Formroom partners with retail giant Reliance to design India’s first Neo-Store: Azorte

In our most recent international department-retail project, Formroom was tasked with creating a blueprint design for Indian giant Reliance Retail‘s new fashion and lifestyle destination super-store, Azorte.

The ambitious brief was to design a retail concept that would not only outperform local competitors, but elevate retail experience across India and beyond through superior customer service, products and store impact. Ultimately, our client wanted to position their brand and stores to be superlative in every sense – the biggest and best lifestyle retailer in the landscape, starting with a 18,000 sqft site in Bengalaru. We love a challenge!

The client was keen to incorporate key themes such as a celebration of Indian heritage, inclusivity, integrated tech and a vibrant and youthful attitude that would stand out in India’s fashion landscape. After conducting extensive social and cultural research and consumer profiling to identify the fashion-conscious millennial and gen-z target consumer, we worked to create a design blueprint that would be in line with the social conventions of the local market, while being forward-facing enough to resonate with this emerging and globally minded consumer. This resulted in a store design with a network of distinct zones for both western and ethnic clothing, gender, as well as a multitude of departments that range all the way from footwear to home. On top of this, it was necessary to strategise a complex brand hierarchy of in-house and third-party brands, all to fall under the dominant brand identity of Azorte.

We devised a palette that was vibrant enough to communicate the colourful soul of the brand, but muted enough not to overpower the wealth of product on display. We diversified our core materials register of fir-wood, microseed and metalwork in each concession to include rich coloured velvets, terracotta plaster and plastic tubing to inject each concession with their own unique personality, as well as defining each zone. Lattice detailing and arch motifs inject the space with heritage flavour, in combination with digital elements which celebrate the brands contemporary edge.

Elevating the customer experience through digital integration for convenience, such as self-check outs, trial lounges with digital touchpoints (allowing for ‘endless aisles’) but also for visual impact – large scale digital screens and even screens worked into the structure of the decorative arches over fashion ‘edit’ areas. The functionality of the store itself is similarly elevated, with the entire retail fixture system designed to be fully interchangeable, allowing the VM team endless configurations for their product.

Through a fusion of heritage and contemporary high-impact visual merchandising, tech integration and elevated service points we managed to bridge the gaps between the multitude of design objectives, and reposition Azorte as a retail destination fit for the future consumer while avoiding alienation.

Our blueprint design for Azorte is due to be rolled out in 30-40 stores in the next year and over 200 in three years.