Cape Town, South Africa-based Weylandts – a home goods and furnishings retailer – came from modest beginnings. Originally launched in Windhoek, Namibia, in 1964, the brand has grown to nine locations nationwide in South Africa, and one abroad, in Melbourne, Australia.
Recently, the retailer made its shopping mall debut with its most recent location in Sandton City Shopping Centre in Sandton, South Africa, which features a fresh concept intended to introduce new customers to Weylandts. Designers intentionally deviated from the brand’s norm, adding informational touchscreens, gutsy display windows, in-store experts and a champagne bar for extra-thirsty shoppers.
“The [goal] was to create a boutique hotel-like space that would welcome our customers and guide them from … [the] hotel lobby through the intimate spaces of bedrooms and bathrooms, and use these areas to present our products in an original and inspirational manner,” says Kim Smith, Director, Weylandts.
Materials help drive the narrative, like a point-of-sale counter made from upcycled slabs of raw granite; its look and feel helps transform a potentially mundane cashwrap into an elegant faux reception/hotel lobby area.
Lighting also plays a critical role, setting a dusky and mysterious, but welcoming, tone. “The main challenge was being in a mall environment without natural light,” says Smith. “We dealt with this by embracing the constraint and introducing a dark, dramatic palette and creating a moody night-time space.”
Another hurdle was the size of the space (roughly 3552 square feet), which is much smaller than a typical Weylandts outpost. This was overcome by smart visual merchandising to display and consolidate product.
“In order to design a space that would allow our customers to get an amazing feel for [Weylandts] within this much smaller footprint, we had to distill the brand to its essence and then repackage it in an inspirational yet logical manner,” says Smith. “Layering of product creates interest; the shopfittings are customized to best show our range of product.”
Through its detailed merchandising, instore design strategy and visual cues, Weylandts provides the ideal setting to make you feel right at home.