The shopping center that is home to the fabulous Scarlet Tassel gift and home accents shop in Sandy Springs, Ga., was in the midst of a serious face-lift the day I stopped in, so even though I´d been told that the Scarlet Tassel had won a design award, I wasn´t expecting much when I stepped through the construction rubble and into the front door of the shop.
Wowzers! I wasn´t six inches inside the Scarlet Tassel before I forgot all about the mess outside and started exclaiming to myself over this display, then that display and, oh, I couldn´t wait to get to one I saw midway through the store. It was clear why the Scarlet Tassel won the Bronze 2004 Design Excellence award from ASID (American Society of Interior Designers). I wanted to stay all day.
But instead, I called Victor Moldovan of Atlanta´s Moldovan Interior Design, the company that designed the Scarlet Tassel, to find out what makes it so OHMYGOSH exciting. Moldovan´s answer: "A sense of discovery."
Yes, yes, I thought. That was it. Everytime I turned around inside the store, I really did feel that I was discovering something. It was fun.
"I think in retail, for consumers — especially for more up-market stores — a sense of discovery is important, rather than giving the show away the minute consumers walk in the door," Moldovan said. "You want them to move where they´re actually discovering something quickly as they turn rather than the more typical big-box type format where everything is almost viewable the moment you walk through the front door.
"We wanted the customer´s eye to keep moving around, and then, as she moved through the store, there would be different areas to grab her attention," Moldovan explained. The Scarlet Tassel is geared toward women, he said, and "women love discovering things in the retail environment. They like a bargain, too, and there are plenty of stores that are great for that, but for better products at more up-market price points, you´ve got to entertain the customer."
Moldovan specializes in retail store design. In designing home furnishings stores, he said he and his team work to create that same sense of discovery I found at the Scarlet Tassel — changing the environment, changing the whole look as the customer moves through the store.
It´s enough to make a customer want to spend some dough — and, hey, isn´t that what retail is all about?
Tomorrow in Retail Strategies, learn more about how Victor Moldovan designed the Scarlet Tassel.