As reported on our website last month, at around the same time as Fisher & Paykel’s latest Experience Centre opened in Sydney last month (see photos), word around the trade was that this was just the start of something bigger.
And, in terms of the New Zealand market, this has proven to be the case. Indeed, F&P has been busy over the last wee while taking retail partners through what it’s calling internally its “Retail 2.0” strategy.
The project takes a lead from F&P’s Experience Centres which are all about guiding the consumer towards purchase through a “curated experience” – that is, expressing your brand in your own way and on your own terms, without distraction. Inspiring and empowering, rather than selling.
However, rather than create more of these rarefied islands of knowledge and inspiration, the new retail display programme is taking some of the key elements of the high-style, information-rich Experience Centres into retail showrooms, which is where Kiwi consumers are still making their ultimate purchasing decision.
F&P’s GM of Design Integration, Mark Elmore, says of this roll-out of new generation retail displays: “By blending together a curated collage-style range of appliances supported by interactive technology, we hope to give New Zealanders a more immersive, simplified and premium retail experience to assist them plan and choose appliances to best suit their lifestyle needs.”
About the new retail displays
Like the latest Fisher & Paykel Experience Centre, the retail display project is a collaborative partnership between Fisher & Paykel, designers Alt Group, architects Fearon Hay and Satellite Media.
The core offering is a modular, scalable programme of retail Kitchen appliance displays which use premium but very Kiwi-inspired materials and may integrate digital touch screens (to express both the features and breadth of the full range), according to the available space in the store they have been designed to fit into.
How extensive the displays end up being will also reflect F&P’s and the store’s goals for that site. “We are working with our retail partners to ensure a return on investment for both parties,” says Mark Baillie, GM Distributor NZ of Fisher & Paykel Appliances.
Embracing a curated range of F&P products, from top to bottom, although the new programme can be tailored to display single categories independently – like dishwashing, laundry and refrigeration – but the main display system is firmly centred around the kitchen.
This new approach is all about “Adding value to the front end, which both we and our retail partners can benefit from,” says Mark Baillie. “Otherwise it is just all about price, which is the race to zero that we have talked about in the industry for some time.
“Sometimes we get lost with traditional point of sale and we end up just talking about price – we want to offer our retail partners the chance to sell some value to the consumer because otherwise [this race to zero] isn’t sustainable.”
Wares’ take on all this is that Retail 2.0 is Fisher & Paykel getting on to the front foot as to how (and how well) its products are represented in-store.
It’s F&P aiming to take the high ground, having decided it is no longer happy simply lining up in rows alongside all the other white or silver appliances. Bold stuff.
We’ll be looking for retailers’ reactions to “Retail 2.0” – and the key retail installations – as they roll out over the next couple of months.