Optimisation and evolution of store concept for TK Maxx

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Developing navigation, wayfinding and orientation systems to provide flexibility in TK Maxx.

TK Maxx was synonymous as an out-of-town, single level, large format, value volume retail proposition with typical store sizes of around 20,000 square feet.

With the decline of high street retail, battered by the recession, swathes of large format real estate on the high street became available and accessible to the value retailer and affordable brands like TK Maxx, with a low-cost fit-out model, expanded.

Essentially, TK Maxx was a linear, process driven retail proposition. This venture into larger commercial spaces, trebling their retail model size with multiple levels and multiple access points, was new territory and was more than just a scaling-up exercise; environments needed to be redesigned, space commercially planned and optimised.

Working closely over a number of years with TK Maxx management, buyers and merchandising teams (initially as a consultancy and over time as an associate partner) the design formula was used both to meet each and every specific retail architectural challenge, and also as a vehicle to address additional challenges; in particular, developing and evolving navigation, wayfinding and orientation systems to provide flexibility as the business continued to grow.

As the size of the retail areas increased, the return on investment per product line and fixture became more commercially acute. The performance of the complete retail solution, and individual system’s per product per fixture, were specifically engineered to deliver set percentage uplifts in sales to individual product categories.

The close analytical approach to the products’ performance established key retail architectural principles at shelf, as well as store level.

The successful growth of the brand beyond the UK and into Europe at a time when other retailers suffered a slowdown, in part down to the consequences of high overheads and expensive fit outs, is testimony to the unique symbiotic relationship between savvy commercial business decisions and the value of retail design. A design that focused on basic retail design principles and a deep understanding of the retailer’s specific business operations and their customers' journey.

A culmination of years of industry experience working for premium brands as well as discount retailers such as Poundland, in conjunction with practice in international tax and duty-free airport environments, have proved a successful commercial cocktail for TK Maxx.

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Helping TK Maxx expand in a tough and competitive retail market

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Success through sticking to common sense and basic retail principles

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