Everybody knows what a store selling glasses and sunglasses looks like – row upon row of spectacles, usually with the bulk of the offer being arranged in backlit perimeter modules and with an eye test station positioned somewhere in the space.
Not so Gentle Monster, the Korean eyewear brand. This is an outfit where the stores are as much works of art as repositories of stock and the newly completed renewal of the Starfield Hanam branch, on the edge is Seoul, is a case in point.
The first thing that greets the visitor to this one is a 12-strong row of humanoid robots, seated in front of a long table and looking out. Then there are the screens with hyper-real images and there is even a black metal robot spider that can walk. Finally, once all of this has been absorbed, there is the matter of the merchandise, which is at the better end of aspirational as far as price is concerned.
Stores selling glasses do tend to conform to a template, but they don’t have to.