For some, shopping is a treat, for others it’s a passion, and for many it’s a burden. With the latest fashions, electronics, housewares and just about everything else just the click of a mouse away, it’s hard to get customers in brick-and-mortar stores these days. Have you ever thought about how architecture and design may enhance the shopping experience?
Recent research released by the World Green Building Council suggests that retailers around the world need to better understand how the physical retail environment, including lighting, design and overall architecture, can affect the staff and customer experience. According to the study, which pulled together numerous case studies, environmentally-friendly stores draw some of the highest consumer satisfaction ratings.
One of the ways to alter the retail environment and let in more natural daylight is through the installation of electrochromic glass. By maintaining a connection with the outdoors, dynamic glass allows building occupants to experience the biophilic benefits of the outdoors, including stress reduction, enhanced clarity of thought and an improved sense of well-being, which for the retailer could mean more time and money spent in their store!
Check out some of our recent installations in the retail space!
Mall of America (Bloomington, MN)
We recently installed 3,500-square-feet of SageGlass in the skylight of the oval rotunda that covers the new grand entrance and event space at the Mall of America, the nation’s largest retailer and entertainment destination. The dynamic glass skylight will provide solar control to create a more comfortable experience for the millions of shoppers and guests attending programs, concerts and speaking engagements in the Mall’s new expansion.
The dynamic glass skylight is controlled via light sensors, adjusting tint automatically as the sun intensifies throughout the day. Tinting can also be controlled manually for special events at the Mall that require customized glare or heat management. Through the implementation of our dynamic glass, the Mall can now block sunlight on hot days to provide a more comfortable experience for guests.
In addition to its unique tinting capability, another neat feature of SageGlass is the ability to create a custom pattern or “scene” on the glass. In the case of Mall of America, we worked with their team to identify a fun and iconic image for their large skylight – a Christmas tree. As you can see in the photo below, the glass was tinted to create the pattern of a tree during the holiday season. This was a fun and festive touch and fit MOA’s mission of creating a memorable experience for their guests.
Modissa AG Flagship Store (Zürich, Switzerland)
Swiss fashion clothing retailer Modissa AG installed 2,000-square-feet of electronically tintable SageGlass in its flagship store in Zürich to improve the shopping experience by optimizing daylight and outdoor views. Since the store is protected as cultural heritage in a historic district, it was important to preserve the building’s glass façade while combating the store’s solar control challenges, which included low-angle glare in the winter and the sun’s heat in the summer. Our customizable dynamic glass allowed the building to preserve its bronze window façade between the second and fifth floor and create an eye-catching and dramatic visual presence.
As a result of our installation, we eliminated the need for interior and exterior sun shades and bulky glare protection equipment, and created an enhanced shopping experience for Modissa customers. Our product also provided the store with UV protection to prevent fading damage to store inventory, furnishings and flooring.
With all of our knowledge of how natural lighting can influence consumer behavior and the shopping experience, it’s time to reconsider how we let natural light into our retail spaces, and electrochromic glass provides a dynamic solution!