Best Awards 60 44879273401 O

Best Awards bronze pin design win

Back to all posts

The Designers Institute of New Zealand Best Awards are the most prestigious design awards in NZ. We were excited to have made finalists in the Value of Design 2018 category, and absolutely blown away when we were awarded the Bronze Pin for our Hannahs Queensgate store.

The awards evening was a true enlightenment to the scale of New Zealand's design network, the talent we keep company with, and the calibre of work that continues to be delivered nationwide across all platforms of design execution.


Here is our story of ideation and design, to manufacture and full fit-out of the Hannahs Queensgate store and how we came to be recognised for our efforts alongside the likes of Fisher & Paykel and Weta Workshop!

Create a store that celebrates our brands 150-year anniversary and showcases our heritage through contemporary execution.

The client had strong vision for their brand design direction; taking influences from international apparel brands. We listened to these aspirations and then designed, value engineered, manufactured and delivered their new environment.

As one of Hannahs’ top 5 performing stores, devastation was felt during the 2016 earthquake and the subsequent closure of Queensgate Mall. Rebuild development saw the inclusion into the mall of the powerhouse retailer, H&M, resulting in forced relocation from Hannahs prime location. These factors drove the importance for considered store design and delivery for the beloved kiwi brand.

Traditionally, a Hannahs store is vastly white, almost clinical and unemotional, with a windowless shopfront and a barrage of POS communications and shoe brand integration. The design of this new store brings a warmer, more welcoming feel. This warmth is created by the various colours and textures of fixtures & fittings; the range of timber materials and tones, gun metal framework and mesh panels, homely laminate counters, patterned canvas drapes, and colourful velvet seating.

When catering for a broad clientele from a 6-month-old to a 90-year-old, a fashionista to Betty Basic, the space required subtle area definition, curation of brands and considered flow, allowing each shoe brand their own space and identity. This is complemented by the intimate areas designed for customers to enjoy their tactile shopping experience.

Throughout the store, elements pay tribute to the original Hannahs factory; high fixtures, exposed ceiling beams, industrial materials, branded staff aprons, and the hero of the store design; inclusion of a front window printed with the original 1868 R.Hannah & Co. logo, encased in steal framework. Once seen as a barrier, this new window feature creates an insular feel and encapsulates the brand heritage.

To reduce POS clutter, allowing the customer experience to be purely of the Hannahs brand and the products they offer, digital signage was introduced. The entrance-way digital screen immediately talks to passing customers and entices them in-store. Interchangeable content allows Hannahs to communicate retail messages, promotions and styling inspiration with ease. Integration of this technology resulted in continued decrease of POS printing costs.

Staff engagement in this store is “through the roof” since the re-design. Employee satisfaction from the uni-students to the store manager of 37 years with the business has them feeling “really bloody special”. On opening, the customer feedback was “amazing”, they loved the new store design.

As noted by the client; “although a completely new look and feel, the store still feels like Hannahs, which is what we love .. it’s just more sophisticated and of higher quality which adds both value and credibility to our brand and the various products we sell”. Even considering store closure in 2016, Hannahs Queensgate traded at 14% increase from their re-opening in July 2017, an increase which is believed to be attributed to the elevated marketplace repositioning of the brand due to the high calibre of retail store design.