In an extremely mature retail environment like Japan, retail is less generic and often very niche, specialized or single subject focused. An example of this single subject focused retail is lifestyle or gender orientated stores. One of the most recent cases is from Japanese mobile carrier DoCoMo who has just opened a new communications concept called The Shelf. It is a relaxing environment for young women where technology is being presented as part of people’s everyday lives rather than a (beautiful designed) technology orientated phone store.
Located in the backstreets of Omotesando (Tokyo, Japan) The Shelf has two floors to explore and test the communication technology, books, magazines and make-up. The first floor features four areas surrounding the themes of Travel, Work, Beauty, and Fashion. All the different services and products are curetted by a popular role model who represents one of the themes. They have collaborated in creating a space that shows how the smart phone integrates into everyday’s life for young women. The second floor is the café and lounge to sit down, enjoy tea, read a magazine and check out some make up.
The Shelf is a fascinating idea That is based around understanding lifestyle and need instead of features and models.
via Shift East