Strategy and Retail Experience Design

Shopping at the flagship REI store was unanimously considered a positive experience by customers and employees alike—with one very important exception: the end. So when REI recognized they were losing customer interest at such a critical part of the journey, they turned to us to redefine the checkout area, all while maintaining cohesion with the rest of the store.
We worked closely with the REI team to develop forward-thinking ideas that brought content to the forefront and articulated the brand qualities that make REI such an exceptional store. The result was a space that reimagined the in-store experience from the end to the beginning.

Reducing footage and wait times

A single long line that fed into 10 cash wraps was creating a bottleneck and long wait times. So we created a new design that consolidated the register stations - all while reducing the square footage and dedicated transaction space by more than 33 percent.

Details of experience

Inspired by the heritage of the original REI location on Seattle's Capitol Hill, we used materials and details that evoked history and utility—reclaimed wood (stewardship), cold rolled steel (utility), natural concrete countertops (connection to nature), and blackboard material (community).

Extending an experience

Inspired by interpretive panels typically seen at a national or state park, these installations identify local hikes and activities that inspire customers to rediscover the great outdoors.

The results

With the help of Kiran Analytics, we created computer simulations based on observed REI customer behavior. The analysis helped predict increased capacity, delivered on shorter wait times, and created a dramatic surge in impulse sales at the end of the journey.