MegaFon flagship store design

Shopworks was appointed by Russian mobile phone operator, MegaFon, to create a retail interior which was calm and natural, yet contemporary, energised and entirely functional.  The design was required to maximise customer traffic flow and exposure to products and services, while creating greater engagement between the customer and the MegaFon brand, in turn increasing profitability.

Design Solution

As an industry based on technology, the telecoms business has historically lived with a slightly cold and aggressive image.  We turned this on its head by creating a friendlier and more human in-store experience which enables customers to feel comfortable and at home with technology.

The new interior is a mix of natural materials, fluid design and thoughtful application of colour which creates a customer experience that is welcoming and relaxed, yet at the same time bright, playful and even slightly cheeky.  Materials such as real wood and natural-fibre textiles were chosen for their sensory appeal and texture; edges and lines on fixtures, fittings and furniture are soft and curved; and the warm lighting creates a mood of peace and tranquillity.  Greens, browns and greys are balanced with clean white for an overall sense of freshness and energised calm.

The natural element was of particular importance to MegaFon.  Reference is made to nature throughout the store, both through the use of natural materials such as the slices of ecologically sustainable solid wood incorporated into the counter (and which are symbolic of Russia), as well as in conceptual and innovative design such as the ‘forest waterfall' at the rear of the store where 3000 small metallic discs ripple in the airflow as staff walk past.  We also took inspiration from Japanese gardens, echoing the raked gravel pathways through the use of wavy lines on the slate floor, and using individually moulded, boulder-shaped, fibre-glass floor units in the centre of the store.

Achieving a balance between type and texture was also important in terms of portraying the MegaFon brand as intended and for realising a true representation of nature.  We chose materials to add contrast, texture and interest, such as the surprise use of soft fabric to cover the digital information pods.  And a giant, asymmetrical lampshade, constructed by hand from individual plastic coated pieces of wire, provides visual texture and lightness to balance the strength and definition of the floor units below and the solidity of the natural stone floor.

The design is fully functional too.  Customers have access to almost every area of the store, guided through by careful placement of floor units and the gently curving wall, and drawn by the circular display wall (which is a direct translation of the circular brand), and by the stunning ‘forest waterfall' and customer services counter at the rear of the store.  Products and services are clearly displayed and well lit, the giant lampshade gives focus to key products, and the information pods address customer service needs, aiding understanding, stimulating interest and building engagement with the brand.  Even the fun acrylic flowers, while adding to the theme, also serve to draw people inside the store and display products and information in a unique and innovative way.

As a minimalist and fluid design, the overall finish needed to look effortless and without flaw.  Corners and angles had to be soft and carefully crafted, so the junctions between materials (some of which are not ordinarily used together) are exceptionally well made and finished.  Pot plants and a MegaFon scent (white tea) enhance the homely and cosy feel and add a gentle flourish to the finished design.

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