Brick And Mortar Retail Takes A Step Back Into Nature


(Author : Lara Piras)
In-store interiors come alive at this Japan shop by bringing the outdoors indoors

Aesop is known for pioneering avant-garde shop floors with an approach that prides itself on minimalism and organic organisms. The brand’s latest venture at its first signature store in the Japanese city of Sapporo is no exception.

The new store was created in collaboration with Fukuoka-based Japanese design firm CASE-REAL under the leadership of Representative Director Koichi Futatsumat and Ritsu Shibata with lighting design by Branch’s Tatsuki Nakamura.

Providing a refreshing take on bricks-and-mortar spaces, the new interiors borrows from natural formations that can be found within the unique aesthetic of its store habitat. That being Hokkaido’s (Sapporo is the capital of this northern Japanese island) mountainous surrounds that include picturesque snow-covered urban and rural landscapes.

Futatsumat has employed natural, local materials that truly depict the island’s nature. In tying with the minimalist theme, there are just 48.6 sq meters of Sapporo freestone that was mined in the city’s South Ward that’s either buffed smooth or left untouched giving a rougher edge and textural point of difference. There’s also a central unit that separates the space, as well as a point-of-sale and pillar and splashes of stainless steel with a ‘vibration finish’ that resemble reflective snow in the sunshine.

Aesop explain further, “An essay on the duality of Hokkaido’s snow-covered urban and rural landscapes, local, natural materials with rough and smooth finishes have been juxtaposed to illustrate the soft and harsh sides of the environment.”

This truly original interior design is the perfect blend and a prime example of brand identity, newness and originality done well. It offers an intriguing and dynamic way forward for brick-and-mortar retail locations wishing to successfully distinguish their shopping experience from ordering online.

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