Navigating Space: Bath And Body Works

The space I chose to visit was Bath and Body Works. I actually had gone to the mall and decided to walk around until I could find a place that caught my eye. This store stuck out to me for many reasons, but the main ones were the lighting and layout of the products. The lighting was very bright, not only does the name of the place light up, but the blue pattern all around it lights up as well, so this store really stands out among other stores in the mall. The lighting inside the store was very focused on the product, it was shining down, and focused on specific fixtures. I think the lighting also made the colors pop on the merchandise. Considering the colors, the way the product was arranged was in a very satisfying and clean way. The store was organized by the type of product, the colors, and the smells, all made for this beautiful visual of the various bottles. I think this very clean, colorful presentation reflects the brand itself. Bath and Body Works is obviously a bath products store, so a clean and organized presentation represents the same sort of feeling of cleanliness. In my opinion, the design of the store also makes the product feel very luxurious. The towers of merchandise and clean colors give it this vibe of luxury and lavish. I personally would not change much about the layout of this store, it was organized beautifully, and the color coordination was very satisfying. One thing that may be overwhelming is how bright the signage is outside, the bright blue pattern, mixed with the many smells of the store, could be a bit much for people sensitive to those things. Overall, I think the design of the space does a great job at capturing people’s attention, and giving off a very clean, luxurious vibe.

Discussion — 2 Responses

  • Gage Minor 04/15/2022 on 5:20 AM

    Hi Paige! You made some brilliant points in this post! As you said, the illumination and the layout of the store are definitely features that catch the eye. The most interesting thing to me is your mentioning of how the design of the space in the store makes you think of the products as products of luxury. While I am no psychological expert, I believe I know a few key reasons why this may be. Firstly, as can be seen in the pictures you posted, the displays of items are extremely well organized, not only in the way they are displayed on the shelves but where the individual shelves are placed. This design is not maximizing the efficiency of the storage capacity of the area; however, doing so opens up the area and helps the customer believe the products are of higher value. This is likely due to obviously non-luxurious, common stores such as Target, Food Lion, and Macy’s, which use their space in a vastly different way, choosing to utilize the space in terms of storage rather than comfort in order to be able to display as many items as possible. Due to the higher volume of products in the area, it is also vastly more difficult for the workers to keep the items well organized when being compared to a small volume store like Bath and Body Works. Because of these experiences at stores like these, which are usually more common shopping experiences, and seen as non-luxurious, your mind likely associates more cramped spaces with frugality, and when in an open space such as the Bath and Body Works you posted, the shopping experience seems unique and luxurious which communicates an idea of quality over quantity.

    In addition to luxury though, it has been proven that open areas are more welcoming to customers, and this Bath and Body Works utilized this very well. Looking at this store’s entrance, it looks more like an extension of the walkway, rather than an entrance to a store, with almost the entire front-facing wall being absent, leaving a massive completely open doorway for customers to enter. This is significant due to the fact that in areas such as malls, where this store is, people have so many options on where they would like to shop, and when forced with the option of continuing on to the next store, or entering the store in front of them, closed-door can have a substantial impact. In addition to this, the openness inside of the store pairs very nicely with the openness of the entrance, which allows customers to feel like they are still walking through the mall rather than the individual store. This is the exact same technique used by the boots in the center of walkways in malls that sell things like phone cases and glasses, with the added benefit of the larger space and more in-depth customization of the area.

  • Lauren Sneed 04/15/2022 on 6:01 PM

    I agree that this space has a very luxurious atmosphere. As I looked at the image you provided and recalled the iconic Bath & Body Works gingham, a few interesting thoughts came to mind.
    Interestingly, when I see blue gingham print outside of the context of the store, I do not think of the store. But if I were to visit a Bath & Body Works, I think I would immediately notice if the blue gingham had been removed. It is an important part of their branding, although when I think of gingham print I do not think of luxury, but I do think of comfort. I think these two things can be easily related.
    The gingham is really an interesting choice, and I think it makes sense for their brand. Bath and Body Works is all about comfortable, and I would interpret the gingham print as a nod to that. Gingham makes me think of picnic baskets and summer dresses. There is femininity, warmth, and comfort all bundled into one simple pattern.

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