For nearly a century, Marttiini has held a tradition of creating high-end hunting, fishing and carpentry knives, called puukkos, which range in price from $30 to $160. One of the brand’s three locations, the Marttiini Shop in a Helsinki, Finland, shopping center, underwent a redesign this year to reach beyond its core audience of outdoor-oriented men to attract women and tourists, who account for more than 50 percent of sales.
“The aim was to tell the long tradition behind Marttiini,” says Teemu Nojonen, art director at Suunnittelutoimisto Amerikka Ltd., the Helsinki-based design firm behind the project. “And we wanted to emphasize the knives as design objects.”
The main challenge involved displaying more than 200 knives in a tight, 323-square-foot space. So Nojonen created a new fixturing program for the store’s main area. An asymmetrical-patterned wall holds about 100 different knives, which are attached with heavy magnets to individual wooden blocks. “There are small differences between knives, so customers have to take a careful look at each of them,” says Nojonen.
The new display makes it easier for customers to touch and feel the knives, but it’s also better for sales associates, too. When customers select a knife to consider or buy, the associate tilts the wood display block to uncover the storage area. “You can find the exact model behind the wall and it adds a ‘wow’ factor to the actual sales process,” Nojonen says.
Traditional Finnish wood and leather materials are integrated into the design to show off the same functionality of the knives themselves, Nojonen says. A wall-mounted cluster of leather vases also houses product, with each of the handles wrapped in leather. “We wanted to distinguish the knives from the usual tourist or gift products, so we used as many genuine materials as possible in the space,” Nojonen says.
Since the store reopened in May, the retailer has seen a 40 percent increase in sales.
Retailer: Marttiini Ltd., Rovaniemi, Finland
Design and Architecture: Suunnittelutoimisto Amerikka Ltd., Helsinki, Finland – Maria Kelter, account manager; Teemu Nojonen, art director; Sami Maukonen, design director; Mervi Karvinen, interior designer; Jussi Salmivuori, designer
Fixtures: Messurakenne Ltd., Klaukkala, Finland; IS Nahkatuote, Imatra, Finland
Flooring: ABL Laatat, Helsinki, Finland
Furniture: Messurakenne Ltd., Klaukkala, Finland
Lighting: Iguzzini Finland, Helsinki, Finland
Signage and Graphics: Imagon, Vantaa, Finland