A Closer look at the Art of Retail Spatial Design
Gentle Monster Singapore ION Store
Gentle Monster, the cult-favorite Korean eyewear brand, continues to redefine the traditional retail experience with their newly renovated store in Singapore. This unique boutique, doubling as an art space, has become a major attraction at ION Orchard with captivating futuristic artwork and mesmerizing media displays.
The retail industry is continuously evolving, and Gentle Monster’s store at ION in Singapore is an example of how infusing art into retail space design can contribute to a unique shopping experience.
Located in the high-end Orchard area, where space is a must, the open-concept store excels in utilizing its square footage. The entrance boasts two visually striking sculptures—a robotic eye with a blink mechanism and an enormous ant crafted from metal—rendering an undeniable allure. The store’s layout guides customers on a well-thought-out journey, as an art gallery.
First, customers are captivated by the initial attractive pull of the sculptures, bringing them inside the store and walking past a large-scale custom screen display of people wearing Gentle Monster glasses distorted images. The screen, in particular, is noteworthy not just for its size but for its seamless integration with the angular layout of the store.
In an era in which shoppers can endlessly scroll on ecommerce platforms from the comfort of their own homes, brick-and-mortar stores need to rethink their strategy to capture and keep a crowd’s attention.
At Gentle Monster, the customer’s attention is retained by introducing a different design element at strategic turning points in the space: smooth red carpet floors, silver textured walls, reflective metallic beams – the customer’s eye has a myriad of places to wonder. The use of contrasting textures and materials exploits the inescapable curiosity attraction, guiding the shoppers further and further inside the store. With yet another simple but effective design choice, this store is full of in full-length mirrors. The mirrors not only enhance the space but they allow customers to envision themselves wearing the glasses, in a real context, with their entire outfit. By placing these abundantly in their store and adopting an open concept, Gentle Monster enables a frictionless customer journey. The absence of doors removes barriers to entry and the convenience of the mirrors allows shoppers to try any product on immediately after they pick it off the shelf.
In the middle of this feast for the eyes, the eyewear is displayed on minimalistic shelves, with bright lights creating a focus on the products. The labels are concise, featuring a single-word name and price. This is a rising trend prevalent in high-end stores, minimizing text on product descriptions. Text is rarely remembered by shoppers, it is visual experiences that leave a lasting impression.
Gentle Monster, a brand known for its fusion of art and retail offers an immersive experience to shoppers, that transcends the random act of purchasing products. It is no secret that installation art and visual merchandising share many things in common as they both consider the way we interact with spaces and how spatial design choices influence the user experience. Now more than ever, brands with physical retail spaces can benefit from infusing their visual merchandising and spatial design tactics with art objects and artistic practices.
In summary, Gentle Monster’s ION store showcases how spatial design and visual merchandising can be used in conjunction to create a distinct and unique retail environment. The store’s design elements, from the sculptures to the entrance, through minimalist product displays, are thoughtfully arranged to guide patrons through the space and immerse them in this futuristic retail experience.
Why visit this store?
Discover the sculptures and artistic displays
Enjoy the amazing art installations around the store.
The gigantic blinking eye with an eyebrow piercing is definitely a must see.
Enjoy the visual journey of the store with its diverse use of contrasting textures and angular walkways which will keep you on your toes.
Browse a wide range of eyewear designs
The products are arranged mimicking the style of a museum exhibiting artifacts behind a glass, except this time, there is no glass! Try on any of these glasses and see which designs suit you the best. From statement neon colors to urban styles, Gentle Monster carries a wide range of frames and sunglasses. The angular layout of the space provides a lot of isolated spaces in which you will feel at peace to inspect yourself in the mirrors without everyone watching.
Get personalized style advice suited to your
An additional service offered in-store is personalized style advice. The staff assists visitors in choosing frames that suit their style and facial features. Staff will consider many factors such as your eye and face shape, your personal aesthetic and the type of outfits you usually wear This service is also available for those buying gifts, as recommendations can be made based on photos and descriptions of the intended recipient.
Capture Instagrammable moments in-store
You will see for yourself, Gentle Monster’s store is one big photo studio as passerby shoppers regularly visit the shop to photograph themselves with the artwork. The brand has a strong social media presence boasting over 1 million followers on Instagram and over 600 thousand likes on
Tiktok.They encourage patrons to use their hashtag #GentleMonsters. By visiting their store, you too can share your photos with the otherworldly sculptures and join the community.