The interactive new flagship Winnings showroom in Redfern, Sydney, blends cutting-edge home products with neuroscientific insights and the architecture of Cera Stribley. by Stephen Crafti
The new Winnings Redfern Showroom has pushed the concept of retailing kitchen appliances, bathware, lighting and furniture, creating experiences that go well beyond the prosaic approach of stacked washing machines and dryers that can still be found in many stores. For Winnings, with its close association with architects and designers, the experience of connecting to spaces as well as products is at the core of its unique approach to retailing.
Winnings’ Redfern store is presently 1,200 square metres, but this comprises just stage one of the development. Stage two will double the floor space and add a bookable Consulting Room in which architects and designers can meet with their clients to plan their renovations in one destination.
Designed by Cera Stribley with bespoke joinery designed by Fiona Lynch, the fit-out also includes the work of other leading design talent, such as interior designer Carole Whiting, who was responsible for showcasing the V-Zug appliances, and EB Interiors, which designed Sub-Zero and Wolf’s display. Unlike traditional showrooms that are “carved” into various product groups whether they appertain to kitchens or bathrooms, here products are intermeshed, whether from Spence & Lyda or from Rogerseller. Winning Group design manager Kate McGlone worked closely with Cera Stribley and other key designers in developing the company’s brief, together with Katharina Kuehn, chief strategy and neuroscience officer at Winning Group.
“Having the neuroscience design guidelines developed by Katharina provided an important framework for the team to work with,” says McGlone. “It allowed us to create this environment that worked on an emotional level as well an aesthetic one. The design allows our clients to more easily navigate the showroom, whether they are designers or those simply seeking inspiration when embarking on their design journey.”
Kuehn studied neuroscience in both Germany and in Switzerland before joining Winning Group, her role being to fully understand the company’s clients, staff and suppliers.
“Neuroscience is the science of the brain and the mind, and how they shape our behaviour and decision making,” says Kuehn. “At Winnings, the customer is at the heart of everything we do, so understanding who they are and what makes them tick is essential. And what neuroscience is clearly showing us is that people are far more emotional in their decision making than has previously been thought and catered to. So the best shopping experience by definition then has to be a highly personal and emotionally relevant one.”
Based on Kuehn’s extensive research, three customer segments within Winnings have been identified and design principles established for each group, which became the framework for the Showroom’s design: Winnings Classic, Winnings Entertainer and Winnings Memories. “Winnings Classic, which forms the backdrop to the Showroom, provided clear sightlines and is well lit and refined, with an emphasis on quality and elegance, providing the foundations for the design — in a sense a ‘canvas’ [on which] to apply the other groups that needed to be addressed,” says McGlone.
The Culinary Theatre and Shower Lab are examples of the multisensory experiences on offer at Winnings and are also showcases of Winnings Entertainer, a customer segment that values state-of-the-art technologies and striking visuals. Adds McGlone, “Inspired by the Australian sunset and landscape, the Culinary Theatre, which is the showroom’s beating heart, is bespoke, extravagant and bold in nature, brought to life through organic shapes and a contrasting backdrop.” Taking a similar approach to bathware, in a first for Winnings, the Shower Lab allows customers to immerse themselves in an electric blue lab-like testing facility. “The use of the bold colour accents and contrasting lighting are fundamental to evoking a sense of theatre and excitement,” says McGlone.
For Jessica Coulter, head of interior design at Cera Stribley and the lead for the Redfern showroom, the design was about “elevating ordinary architectural materials to the extraordinary”. “We used powder-coated mesh in sunset hues in the Culinary Theatre, heavy architectural render for the ceiling paired with indirect lighting that exudes a sense of warmth,” she says.
One of the biggest challenges for Coulter and her team was incorporating the extensive variety of appliances and products under one roof. “It was important to create a sense of harmony within the store while ensuring we allowed each brand to express itself,” says Coulter, who, like the team at Winning Group, was deeply committed to the customer experience. She adds: “Winnings’ approach is less transactional and more experimental.”
Visit the new Winnings Showroom at 18 Danks Street, Redfern, New South Wales.
This is an extract from an article that appears in print in our eighth edition, Page 62 of Winning Magazine. Subscribe to Winning Magazine today.