Design showcase: 'Bookshop of the future' from Hugendubel

German book retailer Hugendubel has presented its flexible ‘bookshop of the future’ format at its refurbished store on Munich’s Stachus.

Schwitzke Group developed the new future-oriented store concept for the traditional retailer, introducing ‘emotional’ new visual merchandising strategies while remodelling the entire 2,000 sq m (21,528 sq ft) store.

Hugendubel is seeking to set new standards in book retailing, combining its products with an emotional in-store experience. Instead of arranging books by genre, as is typical in book stores, the titles are arranged into five newly developed theme worlds arranged over three floors.

Titled Immerse yourself, Live and enjoy, learn, play and make, window onto the world, and Horizons, the zones seek to embrace the reading needs and moods of customers, and to encourage them to browse and discover in an intuitive way.

“The store should become a source of inspiration. A favorite place where everyone is welcome, which offers fresh stimuli,” says Schwitzke & Partner managing director Tina Jokisch, who was responsible for the store design. “The space should create the opportunity for imaginative product presentation, as well as changing offers and events.”

The store has been designed to adopt changeability, acting as a blank canvas that can be rearranged and reimagined constantly. The shell appears to be reduced and monochrome, with all furnishing based on the principle of the square box. Around 6,000 modular boxes, which can be arranged in different ways, were made for the store.

“The box has always been a symbol of mobility, for transporting memories and stories. Mobility is also integral to mental agility, social exchange and cultural networking. So the key idea is for the concept to be as flexible and changeable as possible,” says Jokisch.

The minimalist interior contrasts with a new visual merchandising system that underscores the separate theme worlds with 14 pictorial signs, which use motifs such as goosebumps, current events and ways of live to guide shoppers around different types of book. “The individual scenes tell the stories of the books and transpose their emotions to the space,” says Markus Schwitzke, managing director of Schwitzke Graphics.

Generous spaces have been provided for events, such as readings and signings by authors, on each floor. 

A café on the first floor has an open kitchen as a suitable location for the promotion of cookery books. A sound-proofed reading room on the second floor provides a quiet place for customers to enjoy a book.

Schwitzke Project was main contractor for building and shopfitting work at the store.

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