Retail is changing. That’s not news. When a design firm creates a global implementation strategy for a retail brand … that’s a story.
Sonos is one of those transformative brands. Beyond making outstanding wireless home sound systems, Sonos made itself into a household name by cultivating strategic partnerships with other entertainment and lifestyle giants. And following the success of their urban concept store in NYC, Sonos wanted to expand their presence in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. But to do this, they needed more than store design. They needed a global implementation strategy. That’s where Bergmeyer started.
Our design team began by identifying the company’s three core focus areas: home environments, innovative technology, and immersive sound experience. After gaining a thorough understanding of their culture and values, we went to work on developing the Sonos plan. We presented them with narratives, schedule and cost estimates, and a picture of the executive structure needed for Sonos to do anything from fully deployable pop-up shops through urban concept stores anywhere in the world. And they were off!
Making Smart Partnerships to Enhance the Customer Experience
The first step in the Sonos implementation strategy was to design a shop-in-shop prototype that would allow for co-branded experiences in other retail environments. Bergmeyer designed a freestanding 12×14 foot listening “pod” based on the popular listening rooms in their NYC store. Designed as a modular kit-of-parts that could expand beyond 12×14 feet if more space was available, this installation treats shoppers to a comfortable, homelike setting with Sonos sound and retail items from the hosting partner’s environment.
London Calling! Sonos Plants a Flag Across the Pond
Sonos chose London’s Seven Dials as its first retail location in Europe to celebrate the city’s multicultural music and art scene. In this EU concept store that blends culture and commerce, people are encouraged to get together, listen to music, and participate in a variety of cultural events. Whitney Walker, General Manager of the Global Retail Experience for Sonos explains “We have carefully considered how people bring music into their home environment through curation, and used it within the concept store to pay homage to the great city of London and the culture that was born here and continues to inspire the world.”
To create this hybrid space, Bergmeyer assembled a team of overseas partners to collaborate on implementing our prototype design internationally. Each room in Sonos London is designed as an individual experience with an optimized sound environment. Incorporating the latest acoustical technologies, acoustic panels are blended seamlessly into the space. Visitors to the space can stream their music choices between two “listening rooms” that replicate an in-home experience. Two London-based artists, Camille Walala and Neil Raitt, contributed their signature styles to each listening room as the first of many artists whose work will be featured in the store.
The London store succeeds as a destination for music fans and art enthusiasts. “The entire store experience is based on the idea of being in a really comfortable and inspiring environment,” says Walker. “We’re proud to be opening our first European concept store in London, providing a dedicated space for music fans to create, connect and ultimately discover the best ways to listen to music out loud.” The store’s inaugural exhibition was a celebration of rock and cultural icon David Bowie; featuring music, photography and artwork about the legendary Starman.
Staying a step ahead of the normal expectations of a retail store, the London location aims to inspire and connect its guests to music they love and a city that has left an indelible mark on the world. With success behind them, Sonos’ global expansion strategy continues.