Beauty Store Business

JAN 2019

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14 January 2019 | beautystorebusiness.com HOT OR COLD? "Humans are drawn to light. We can use that to our advantage to help influence buyer behavior," says Brent Shelly, director of business development for Regency Lighting Studio. In fact, researchers in Europe and elsewhere have applied advanced techniques to examine the impact of lighting design on shopper preference, subsequent perception of a store and desire to purchase. A study by Sweden's Royal Institute of Technology used virtual reality to assess three lighting environments: store windows, shelf displays and the store overall. One of the biggest revelations was the importance of color temperature. Using the Kelvin scale, lighting temperature ranges are as follows: Less than 2,000K gives off a dim glow, similar to candlelight; 2,000K to 3,000K emits a soft white glow with a yellowish cast; 3,100K to 4,500K is bright white light suitable for workspaces or offices; 4,600K to 6,500K is a blue-white bright light that mimics daylight; and 6,500K and above is bluish light usually found in commercial locations. While brightness was a significant factor, color temperature and direction proved to be right up there. Warm-toned lighting and moderate brightness seemed to produce the ideal combination. For shop windows, vertically directed bright lighting showcased products more effectively. Within the store, the color temperatures most effective in attracting shoppers to specific items varied. A second study from Hamburg University of Applied Sciences used eye-tracking technology to monitor participants while browsing lighting schemes within two retail stores. The study revealed that the human eye is instinctively drawn to areas of contrast rather than monochromatic lighting, and that bright white/cool white directional lighting is especially appealing when guiding the eye to a targeted item or area. One of the most referenced studies on LED lighting is from the Zumtobel Group in Austria. This research is based in Zumtobel's trademarked Limbic Emotional Assessment theory, which correlates lighting preferences to personality traits. People categorized as "balanced" respond most positively to moderate accent lighting and medium floor-beam angles. Those who fall into the "stimulant" category needed a combination of relaxation and energy. For them, high-contrast and reduced general horizontal lighting prove beneficial, with a tendency toward cool white. The final category of "dominant" is characterized by sensitivity to unbalanced lighting scenarios. This group prefers high uniformity and reacts negatively to overstimulation. The study observed the sales of German fashion retailer Gerry Weber. The store used Limbic Lighting, which impacts one's mood and emotions, to target the balanced temperament of its typical customer. The study concluded that Gerry Weber had a net gain of 10 percent over the previous year's sales as well as that of their direct competitors. Compared to a reference boutique that was nearly identical in terms of design, layout and location– but sans the Limbic Lighting arrangement–the results indi- cated that lighting design tailored to a clear demographic can produce considerable financial reward. So what do all these studies mean for beauty stores? The retail beauty industry faces unique challenges that go well beyond an attractive or trendy lighting design. Store lighting must not only have emotional appeal, but also offer enough light to show cosmetic colors and undertones accurately. It's a symbiotic balancing act where practicality and aesthetics link intrinsically to buyer comfort and confidence. Beauty and cosmetics are intimately connected to self-image and esteem. There is perhaps no other shopping experience where the customer is under as much scrutiny as when shopping for makeup or skin care. A clothing boutique or department store has dressing rooms, but beauty retail customers must use magnifying mirrors in full view of onlookers and store staff. There is no door to close for privacy while making those oftentimes funny makeup faces in the mirror. KEEP IT GLOWING Crafting this delicate balance is a special skill that some lighting designers have perfected. When given the task of designing lighting for a cosmetics retailer, these experts know what they want, what they don't want and where some retailers are falling short. For example, Diego Burdi, design director at the Toronto-based Burdfilek, made some substantial changes when his firm redesigned the lighting for Murale beauty boutiques in Canada. "With 75 percent of lighting as fluorescents, the spaces were too task-oriented and At beauty store Murale, halogen bulbs and focusable light create the right color temperature for shoppers. "With beauty stores, you want to make sure that the lighting is very flattering on people's faces and that the color rendition is correct." —Jules Gim, associate vice president, Callison RTKL Photos by Ben Rahn, A-Frame

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