Providing Retail Solutions Since 1992 | Kawahara Takano
Being a retail solutions firm, one must develop concepts that focus on all aspects of the retail process from architecture, visual merchandising, and strategic planning to visual communication and equipment design. With over 500 concept stores completed, Kawahara Takano Solutions accomplished just that. Based in Sao Paulo, Brazil – Kawahara Takano (KT) has been successful and fully immersed in the Latin American market for over the last 20 years. Founders Julio Takano and Rosely Kawahara have developed their own working method to accomplish truly extraordinary brand results.
Honored to have him participate, Julio Takano will be one of the featured architects and designers of the ROAD space at the upcoming ROAD – Retail Design Show in Rio de Janeiro. MiND embarked on an interview with Takano, delving into his successes and solutions in the Brazilian retail market.
KAWAHARA TAKANO has over 20 years of experience with the retail design industry. But where did KAWAHARA TAKANO start?
JULIO TAKANO: In 1985, the Director of Engineering and Architecture of C&A Fashions Eng.Aloysio Camargo, captained one of the most iconic designs in the history of C&A known as C&A 2000. I was invited to develop tropicalization and standardization. The expansion process was intense for 7 years and in 1992, we founded the Kawahara Takano, focused on developing retail projects of large formats for strategic repositioning for our customers.
“There are no set formulas for success…”
You have designed and completed over 100 stores totaling in 954,300m2. What is your secret to success in the Brazilian Market?
JULIO TAKANO: So far we have developed more than 500 concepts totaling 8.5 million m2 of retail built. However, I think that there are no set formulas for success, but I always say you get lucky first and second, skills are essential. I say this because the terms of the first part of the C&A project KT 2000 provided a unique expertise and knowledge of large retail formats and sales of large volumes self-service and according to competence to remain in this market always innovating and accompanying anthropological consumer changes.
“We seek projects that challenge us”
What attributes allow Kawahara Takano to be considered a ‘retail solutions firm’?
JULIO TAKANO: I think one of the main attributes is to be passionate about retail, tirelessly studying the anthropological changes of the modern consumer and seek to relentlessly crystallize the DNA of our customers at the point of sale by providing relevant experiences and emotional connections, with a focus on business sustainability.
How do you choose which projects your company will take on? What are some of the most notable projects Kawahara Takano has worked on?
JULIO TAKANO: We seek projects that challenge us, where we can promote the development of consumer culture, reaching great strategic repositioning and increased sales for the brands of our clients.
These are some of the projects currently in development: Artex, Apothecary, Hering and Tramontina.
How is designing retail spaces in the Brazilian different from other international markets?
JULIO TAKANO: Developing Retail Design in Brazil is a huge challenge and a huge opportunity.
It’s a huge challenge because consumer culture in Brazil is in the development and the funds available for the implementation of the concepts are much lower than developed countries with retail, requiring knowledge beyond talent, but also business management.
And so it becomes a huge opportunity because it generates an expertise in retail management peculiar to the BRIC countries, retail intelligence to meet the aspirational levels of emerging consumers generating big sales per m2.
You are one of the founder members and companies behind ABIESV. What was the motivation behind starting this initiative, particularly in the Brazilian Market?
JULIO TAKANO: After nearly three decades working in retail, I realized that the medium and small retailer is greatly lacking information that helps to promote a strategic repositioning of their brands, hitherto restricted to large retailers.
The ultimate goal of ABIESV (Brazilian Association of Equipment and Services for Retail Industry) is to present solutions for the retailer and share knowledge and relevant information for the qualification and development of consumer culture as well as be a retail intelligence source in Brazil, promoting conferences, workshops and literature retail.
And through our Technical Committees, we contribute to the development of good practices in the Brazilian retail.
“Our expectation is to translate the extreme flexibility and beauty of ALU systems to the Brazilian market.”
What drew you interest to participate in ROAD – Retail Design Show in Rio de Janeiro? What can we expect from you designs using the ALU product collections?
JULIO TAKANO: We were honored to receive an invitation from the President of ALU, Abramo Manfrotto to join ROAD-Retail Design Show in Cassino da Urca in Rio de Janeiro – to create a space using ALU solutions. Our expectation is to translate the extreme flexibility and beauty of ALU systems to the Brazilian market.