How Does Lighting Improve the Efficacy of the Retail Mechanism?
“Light has to attract people to that space, but also make that space comfortable once they have entered it. This is a difficult balance to strike but it is vital to the design of retail environments.”
Light has a substantial impact on increased sales and brand positioning. Lighting improves the efficacy of the entire retail mechanism — it brings customers in, helps them make a purchase, and transitions them out of the store. Above all, it provides the consumer with a positive experience, which in turn makes them want to return to the store again later. In order to make the environment comfortable, the lighting must guide the consumer through the store — not every product will interest the buyer; as such, every platform or presentation surface must seem enticing.
To best illuminate a retail environment, we must make sure that we have an understanding of what the brand sells. Do they sell highly reflective products? What is the scale of their products? How intricate are they? The answers to all these questions should be evident in the eventual design that is created. Light has to attract people to that space but also make that space comfortable once they have entered it. This is a difficult balance to strike but it is vital to the design of retail environments.
The international marketplace has made this even more challenging as the perspective on what kind of light attracts us changes from culture to culture. As retail brands begin to open up stores internationally, the ever-present question is “how do we localize our lighting responses to better represent the local culture”? Is it better to make it look like the store was on 5th Avenue, thereby taking away all local flavor?