Chute Gerdeman, a full service retail design firm serving retailers, manufacturers, and service providers worldwide, has forayed into the Indian market. With the Indian market opening up to retail in a big way, Chute Gerdeman, a global company headquartered in the US, has set up a marketing office in Mumbai to cater to the sub-continent.
Chute Gerdeman claims to ensure returns on investment banking on its strength of having an in-depth understanding of the client, the brand in question and the consumers. In order to attain this, it follows its own patented unique design process called ‘eye level branding’, which involves top management whose expertise and inputs are gained and transferred to the retail floor.
Throwing light on this unique design process, Denny Gerdeman, Co-founder and Principal, Chute Gerdeman, said, “Eye Level Branding is basically speaking to the consumer in terms they will understand. In any given situation, there is a target consumer. Once you understand who that is, you can develop a design, graphic communications, layout, visual merchandising, colours and materials that enhance the brand and speak directly to that consumer in their terms.”
When asked how it translates its philosophy into action, Gerdeman explained, “Communication, space planning and flow are very important. Wayfinding and Graphic Communications can help consumers shop effectively. The systems also help to create consistent messaging so consumers aren’t overloaded with a blur of signage or promotions. Space planning and flow also add to these same points and make the shopping experience much more enjoyable and brand right. Colours and materials in common areas and throughout the mall help to add to this concept. For example, certain types of flooring can cut down on noise levels and again add to the enjoyable experience. When shoppers are enjoying themselves, they stay longer and shop more, in turn, buying more.”
The opening up of the retail sector to 51 per cent FDI is laying the foundation for a booming retail industry. Chute Gerdeman sees lot of potential in India. It feels that there is a need for each store to build a strong and individualistic identity to differentiate itself from the clutter of malls and retail outlets. For Chute Gerdeman, mall design is not just an art, it is a science, designed for the benefit of the customers, therefore, making retail design consumer centric.
On account of its work in the European and American markets, Chute Gerdemen has been ranked as the most creative design firm by industry peers for seven years in a row. Other than catering to retail spaces, it also offers consultancy to restaurant chains, retail food chains and the service-hospitality sector.
When asked whether a location with a space crunch can be conducive for Chute Gerdeman’s models, Gerdeman asserted, “Our concept could actually be considered even more important when space is an issue. You need to make your brand stand out while not overwhelming the space or the consumer. All of our services are key here – determining how to showcase the items in a clear manner through layout, fixture design, plan-o-grams, graphics, visual merchandising – it all plays into the big picture and gives the consumer the correct brand experience.”