📸IMS 🖊Gareth Griffiths
We’ve all entered large chain stores and retail food outlets but often we take the value of a lucrative interior design and merchandising market segment for granted. Just why do the larger stores change their interior decor and shopfitting so frequently? How and why is this done? It’s about personalising service offerings, says an expert.
TO BUILD spoke to Jorge Barisonzi, CEO and his colleague Lucas Guerrero, of an international merchandising solutions company in South Africa, a company with its origins in Buenos Aires.
“We are a company of knowledge, creativity and applied art which seeks to show the best of each food and context,” says Barisonzi.
The company creates the display in a way that acts as a functioning food storage unit and also catches the eye of the consumer, so they are able to choose what they want in an appealing way.
“While Shoprite/Checkers is our main customer with a mission to inspire shoppers and suppliers alike, we believe we add value to them via our work: we have a design team that is world-class and our equipment is manufactured with components from the top global firms. We show food worldwide and we think that nobody does as we do,” Barisonzi adds.
Creating high touch areas and also using high tech
The firm’s designs aim to get store attendants into contact with shoppers and the displays make that easier.
“Customers choose to be served by people. For example, touring the #NRF in New York, I came across one of the famous Amazon Go stores: I was shocked by its lack of success, with very few customers and empty shelves,” says Barisonzi.
“Technology is an ideal complement to the physical customer experience and in IMS we are working on that. We developed an Omnichannel solution which includes interactive totems, a digital platform, and an innovative way to show products. But tech is not a replacement for human touch. The retail industry needs people (to give the goods a ‘push’), that is 100% sure”, he adds.
Each project a new challenge
Each project is a new challenge for this interdisciplinary team.
“We integrate our knowledge to understand each client’s and market’s identity and the requirements complexity.
“IMS gets involved with all the stakeholders of each store. Talking about Checkers, we have a strong and fluid relationship with the companies that provide the floor and also the lighting. We also work with special lighting for our equipment to take the visual experience to the top,” Barisonzi explains.
Each detail is important
“Each detail is important for IMS, not only in our cabinets, but also in the entire store. And a perfect combination between the floor and the lights can make a perfect ambient to enjoy the journey. Adding some features like coffee-to-go or interactive screens and displays, the store can transform the classic purchase day to a great plan for the whole family,” he concludes.