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Stationery not stationary: The Paper Plus concept store

Paper Plus has moved towards increasing the customer experience with its latest fit-out, one which caters towards a more involved concept. The new store takes a different approach to the traditional, offering a more personalised experience for Paper Plus customers.

August 2, 2018 | Design

Paper Plus has moved towards increasing the customer experience with its latest fit-out, one which caters towards a more involved concept. The new store takes a different approach to the traditional, offering a more personalised experience for Paper Plus customers.

What differentiates this Paper Plus from previous ones is the different retail concepts that are within the store. Global market research from across North America, Europe and Asia resulted in the retailer creating new ‘experiential zones’ which are targeted at both adults and kids.

Within the store lays these zones, from spaces to personalise products, try the range of stationery and play with the latest games and toys. It also includes a community calendar to show local events and a Little Library where customers can exchange books with other community members. 

The concept store sits at 250 square-metres, located Christchurch’s Barrington Mall. The new look is the flagship for the first phase of transformation for the 35-year old nation-wide book and stationery retailer.

Paper Plus Group CEO Sam Shosanya says retailers must innovate and sharpen their focus on the unique selling points which distinguish on-premise shopping from online stores.

“This is an exciting time to be in bricks and mortar retail. The game is changing, and Paper Plus is evolving to deliver experiences which customers find welcoming and which encourage them to spend more time in- store,” he says.

“[Retail’s future] is also about being hyper-local and creating personalised experiences which build on retail’s inherent advantages. You can’t touch, see and feel online. You can in your local bookstore. And with the concept store, these attributes are magnified and enhanced with a welcoming and engaging environment which puts community at the core,” he explains.

The new design was implemented by RCG, with Retail Dimension bringing the idea to life based upon feedback from market research.

Step into the new concept and the Paper Plus brand is still strongly cemented in the designs. The signature green is seen throughout, with pale wood laminate contrasting with black celling’s.

The counter, shelving and a few accent walls also done the same pale wood look. The fixtures, flooring, signage and shelving was provided by Retail Dimension through various providers.

The new concept store’s features are enough to draw in the eye of the passer-by, with bright green and ultra violet gracing the front entrance, which sits cut-out-style in the middle of Barrington Mall. Along the outside wall also sits the Little Library, a small book cubby that allows anyone to take a book to read in exchange for another pre-loved book.

With 115 stores nationwide, Paper Plus Group has designed a ‘kit of parts’ which equips franchise owners to cost-effectively convert their outlet to a concept store. This approach provides for customisation, with individual store owners able to select options which are most relevant for their customers’ and budget. “The ‘kit of parts’ is flexible to meet different retail formats and takes into account Paper Plus’ innovative offerings, too,” adds Shosanya

The group have also developed joint ventures including an in-house publishing business in partnership with industry publishing expert, Bill Honeybone, and a wholesale sourcing business with United Sourcing Group.

“These businesses give us a greater ability to add value to our sourcing and supply chain,” notes Shosanya. “Enabling us to bring to market great value exclusive products that our customers have long been asking for.”

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