Cross Cultural Studies

1430 Words6 Pages
A cross-cultural study on retail design

John Dawson simply noted that ‘retail responds to culture’. This statement has never been truer to the word than it is today. In modern society we experience so many different brands and products on a daily basis that it is diluting the cultural diversity we live in. Mass produced design has reached the far corners of the earth and whether we realise it or not, this has a serious effect on the societies it touches. Yet as John Dawson points out, modern retail is now responding to these different cultures and is slowly becoming more distinguished throughout the globe. As the shopping experience is becoming more personalised throughout the 21st century companies are expanding on a variety of designs within
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It is trans-disciplinary in its intention to create a sensory interpretation of brand values, through physical or virtual stores” . This sensory interpretation is the key element of Quartiers definition of retail design. Geert Hofstede was a pioneer of cross-cultural studies and consumer behaviour. He played a pivotal role in understanding different cultural interpretations of brands, products, marketing and design. Hofstede’s book has been used to examine cross-cultural differences in actual consumption behaviour and product use and is also useful in predicting consumer behaviour or effectiveness of marketing strategies for various cultures (De Mooij and Hofstede, 2010). De Mooij and Hofstede further note that culture and the individualism/collectivism perhaps best reflects cultural differences in behaviour research studies, especially in the studies conducted between Western and Asian cultures. Western (American) culture is generally seen as individualistic, meaning the emphasis is on the betterment of the individual, while Asian, Latin American and Middle Eastern cultures are generally seen as collectivistic where the emphasis is on the betterment of the group. This individualism vs collectivism model is very useful if applied to retail design as it highlights the effect cultural elements have on consumer…show more content…
It would seem therefore that Prada’s approach to in-store architecture has been characteristic of the international operating strategy of the general luxury/high brand – with consistency, coherency and clarity as the essential features. However, the opening of a new Prada store in New York in 2001 and a second in Tokyo a year later, marked a new foreward way of thinking, not only to the global brand positioning of Prada but it could also be argued to the basic assumptions concerning the strategic approach of international designer brands in general. Prada’s store in New York, designed by Rem Koolhaas, is in the site of a former Guggenheim Museum. Focusing on space, light and technology, this development (which Prada describes as an epicentre store), cost in excess of $40 million. The store in Tokyo has few walls in a more open space enviroment. Touch-sensitive screens are suspended from the ceiling and these allow customers to browse through the images of the various Prada collections. The changing rooms offer the customer a choice of electronic sounds to match their mood. Designed by the Priztker award-winning Herzog and Meuron, the architects of the Tate Modern in London, the Tokyo store cost $87 million. It is the largest single investment made by an Italian company in Japan since the Second World War (Financial Times,
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