Melink

Westpac Melbourne

Melink
Telstra-Icon-Store-Sydney-Geyer-design-banner-1280.jpg

Telstra Icon

Melink
Geyer-Westpak-Barangaroo-banner-1280-1.jpg

Westpac Sydney

Melink
Geyer-Suncorp-Sandbox-banner-1280.jpg

Suncorp Concept

Melink
Geyer-Curtin-connect-banner-1280.jpg

Curtin Connect

Melink

Telstra Discovery

Melink
Geyer-Bank-of-Melbourne-banner-1280.jpg

Bank of Melbourne

Melink
Geyer-Heinemann-SydneyAirport-1-banner-1280.jpg

Heinemann

Melink
Geyer-Sephora-banner-1280.jpg

Sephora

Melink
Geyer-Tesla-Sydney-banner-1280.jpg

Tesla

Melink
Geyer-Cochlear-banner-1280.jpg

Cochlear Global HQ

Melink
Geyer-University-of-Newcastle-Learning-space-banner-1280.jpg

UoN Social Science

Melink
Geyer-University-of-Newcastle-Sydney-Presence-banner-1280.jpg

UoN Sydney Presence

Melink
Geyer-Auchmuty-Library-banner-1280-1.jpg

UoN Auchmuty Library

Melink
Geyer-University-of-Sydney-Badam-Library-banner-1280.jpg

UoS Upgrade Program

Melink
Geyer-University-of-Sydney-Student-Administration-Services-banner-1280.jpg

UoS Student Admin Services

Melink
Geyer-Moore-Theological-College-banner-1280.jpg

Moore Theological College

Melink
Geyer-Rabobank-sydney-banner-1280.jpg

Rabobank Sydney

Melink
JWT-geyer-sydney-banner-1280.jpg

JWT

Melink
HBF Headquarters-banner-1280.jpg

HBF Headquaters

Melink
Geyer-Singapore-CapitaLand-banner-1280.jpg

CapitaLand

Melink
Geyer-Barrick-Gold-18_banner-1280.jpg

Barrick Gold

Melink
Geyer-BHP-Billiton-melbourne-HQ-banner-1280.jpg

BHP Billiton

Melink
Geyer-Squire-Sanders-banner.jpg

Squire Sanders

Melink
Geyer-Qantas-lounge-brisbane-Reception-banner-1280.jpg

Qantas Lounge

Melink

Di Bella

Melink
Geyer-Cathay-Pacific-Lounge-banner-1280.jpg

Cathay Pacific

Melink
Geyer-Next-Hotel-1-banner-1280.jpg

Next Hotel

Melink
Geyer-Venn-banner-1280.jpg

Venn

Melink
Geyer-The-Pier-banner-1280.jpg

The Pier

The numbers tell
the story...

BILLIONS WORTH OF CONSTRUCTION

Evolution.
At work.

RE-DEFINED. RE-IMAGINED. RE-INVENTED.

Making space for others creates
a service-oriented mindset.

THE SELFLESS ART OF HOSPITALITY

Knowledge. No commodity is more
valued on campus.

A SPACE TO LEARN

It's theatre. It's discovery.
It's a gift.

WE LOVE OUR RETAIL THERAPY

Who is Geyer?

100+ TALENTED PEOPLE. PLUS ONE.

To create with curiosity
intelligence & spirit

IMPROVE THE HUMAN EXPERIENCE

Generations of
design

CELEBRATE OUR PAST AND EMBRACE THE FUTURE

5 studios across
Asia Pacific

ONE VISION

The one thing
that can't be designed...

TRUST.

Awards remind us
others are watching

WE'LL SHOW THEM OFF. WE'RE ONLY HUMAN

Love what you do.

GROW WITH US v>

Your future
is in your hands

USE THEM

Get a head start
in the industry

LEARN ON INTERNATIONAL PROJECTS

Can design future-proof retailers against the five-year cycle? Australia’s top designers are tackling the challenge head-on, with Russell & George undertaking the refurbishment of Aesop Doncaster and Geyer re-imagining banking retail for Suncorp.

Orginally published in Indesign Issue 70. Words Leanne Amodeo Photography Aesop by Trevor Mein & Suncorp by Hugh Hamilton

It wasn’t too long ago that retailers were panicking at the surge in popularity of online shopping. Everyone had an opinion as to whether the Internet would become our new one-stop-shop and whether storefronts would simply turn into some nostalgic relic of days gone by. But panic isn’t necessarily a bad thing. For many retailers it was a call-to-action and their response is to give customers something the Internet never can – a memorable tangible experience.

The role of designers in creating positive experiential retail environments shouldn’t be underestimated. Good design is an investment and a well-designed fitout adds brand value, as well as helping to future-proof businesses, in much the same way as giving outstanding service does.

Unsurprisingly, bespoke design is something successful companies like global skincare giant Aesop has long utilised to maximise brand longevity and customer loyalty. As part of a recent plan to upgrade their brick-and-mortar offerings, Aesop engaged design studio Russell&George to renovate their Doncaster store in Melbourne. The brand’s changed a lot since co-directors Ryan Russell and Byron George first designed this outlet’s original fitout in 2008, and their renovation needed to reflect that. Although they kept the existing ceramic wall and floor tiles, a new custom stainless steel display unit and sinks, service counters and a bespoke light fitting were installed. “It creates a dialogue between old and new,” says Russell. “But also makes it look more contemporary; it was the next step forward for the space.”

The insertions are deliberately bold and highly tactile, referencing artist Marcel Duchamp’s infamous found objects. However, for all their memorable sculptural qualities, they are hyper functional and so they need to be, in order to bring the store in line with the latest global retail service methodology.

This is an approach that places customer experience at its core and determines best practice for customer engagement. So the designers carefully considered the positioning of the sinks, as well as how customers are greeted when they enter the store and two service counters were put in to speed-up the point-of-sale (POS) process. It’s a dynamic yet straightforward configuration that makes the most of its customisation to attract first time passers-by.

In regards to future-proofing, this simple design strategy is a small piece in a much bigger puzzle that also includes the application of quality materials that can outlast the five-year cycle. As Russell explains, “Future proofing a retail space is about showing a high level of design rigour, achieving a sense of timelessness and utilising innovation to make the customer experience as interactive as possible.”

The Doncaster refurbishment undoubtedly nails this, as does another project, the recently completed Suncorp concept store at Westfield, Parramatta, by interior design practice Geyer. It’s an interesting case study in exemplifying the possibility to future-proof retail businesses through design, because Suncorp is not a retailer in the traditional sense of the term. It’s a finance, insurance and banking corporation, but they were very clear in their brief.

Geyer-Suncorp-Sandbox-7.jpg“The client wanted the new store to deliver a meaningful experience to customers and the bottom line was to design a store not a bank,” says Geyer’s creative design leader, Tim Giles.

It formed the basis for a two-day workshop where the interior designers and client co-created the design outcome. The resulting concept is based on the notion of a sandbox – something you can play around with and change.

Geyer-Suncorp-Sandbox-5.jpg

Generously sized table is also used for multiple purposes...

From a future-proofing perspective, it was important the new fitout was flexible and could be reshaped and remodelled as required. So the componentry is modular and able to be reconfigured, while implementing a tablet-based service (as opposed to having tellers) allows staff the freedom to roam. A generously sized table is also used for multiple purposes, from seminars to informal conversations, which incidentally creates activity in the space.

Geyer-Suncorp-Sandbox-7.jpgEncourages customers to dwell

This casual environment projects Suncorp’s commitment to wellbeing and the store even sometimes boasts a ‘kids space’ that goes a long way in helping to relieve customer anxiety. One of the scheme’s more unexpected features is the positioning of the ATMs at the rear of the store, rather than at the front. “We wanted to create an environment that encourages customers to dwell,” explains Giles. “So if they’re already in the space then they’re more open to interaction with staff.”

Geyer-Suncorp-Sandbox-1.jpgOnly made possible through a solid understanding of the retailer’s business.

These small positive in-store experiences add up to a good overall impression of the brand. And as with any outstanding example of design-enabled future-proofing, this is only made possible through a solid understanding of the retailer’s business. Designers need to proactively engage in rigorous discourse that challenges anything ordinary and, where possible, involve the client in the design process. Outcomes will be all the more robust and most likely very well received.