Scarpa fittingly means ‘shoe’ in Italian. It’s a family-owned business that has over 30 years experience in the footwear industry.
Scarpa’s owner John Upton says they wanted to make the store feel like an island of luxury, where customers feel good the moment they walk in the door.
The company already has two other stores in St Lukes and Newmarket, so this store was Scarpa’s first entry to Auckland’s CBD.
“Each store has a subtly different personality, positioning and product mix to suit the local market,” Upton says.
“At Queen St, the store personality is influenced by Auckland’s CBD culture.”
Scarpa approached RCG, which has another award winning shoe store under its belt – Ziera shoes.
RCG director and retail strategist John Lenihan says RCG set out to create a retail place that would draw Scarpa’s target clientele in.
“The design would need to complement the areas high end luxury brands, and enhance the Scarpa brand and product in a way that attracts their target market,” Lenihan says.
He says the design draws inspiration from mid-century European design, which makes it slot in easily with the styles on show at Queens Arcade.
“Elements such as custom brass detailing, pearl grey lacquer, a hand tufted wool rug and warm lighting - these modernist features create a feeling of understated luxury and comfort,” he says.
The shop stands out from the crowd with its bold pink branding, which is a vivid “lipstick” pink.
The colour is also featured in store, highlighting the counter and central area.
Rhomboid and diamond patterns are also integrated throughout the store, on the ceiling, in the window displays and on the rugs.
Lenihan says the optical store front display is a key feature.
“As people move around the front of the store the shelving changes dramatically from being simple and open, to form a complex diamond pattern. It captures the attention of customers,” he says.
The result is a feminine, modern addition to Queens Arcade, where women can have a luxurious experience treating themselves to a new pair of shoes.
Since the store opened, Upton says they’ve had positive results with staff performance and customer experience.
“The customer feedback we receive is really positive. They love that the store feels bright and colourful, and yet intimate,” Upton says.