Angel & Rocket: Designing For Generation Alpha

Locations: Hyderabad, India; Bangalore, India; Marlow, UK

“Inspired by kids’ personalities, quirky individuality and their innate sense of style”, Angel & Rocket are a British-born brand specialising in providing high-end occasion wear for children.

With a strong online presence, customers can purchase Angel & Rocket’s designer kids’ collections from Next.co.uk, Joules.com and John Lewis.com, as well as Angel & Rocket’s own website, but the award-winning retailer sought to augment its presence at physical retail – calling upon Briggs Hillier to support with the creation of a new store concept!

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The Brief

Angel & Rocket challenged us to create a flexible design concept that could not only be applied to its brand store in Marlow, and overseas locations, but to its assemblage of concessions and future pop-up shop opportunities, too.

Translating the brand’s identity into a palette of colours, textures and materials, we aimed to capture the essence of the Angel & Rocket brand whilst creating an environment that would appeal to children and their parents. It was also important to the brand that we established a balance between designing furniture that showcases the brand’s signature looks, whilst also providing density of range and size options.

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Research & Insight

Through viewing a constant stream of media shared by friends and influencers on social apps, generation alpha is the most connected generation yet. They know what they want and yield a significant amount of power in the purchasing decisions that their millennial parents make – especially when it comes to fashion. Therefore, it was important in the research stage that we took our time to understand the unique strategy and design direction that would suitably appeal to both cohorts.

On top of this, we conducted several store reviews of competitors in the same landscape to attain a detailed insight into the high-end fashion market for children and determine a combination of functional, graphic, messaging, display and visual elements that could be applied to the store to give Angel & Rocket the edge.

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Design Strategy & VM Principles

The overall store layout was optimised according to the brand’s key product categories. Consideration was given to the shopper journey and a customer experience that would encourage engagement with the perimeter wall, as well as the central feature zone displaying changeable merchandise primarily consisting of fashion accessories and pocket money items.

Along with a cash desk and a range of fitting room fixtures, we designed a comprehensive toolkit of display furniture consisting of plinths, midfloor units and different size wall bay displays to entertain a myriad of layouts and configurations. Additionally, midfloor units can be entirely and effortlessly collapsed to allow for easy transportation around the store, or for use at pop-ups and events at other retail locations.

All retail systems were designed with modularity in mind, with the ability to adjust rail heights and extend display areas to accommodate collections of different shapes, sizes that cater for a range of age groups, and quantities, alongside housing the brand’s ever-changing, seasonal signature looks.

 

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The Creative

We curated and refined a vision board consisting of a communication strategy and colour and materiality palette reflective of the brand. Applying our vision to the space, we proposed a blend of white-wash brick and light woods to create a sophisticated environment engendering neutral tones and biophilic elements, anchored by accents of Angel & Rocket’s signature coral.

Further branding touchpoints can be found throughout the space, including through the display of wire-adorned mannequins that reflect the shapes found in the brand’s logo, making them uniquely Angel & Rocket. Playful graphic comms in the fitting rooms appeal to a younger audience, whilst sustainable elements found throughout the space highlight this ethical aspect of the brand.

 

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Bringing Designs To Life

Alongside applying this premium design concept to Angel & Rocket’s UK-based Marlow store, the brand also shared the creative toolkit with its two India-based locations – Bangalore and Hyderabad.

Our studio adapted the design for several other retail formats to demonstrate the creative concept’s versatility, with a particular focus on shop-in-shops and how the clever use of wall bay panelling and a storyteller feature can create a stand-out Angel & Rocket branded space in a multi-brand retail environment.

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Lucy Mister

28th July 2023