UPLIFTING THE GIFT SHOP
Challenge: Reinvent a Japanese gift shop to be a premium destination with broader appeal among western shoppers
Deliverable: Full brand package and design documentation
Concept: J•Avenue Japanese Collections
Agency: Sidecar Creatives
J•Avenue is a Japanese goods boutique that opened in north Columbus this past July. We at Sidecar, engaged with Pacific Food Inc. (Akai Hanna) to redevelop the existing retail shop "Hana Gifts". The goal was to transform the overall guest experience into one that further engaged with their core Asian guests, as well as generate new interest from western and younger shoppers. We started the process with logo development around the name J•Avenue. We were looking to evoke a friendly and welcoming connection to the Japanese culture, so we took inspiration from the art of Origami and created a folded paper "J" icon.
We also wanted to elevate the guest perception of quality, so we altered the description from a "gift store" to a store of "Japanese Collections." To deliver this elevated perception, we greatly reduced the quantity of unique products sold, and emphasized a more curated merchandise strategy. We then shaped a deliberate customer journey that encouraged exploration, and crafted key visual impact areas to highlight organized product categories. The result is a seamless in-store experience that is as fun to explore as it is easy to shop. Further, the consistent use of natural colors and materials provides a warm atmosphere and our careful use of the brand color green strengthens its effect as a branded space.