For the last few years, we have been delivering a variety of lighting, audio, visual, and access control installations across a variety of retail setups. From flagships and boutiques to multi-site stores, we create innovative, seamless spaces that control foot flow and create unforgettable consumer experiences.

The vision

Being centrally based and on a large scale, the vision for this store was to draw focus to the journey customers would experience from the moment they walk in through the door. Community participation and presence within the store was great motivation for the store’s location, therefore having the professional tech to deliver was a must.  

The project

Having previously worked with the client, this store was the first in a brand-new experiential shopping concept within the brand portfolio. We delivered a variety of technologies recently throughout a flagship store, from audio, to centralised control, and acoustic treatments. The space lends itself now not only as a clothing store but also as a space for people to meet to have coffee, take pictures, share content on social media, be pampered, and attend DJ-led events.

The solution

The store facilitates an expansive layout, hosting multiple departments, and comprises three floors: the men’s department in the basement; ladies’ wear on the ground floor; and ladies, kid’s wear, and makeup bar on the first. Each of the floors has ‘zones’ that host certain products or that project vibes more suited towards the consumer shopping within that specific area. We also delivered speakers and Bluetooth connectivity in the staff-only areas, allowing the store employees to not only sync their devices and play music, but lending the space to extend out to hosting community events.

To make sure that the store was getting the best quality audio for the correct levels permitted throughout the space, we used the same speaker – SONANCE Cabinet – throughout each of the zones – maintaining the same high quality and ambient levels. These speakers are high-grade and can often be found in commercial ranges, high-end brands, and cinema setups. Having worked with them prior to this project, our in-house technicians knew that they would be the perfect fit for this space. To customise them to fit perfectly, our team painted the speakers to match the exact colour palette of each of the departments and zones – blending them seamlessly. For example, in the men’s department, the aesthetic is traditionally darker and more masculine, the speakers were painted a darker Pantone to suit this. Each of these speakers is positioned uniquely and mounted individually to get the ideal sound.

The store managers centrally control the zones via an iPad, through which we ran our custom software and app. Playlists, sound levels, and audio patterns have been automatically programmed, however, managers are able to manually set the levels in each of the zones if there are events running. The automated sequences have been programmed to detect the current ambience of the store and run output audio that will reflect this. For example, if it is busier, the music will play slightly louder and upbeat.

The design of this space was a unique concept for us and a new opportunity to design a custom setup. Each floor was different to the next, resulting in certain areas requiring more coverage, speakers, balancing, and calibration to work alongside the other speakers in that area. At Hutchison Technologies we always make sure that a project is delivered perfectly and exactly to the client specification. We spent more time on site with this project to make sure of exactly that, manually checking that each speaker installed was perfectly Equalized to the exact spec. The sound needed to match the aesthetic of the store and focus on the experiential perspective the client was visioning. Our team reflected on the walk-through of a customer’s experience whilst on the shop floor, tweaking each zone to shift slightly on a subconscious level. For example, the audio was to be lower and softer in the kid’s section, whereas if there was an area which had party dresses and clothes, it was to be livelier.

The biggest challenge our team faced during this project was the size of the store and the existing ceiling obstacles. We had to consider fully the placement of the speakers in order to allow them to work efficiently, avoiding distortion, and making sure there were no dead zones. When conducting our walk-throughs, we had to readjust or move certain speakers to get that perfect flow. Our team worked effortlessly around lighting boxes and escalators, to ensure they were safely installed, accessible, and hidden from customers.

We continue to be the brand’s sole AV provider and we are continuing to work on various other locations. We look forward to seeing what new solutions and innovative technologies we will bring to their next setup.

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