premium shopping experience.

“Our design ethos at TDS is not simply about creating amazing spaces, we also prioritize the client’s need for an effective ROI. The welcome area and the four category rooms each express their own personality transmitting an energy and dynamism that has never been seen before in travel retail. Within this, we evolved materials, fixtures and structural processes that enabled the use of many common elements in the rooms, differentiated mainly by color. This meant that, despite the startling differences in personality expressed by each room, they not only share a design DNA built on the QR code motif but also a cost-effective sharing of a shared ‘box’ of core materials for construction and fitting."

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