Wine Republic in Melbourne
Positioned in the art grunge scene of Melbourne’s iconic Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, Wine Republic is a 100m2 new concept store redefining the humble bottle shop.
Our clients’ extensive private equity funding of national retail opportunities enabled a brief targeting a specific market segment. It required a design solution that was to be local, approachable, knowledgeable, urban and unique.
With the rise of the inner city craft markets and Fitzroy’s growing reputation for street art, our aim was to introduce an arts focus incorporating sculptural talking points, illustrations and Visual Merchandising opportunities that complimented the Wine Republic brand values.
Within a long narrow tenancy Red Design Group created a design solution that enabled the product to be the hero within an environment that stimulated customers to purchase. Our challenge was that the product was generally all the one size. We introduced visual breaks to decrease the depth and heighten the experience. Vertical banding on the walls achieved by cutting the existing plasterboard to expose original brickwork shortened the depth of the space and added textural colour. ‘Varying the height and depth of the wall fixtures created a fractured shelving system, avoiding an overwhelming wall of wine bottles’ Creative Director Colin Bell explains. We also introduced a diagonal zigzag pattern on the floor using smooth and rough sawn tile finishes to complete our visual strategy.
Oversized sculptural category signage guides customers and accentuates the ceiling height leading to the lighting sculpture positioned over the tasting table. This 800 green bottle installation, nicknamed the ‘Wine Cloud’ was a close collaboration between Red Design Group and local lighting designer Daniel Giffin.
We also introduced local artist Alex Hotchin who created a freehand line drawing applied to the shopfront. Her creativity extends to the wall behind the sales counter where a local map of Collingwood and Fitzroy is positioned. Her themes of the local city are inspired by ‘Oh the places you’ll go’ and add for a playful and quirky addition to the streetscape.
Through our engaging with local artists, furniture makers and craftsman we feel the project has grounded its roots in the suburb. Fitzroy locals Jeremy Taylor for the VM installations and Guy Mathews for the Tasting Table only added to our journey in a very collaborative approach of disciplines.
Aiming to recycle where possible and reuse existing materials and fittings we managed to maintain the shopfront, re-instate the brick wall finish and timber ceiling. We endeavoured to keep the materials simple and limit their number to minimize waste, in all 3 finishes were used in the fixturing. All our other display units were recycled furniture pieces found within a 100m radius of the store.
Entwined through all of these elements is a supportive signage and ticketing strategy applied by Red Design Group that assists customers locate, select, inform and purchase product.
To date this unique, stimulating and memorable shopping experience is a financial success for its owners Tom and Fiona, who have shared a taste of things to com
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