London-based The Design Solution created Dufry Group’s stylish new retail space (2,540sqm) at Cancún International Airport, which features the innovative ‘New Generation’ store concept that projects an extraordinary and colorful sense of location.
Nick Taylor, Director, The Design Solution, outlines the design concept for the Cancun stores and the commercial drivers behind it:
“The Cancun store designs are strongly focused on a mixture of key elements of local culture, particularly on the heritage and craftsmanship of the Mayans, the vibrant local markets, pulsating nightlife and the natural beauty of the coastline. These local themes are blended with a strong focus on leading-edge digital technology, including large-scale digital screens that not only enhance customization but can also be used to consolidate the local spirit of the spaces.
“In T4, the store concept is a fusion of color, pattern and form and the first and unmistakable impression is the explosion of Mexican color and energy that greets the visitor, drawn to the store by a series of color cables set in front of contrasting charcoal grey walls flanking the entrance to the store. The color cables have accent sections of color led neon that form letters spelling out welcoming messages.
“Stepping into the retail area the key focus is the centrally-positioned Tequileria, reflecting the spirit’s importance both in Mexico’s heritage and its role as a key sales driver. In design terms, the Tequileria canopy was our start point and it subtly influences the whole space. It’s an eye-catching centerpiece formed from a series of undulating, vertical printed fabric banners in vibrant colors and it also incorporates Mayan symbols to celebrate the height of the space.
“Positioned below the fabric banners, the blend of ancient and modern Mexico is neatly expressed by a stunning digital ribbon screen for advertising and promotion that encircles the Tequileria.
“The emphasis on color throughout the space is partly inspired by the iconic ‘CANCUN’ beach sign but more so by over 3,000 years of the traditional Mexican weaving looms and their beautiful textiles. We use vibrant local colors to create focus over the key feature areas whilst more subtle patterning, derived from Mayan textiles, feature on décorative screens, banners and walls.
“The design seeks to echo different local themes within each product category, creating a truly distinct identity for each while conolidating the cohesion across the whole space.
For example, confectionery is obviously a key local category. The space has a high-level bulkhead formed from terracotta tile sets arranged in a bookend format and the ceiling features a Mayan pattern motif in inlaid gold, creating a bold statement.
“It’s crucial that the design adopts local themes with sincerity and respect. Modern travelers are not fools, they instinctively know when they’re encountering simplistic touristic clichés and they’re eager to discover an authentic local experience that resonates. By engaging them in authentic local storytelling we can use design to create great retail experiences that influence their shopping behavior, drive revenue and enhance the whole airport experience.
“The Design Solution was delighted to support Dufry and ASUR in designing the new space in T3 and T4. Cancun is a dynamic and innovative location where Dufry and the airport’s management have grasped the need for travel retail to move beyond creating a basic Sense of Place to developing a genuine and engaging expression of local life, culture and heritage.”
Please note: These visuals are renderings.