Consumers today, with our young Millennials leading the way, are placing more value on health and wellness. In fact, the global wellness industry grew 10.6% from $3.36 trillion in 2013 to $3.72 trillion in 2015. While the focus on wellness is not a new concept for us as designers, we’re witnessing a shift to a more holistic approach. A movement from just physical activewear to a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being. Connections to nature, slow downing, resetting, and taking a moment to just breathe, are all elements we’re seeing retailers starting to embrace in the physical store space.
M&S Frazzled Café
In the UK a study was done and they found that 25% of Brits will experience a mental illness during their lifetime, but aside from that everyone has moments of feeling overwhelmed during the day. Marks & Spencer decided to do something about this alarming state and partnered with Ruby Wax, an author and mental health advocate, to create a place help cope with the overwhelming stresses of daily life. The result was the Frazzled Café, a place where people can share personal stories in a judgment free zone. Open after hours, and led by a facilitator, the meetings are not meant to serve as therapy but be ‘a place where it’s ok, to not be ok.’
Sacha Berendji, retail director at Marks & Spencer, said, “Ruby’s Frazzled Cafe is a simple, pressure-free way of tackling what can be a taboo subject – feeling stressed. We hope that by providing free and calm venues after the cafe has closed, we can help any members of the community who simply need to talk about things and what’s happening in their lives.”
Nicola Elliot, an Editor for Glamor magazine, recognized after working so many grueling hours that her body, mind and spirit were being impacted, so she stepped away and decided to open her own business, an organic lifestyle brand Neom Organics. Helping to further enable a positive state, she launched, The Wellbeing School, offering classes and programs focused around energy, sleep, de-stressing, and happiness.
To identify an individual’s unique wellbeing needs, they use a scent and discovery bar. Participants smell a collection of different scents and whatever their body reacts to is what they say their mind needs. From there, they put together a curated product package that caters to helping to aiding in their overall wellbeing.
In Korea skincare is a heavily celebrated practice as evidence in some of the most innovative techniques, procedures, and brands known throughout the world. Skinfood takes a laser focused look at the foods you eat and the connection to your skin. The brands products range from makeup and skin care to body and hair products, all designed to nurture and feed the skin.
The brand also uses merchandising techniques and materials that reinforce the natural food elements and ingredients, making it fun and accessible. In Located above the retail space they even have City Farm, a rooftop garden to help you unwind in a place as busy as Seoul.
The activewear brand opened its first ever meditation space on 5th avenue called Mindfulosophy to give customers a mind-body reboot. On the second floor of the space, they invite you up to zen-like pods where you can put on headphones to experience one of twelve recorded self-guided meditation sessions.
“First, we offered yoga classes, pushing aside racks of product to roll out mats,” Celeste Burgoyne, Lululemon’s executive vice president of retail, says. “Now, we’re giving our guests the chance to experience yoga in a different way—off the mat, through meditation.”
Nicole can elevate a brand story by creating visual displays, communications, and on-going strategies that connect consumers to physical environments. Always a brand advocate and motivated by visual goodness, Nicole can transform a space from the typical to the magical. You can read more posts from Nicole here >