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Design showcase: Harvey Nichols offers more with less in downsized Hong Kong store

Luxury department store retailer Harvey Nichols has reopened its Hong Kong store, after a redesign project by Studio Four IV.

The project saw the two storey Pacific Place store consolidated onto a single level, halving the floor space. However, the new store sells a broader product offer and introduces a range of new services.

The brief called for a truly omnichannel experience that allows the retailer to showcase its full inventory. The store blends new interactive technologies with more traditional shopping experiences.

The store's exterior has been redesigned, with a new facade that features stone with tessellated and illuminated glass rods, which allow light pulses to move across the storefront to hint at the technologies within.

Interactive touchscreens are positioned in the windows to spark customer interest, and to let them swipe through options, scanning barcodes to build an outfit inspired by products on display.

Inside, the store explores the premise that it is 'bigger than its four walls'. The store measures 3,902 sq m (42,000 sq.ft). The combination of physical displays, on shelves and rails, with 'endless aisle' touchscreens has been tailored to encourage exploration and browsing. When not in use, touchscreens display rich content including catwalk shows and editorial films, or curated selections of garments.

Despite the smaller footprint on the store, sightlines have been opened up. Animated framed screens are used for signposting, while pathways and lighting schemes are arranged to gently guide visitors through the store. Intricate design details include fine metal inlay in the stone flooring, a contrasting linear weave in the bespoke rugs, and the design of the lighting framework overhead, which emulates computer circuit-boards.

New and emerging labels are given priority in-store, while major international brands are the focus online.

A range of bespoke fixtures have been developed for the store, following on from work that Four IV did for the womenswear floor at the London flagship of Harvey Nichols. These are designed to give the retailer 'ownership' of the space, allowing the flexibility to provide a canvas for each incoming brand.

A digital waterfall highlights the entrance to the menswear department, which presents a smaller range than before the store consolidation.

A central interactive lounge provides a relaxed space for customers to browse the retailer's website in comfort, either alone or with a stylist. Products ordered in this way can be delivered to the customer's home or office. Fitting rooms also include space for stylists, and VIP clients can benefit from greater privacy in a personal shopping suite.

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