Mokobara: A store space that elevates the joy of travel
By N Jayalakshmi | July 24, 2023
Mokobara, the travel and lifestyle brand which is in an expansion mode, seeks to elevate the joy of travel for its customers through a store experience that has all the elements in just the right mix. Apoorv Sharma, Head of Retail at Mokobara, shares the details in an exclusive interaction with Retail4Growth, as part of ‘Fixture Yatra’ presented in association with Naman In-Store.
Every language has words that contain just the right shade of meaning, one that conveys the exact nuance of a thought or feeling . The word ‘Lagom’ in Swedish for instance means “Not too little, not too much. Just right.” And this was the design philosophy behind the store design of travel and lifestyle brand Mokobara. The space is a reiteration of how right store elements - including the colour schemes, props and fixtures - make the right experiential difference.
The brand recently opened its 2nd store in Bangalore and is on an expansion drive with plans to open 20 stores this financial year. Speaking about the critical factors in the brick and mortar retail space, Apoorv Sharma, Head of Retail at Mokobara, says. “Right location and right retail identity are two very important factors. From the overall look and feel of the store to the colour palette, the fixtures, lighting and the merchandising - they are all primary factors for us in defining the retail identity.” The brand worked with 4Dimensions Retail Design to define its retail identity.
Surender Gnanaolivu, Chief - Strategy and Development, 4Dimensions Retail Design, says, explaining the store concept, “The brand mission was to break the conventional way of carrying things and bring innovation with functional design aspects as USP to their offerings, which makes them unique in the segment, while the brand purpose was elevating the joy of travel for the modern consumer for whom travel is a lifestyle choice and state of mind.”
As Surender informs, the brand mission and purpose thus found expression in a design language that conveys the Swedish ‘Lagom’- ‘just right’. Much of this also stems from the brand’s understanding of its consumers. As Apoorv says, “We look at the store space as consumers ourselves and look at the kind of experience we can derive out of it.”
For the design team, conveying the brand’s purpose and mission through the design philosophy of ‘Lagom’ meant using the right colours, visual merchandising and imagery which would resonate with its young modern consumer. “A smiley ball pool, a life size astronaut (the brand’s mascot), ceiling and wall and floor imagery help deliver the concept’s objective with simplicity and panache,” shares Surender.
Indeed, as Apoorv explains further, “The idea was to strike a balance between being premium, playful and approachable. This was our focus. The store had to look premium but not intimidating.”
Thus, the use of colour yellow and use of materials like brushed stainless steel, rose gold coloured powder coating on shelves, and textured wall paint were the elements that conveyed the right mix of attributes that the brand wanted to convey.
Speaking about working with 4D, Apoorv says it was a highly involved and collaborative process. In fact, a collaborative approach is very critical when it comes to working with all partners and suppliers involved in a store project. As he says, talking about the brand’s approach to finding the right vendor partners, especially for aspects like store fixtures, “The main factor that we look for is their capacity to provide scale, pan-India service and quality control, since we are on an expansion mode. We look for national vendors who will be able to give us exactly what we need, basis our store identity.”
Finding the right supplier is important, especially when it comes to fit-outs and fixtures since these, as Apoorv informs, feature high on the list of brand spends when it comes to store interiors and roll-out. All the more so, considering the brand has its sights very clearly focused on expansion across major cities in the country.