by Jincy IypeApr 01, 2021
Shanghai-based Dutch retail design agency Storeage has collaborated with the B+Tube cosmetics team to conceptualise and design their first flagship store in Changsha, China. Psychedelic steel arches sit at its centre, giving a funky contrast to the industrial grey setting of the rest of the roomy store. The brand reveals that with the radiant space they wish to set a new standard in teenage cosmetics, focusing on artificial intelligence (AI) driven digital interaction within the space.
Prominent archways in the colour of rainbow betta fish are lined inside the B+Tube store, aiming to attract teenagers with its expressive, clean approach to cosmetics. Referencing the trend of online shopping, especially with teens, the flagship store’s design with its roomy interiors fosters spaces to interact with social media platforms, to facilitate online to offline shopping. Lisa Yu, Founder and CEO, B+Tube, says, “We want to encourage a younger Chinese generation to express themselves in whatever shape or colour they prefer, yet never at the expense of healthy skin”.
The 218 sqm store’s design pays tribute to an old Chinese proverb of “the mouse that fell into a rice jar", an analogy of being fully immersed in all choices, something that the B+Tube store wants to offer to young adults, to explore and express themselves. Translating that into design, Storeage chose iridescent perforated steel and colourful arches to attract visitors and keep them engrossed. The iridescence is applied to the cathedral like structure in the centre. The spaces on the perimeter employ grey brushed metal and white corian and muted furniture, making it look more laboratory like.
The central archway takes up 33 per cent of the interior design, while the front houses travel products. The perimeter features a private, one on one consultation room along with a beauty bar, with rainbow-like circles hovering overhead. “With its double layer of perforations, walking inside the cathedral like store feels like being immersed in colourful water, another hint at the abundance of choice this brand has to offer,” shares the design agency.
The layout is organised around three basic principles of cosmetics – cleansing, foundation and make-up. Every direction presents an education centre replete with tutorials and videos, illustrating how to best find, use and apply products. These spaces, accents and the décor ensure that customers stay to explore products for themselves, to find the ones best suited for their skin, and also find well lighted spots to take pictures to share online.
“The product, the information, the experiences, the enjoyment, everything about beauty surrounds you, spoils you and drowns you here, continuously. So even when leaving this store, the consumer will be inspired to live life fully, in whatever way or fashion they fancy,” adds Kang Li, Director of Storeage, China.
Focused on the integrated design of physical and digital space, Storeage is a retail design agency with a diverse team of interior architects, product designers, graphic and UX designers with a goal to explore space, and has worked with international and local clients such as Nike, Adidas, Converse and Coca-Cola. Ranging from skincare, travel, make-up and lifestyle products, B+Tube’s collection concentrates on “freedom of expression,” and wanted to emulate that in the store’s design as well. The brand sought to introduce a young attitude to the cosmetic retail landscape aimed at teenagers and therefore directed Storeage to design a space fitting the brand, integrating various layers of shopping.