House of Fraser Case Study

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Philips Lighting and House of Fraser are working in partnership to create new lighting solutions that enhance product displays and improve the customer experience. Innovations include interactive lighting scenes in fitting rooms and personal shopper areas.

With 63 stores of varying ages and architectural design, House of Fraser faces a significant challenge in establishing a consistent ‘look and feel’ that reinforces the brand identity, underpins an enhanced customer experience and differentiates it from competitors. In common with many high street retailers, the company also needs to adapt to the growth of online shopping by giving people more compelling reasons to visit its stores.

 

Lighting plays a key role in achieving this and House of Fraser has teamed up with Philips Lighting to explore a number of options at its flagship store in Oxford Street, London.

 

“We chose to work with Philips because it enables us to make the best use of the best lighting technology in the marketplace,” explained David Blakeney, Director of Store Development with House of Fraser. “Working with Philips is a massive benefit to House of Fraser and our customers because a lot of the ideas and innovation directly impact the customer experience in many ways. Online shopping is now a big part of our business and customers need a reason to come to the stores, so we have to make the experience better when they do,” he continued.

 

Phil Looker, Head of Design for Store Development at House of Fraser added: “Many of our stores have different heights, different surfaces and different reflective materials, so creating an environment that is consistent in its visual appearance is a major challenge. The benefit of working with Philips from the outset is that the integration between the location of the lighting and the positioning of the products help to inform how the customers interact with the space. The lighting is used as a tool for signposting, as well as creating the appropriate look and feel for different concessions and brands.”

 

Fitting rooms

 

Research has shown that around 60% of purchasing decisions for clothing are made in the fitting room, so Philips has introduced a pioneering approach to the lighting in both the lingerie and general fitting rooms at the Oxford Street store.

 

The existing lighting in the lingerie fitting rooms comprised a T5 fluorescent mirror light strip, supplemented by a recessed metal halide downlight and a decorative wall sconce. The result was an unwelcoming space with uncomfortable glare that also highlighted shadows on the customers’ bodies. Crucially, the lighting did not provide customers with an accurate perception of what the clothes would look like in the different environments they would be wearing them.

 

The new solution uses the Philips AmbiScene Occasions mirrors, providing tuneable white light that can be adjusted by scene-setting controls, enabling the customers to very easily select day, evening, by the pool and natural (daylight) lighting scenes. This ability gives customers greater confidence in their purchasing decisions, thereby increasing the likelihood they will make that investment.

 

In addition, the recessed metal halide downlights have been replaced with suspended square LED feature luminaires to provide indirect ceiling (cove) lighting. The wall lights have been re-located and fitted with MASTER LED lamps.

 

A similar solution has been applied to selected  general fitting rooms, again using the Occasions mirrors with selectable lighting scenes to enable customers to evaluate their selections under different lighting conditions. Existing CDM downlights have been removed, some being replaced by StyliD compact LED fittings.

 

An additional Occasions mirror has also been installed at the end of the corridor circulation area to provide greater freedom of movement.

 

“Customer footfall on the high street is increasingly becoming a challenge so we need to maximise every opportunity we can within the store,” noted Store Manager Tim Hyde. “Service is a massive part of that and the Philips lighting range, which enables us to tailor the lighting in the fitting rooms, improves that service so we have a better chance of converting customer interest into a sale.”

 

A further benefit of the new lighting is that it has eliminated the build-up of heat that was experienced with the previous CDM lighting, so that customers are more comfortable and inclined to spend more time in the fitting areas.

 

Qualitative market research carried out with users of the fitting rooms showed that 68% felt the lighting was better and 54% of the shoppers who used the scene control said they were more likely to buy after using the upgraded fitting rooms. 80% said they were likely to recommend the new fitting rooms to friends and colleagues.

 

A similar trial has also been carried out in the fittings rooms in the Mary Portas’s clothing area. The existing lighting provided poor colour rendering so that customers were finding it difficult to gain a true perception of the clothes they were considering. Here, the existing GLS decorative halogen bulbs have been replaced with MASTER LEDbulb Designer LED light sources, combined with Occasions mirrors with scene-setting controls.

 

Personal shopper areas

 

The personal shopper experience is a very important part of the House of Fraser service and one of the personal shopper suites has no natural daylight, making the space feel claustrophobic and uncomfortable. Consequently, considerable attention has also been given to improving the lighting in this area.

 

Within the consulting area the ambient lighting has been enhanced to provide higher light levels and improved colour rendering, using recessed StyliD LED spotlights to help shoppers fully appreciate the colours and textures of the materials and fabrics. An Occasions mirror with three lighting scenes has also been installed in the consulting area.

 

The ambient lighting is further enhanced by two Philips Luminous Textile panels, which integrate multi-coloured LEDs within textile panels to provide a unique ambient lighting system. These panels create ‘mood walls’ that can display dynamic content while integrating with the other decorative and ambient effects in the space. They also help to compensate for the lack of natural daylight in the space.

 

“The Luminous Textiles create a scene-changing environment where customers do not feel enclosed,” Phil Looker enthused. “Combined with the scene-changing mirrors that add further options, people can see what the product is going to look like in different environments.”

 

The scene selection concept is taken a step further in the personal shopper fitting room, where a Philips AmbiScene Seasons mirror uses integrated frontal lighting and optional ambient coloured lighting to provide eight lighting scene options. These are winter, spring, summer and autumn as well as indoor, outdoor, evening and party.

 

“The new lighting helps customers make sure that the product they’ve selected is right for the environment or occasion they are buying for, so it is also a useful tool for sales advisers, fitting room advisers and personal shoppers,” Tim Hyde noted.

 

The consulting area has also been fitted with a Philips Ambilight 32 inch television, set against a lighter coloured wall to allow for full reflectance. A Philips music media system allows customisation of audio sound tracks.

 

BIBA

 

Another area that has come under scrutiny is the BIBA concession, where there were a number of issues with the lighting. A range of different fixture types in the ceiling gave a cluttered appearance, and the CDM spotlights were creating shadows on the shelving displays. In addition, the mannequin displays and key merchandising tables were under-lit, resulting in a dull and flat appearance.

 

The Philips 100% LED solution uses a track and spot concept to increase the flexibility of perimeter lighting, combined with peaks and troughs in lighting levels to create contrast and drama.

 

David Blakeney commented: “This is the first time I’ve ever seen a light that does what it says it’s going to do. It has brought out the merchandise to such an extent that these now look like totally different products.”

 

Phil Looker added: “We have concentrated on getting the lighting perfect and really picking out the colour and the details of the materials and fabrics. That is what the lighting has allowed us to do, really emphasising how great the product is.”

 

 

 

Engaging with customers

 

The new lighting has received a positive response from both customers and staff at the Oxford Street store. Tim Hyde observed: “Lighting is incredibly important for us in the store. It enables us to signpost specific areas and products and also deliver drama and theatre.

 

“The new lighting installation gives us the opportunity to engage with customers in a more effective way, which ultimately means we will turn more product interest into product purchases,” he concluded.

 

 

Philips AmbiScene Mirror range

 

The AmbiScene Mirror is a complete plug & play lighting system for vanity and fitting rooms, it combines a mirror with tuneable white, diffuse frontal lighting created via optical apertures in the mirror – all controlled through an intuitive user interface.

 

The mirror can be optionally extended with a number of additional selections to enrich the overall functionality. These include atmospheric lighting and integrated colour lighting modules that create an ambient effect sideways from the mirror. The overall effect can be further enriched with the introduction of seasonal scenes, as used in the personal shopper fitting area at House of Fraser Oxford Street.

 

 

http://www.houseoffraser.co.uk/london-oxfordst-department-store/store_page_1008,default,pg.html

 

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