Socializing the Store Space

Socializing the Store Space

Socializing the Store Space 1440 428 Chute Gerdeman

For today’s youth, social media is much more than a medium to share photos; it’s an extension of their identities. When we look at it psychologically in terms of Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs, this generation is often starting at the top with self-actualization.

When you look at why they buy there are three main factors: what they can do with the product, what the can tell someone about the product, and what getting that product says about them. Taking that into consideration, contemporary retailers as creating spaces that celebrate the influence of social media by designing environments that encourage customers to engage with the brand. And while harder to measure, the return on engagement is valuable in the word-of-mouth, peer persuaded world we live in today. Here’s a look who are making their moments in-store and on the social feed matter.

Dirty Bones

Exterior Signage at Dirty Bones
Neon Lighting at Dirty Bones

“If a Millennial eats a meal, but didn’t Instagram it first, did it really happen?” That’s the question that has led to menu and décor decisions at the trendy UK restaurant Dirty Bones. With innovative twists to comfort food classics, like Cheeseburger Dumplings and The Mac Daddy burger, you can guess that guests would be hard pressed not to document the glory. Diners can order an Instagram Kit off the menu complete with a clip on wide-angle lens, an LED light, tripod, and a selfie stick for their phone. Recognizing that people quite regularly taking pics anyhow, why not provide them tools to make the food (and the brand) look even better.

Restaurant Seating at Dirty Bones
Restaurant Seating at Dirty Bones

But what is the perfect picture without the perfect backdrop? Material selections at restaurants are now being made with media in mind. At Dirty Bones, tabletop materials were determined on what would accent the food the best, and wall materials selected because they know selfies are going to happen. The eclectic ambiance of retro lamps, geometric floor tiles, and a healthy mix of woods draw your eye around the space to capture every corner.


Missguided Storefront
Missguided Fitting Rooms

Fast growing, fast fashion brand Missguided takes an approach to store design where social is king in the retail space. They relocated the fitting room, traditionally located at the back of the store, and moved it to the front to create a social buzz where people can hang out, be social, and bring in that crowd mentality.

Misguided Mannequins
Missguided Social Signage

Instagrammable moments are integrated at every turn encouraging customers to take pictures next to mannequins and displays with the dedicated brand hashtag. “We had to wait a good five minutes to take a photograph, as customers surrounded the monster truck for the perfect selfie,” disclosed online retail media source Design4Retail, during a visit to the store. It’s about providing something worthy to boost about in the space encouraging people to come in and for people to come back. The social savvy brand also reminds customers with signage to stay connected with them outside of the store giving them an opportunity to continue to build and nurture a relationship.

The Smashbox Studio Store

Smashbox Photoscreen
Smashbox Make Up

Well-known for professional, quality makeup tailored to look great on camera, Smashbox’s new freestanding stores celebrate a studio inspired experience. The new retail space is for beauty pros and enthusiasts alike to create that ultimate photo ready look. Priming customers for that perfect pic, various backdrops create an opportunity to showcase personality, and fixtures complete with lighting and cellphone holders empower confidence. Customers can print, post, email, text or even add their pics to a digital wall.

Smashbox Studio Opening
Smashbox Studio Opening

Beyond the selfie or social realm, the environment also creates an environment where people feel comfortable to capture their more professional side with social events like photography services and makeup classes. “This is a big set… it’s about collaboration, community, having people come in and play with makeup, to experiment and shoot here. I don’t want anyone to feel pressured to buy something,” stated Smashbox Co-Founder, Davis Factor.

Photo Credit: We The Food Snob | Retail Design Blog | Drapers | The Bite Magazine | LA Guestlist |

post by Mary Lynn Waite

post by:

Mary Lynn Waite

Mary Lynn has mad skills developing  brands through visual communications. Leading a team of designers with style and enthusiasm that shines through on our most successful projects. Trend spotter and pop-culture enthusiast, she keeps our creative studio alive. You can read more posts from Mary Lynn here >

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