Shikatani Lacroix designed a new, immersive, branded experience for The Source
The Source Retail Transformation
Shikatani Lacroix was selected to redesign The Source to improve customer engagement, appeal to a broader demographic, and to better reflect its brand identity and positioning. As part of this retail transformation, Shikatani Lacroix was commissioned to design novel and interactive kiosks for The Source that would provide customers with the same in-store experience they would get in a larger retail footprint, with the convenience of being located in Toronto Pearson International Airport.
Presently owned by Bell Canada, The Source is a Canadian electronics retailer with more than 550 locations across the country. Initially called Radio Shack, The Source was first owned by InterTAN. In 2004, InterTAN was acquired by Circuit City Stores and the store was rebranded as The Source by Circuit City. Five years later, Bell Canada acquired The Source for $135 million U.S. Since then, it has continued to operate as an independent division. With more than 600 SKUs, The Source has always been a destination for those who seek technology to support their work, gaming, hobby and lifestyle needs. The challenge was to transform the brand from a convenience, commodity offering to that of an immersive retail experience.
The Source’s retail stores were lacking the ability to engage the consumer without the help of store staff. Shikatani Lacroix met this challenge by designing an environment that engages the consumer on a sensory level, allowing the store’s visual and audio assets to excite consumers at every turn. That meant looking at all the products The Source offers, understanding how customers shop each category, strategically positioning them into a cohesive customer journey, and creating meaningful ways to highlight and showcase the products and services. When designing the independent kiosks at Pearson Airport, Shikatani Lacroix needed to consider complementing the designs of adjacent retail tenants and the surrounding environment, follow rigid landlord design specifications, while synchronously creating a look that entices travellers to stop and shop.
Shift consumers’ perception of The Source by delivering an immersive experience
The design process began with a brainstorming session. Defining the design work required finding the right balance between classifying The Source as technology experts (having a variety of the best technology) and as solutions experts (understanding and solving customer needs). Through the construction of visual mood boards and keywords or phrases, customer needs were identified to ensure that the new concept would be successful. This method was also used to gain insights about what each stakeholder felt constituted the best opportunities for The Source redesign. After a thorough discussion of each concept, key themes and ideas began to formulate as to what The Source of the future should look and feel like. The majority of ideas brought forward spoke to a desire to modernize The Source and focus on how the store acts, how it makes consumers feel, and how consumers interact with technology.
As customers enter The Source store, or engage with the kiosk displays, the atmosphere fills them with a sense of excitement, while providing them with the information they need about new products and promotions available. Beginning at the entrance, consumer lifestyle solutions can be found as Bell Mobility and Virgin Mobile digital displays curate the latest in mobile phones, internet TV services and promotions specific to The Source. Throughout each department of the store and kiosk, consumers can interact with every product prior to making a purchase, which allows them to be immersed in an engaging experience. Interactive tablets and digital screens sit next to the devices, informing customers of different ways they can be used to suit their specific needs and how they work in conjunction with other devices around the store. Tablet-based checkout terminals can be found throughout multiple areas of the store.
Based on the development of a strong brand position, Shikatani Lacroix redesigned the retail store concept to reflect The Source’s reputation as an electronics destination. The new Source kiosks are a stand-alone version of the in-store experience. The new Source design delivers an improved and immersive customer experience that allows shoppers and travellers to experience the latest technology and products available at The Source in an engaging and interactive way. Sales have escalated and continue to grow, and foot traffic at its Yorkdale mall location has increased by 45 percent in year-over-year metrics.