“A showroom must contain the WOW factor…”
The Surfaces+ showroom in Ahmedabad goes beyond mere showcasing of products by improving the consumer buying experience through concept-based display and videos while creating a luxury aura, writes Mrinmoy Dey
The Surfaces+ showroom located at G.F. Premier House, S G Road, Thaltej Road, Ahmedabad, has been able to create a luxury aura while improving the buying experience for their customers. It is a multi-brand showroom which offers a complete display area of 12,000 sq ft – divided into 3 levels. The product portfolio includes Bath & Wellness, Tiles, Wooden Flooring, Doors & Partitions, Ceilings & Facades & unique Décor items for interiors from various brands across the globe.
Talking about the showroom ambience, Shail Trivedi of Surfaces+ opines, “According to my experience, the customers need to feel luxury once they enter the showroom. It must contain the wow factor! When it comes to luxury, the appearance of the showroom and how products are being showcased matters the most, because it creates a psychological impact on the customer. The rest is taken care of at the discussion table, providing customers’ need specific solutions within their budget.”
Design And Layout
Creating a luxury aura was the guiding factor while designing the showroom. The showroom is designed by Ahmedabad-based design firm R+R architects, headed by interior designer Ramesh Lohar. Talking about the brief, Trivedi informs, “Our requirement was to bring something new into this market by learning from the existing spaces and coming up with our own concepts.”
And, to fulfil this, the designer even visited the manufacturing factories and the international showrooms of the brands in display to have an in-depth understanding of the products and brand ethos. “The designer has good exposure to international brand showrooms and he knows how the entire process of displaying and conceptualising is executed,” affirms Trivedi.
The showroom is divided into 3 levels spanning about 4000 sq ft each. Level 1 is the signature showroom of Kohler displaying the most premium collection along with its artistic edition. At Level 2, total concepts for the most premium brands in the lifestyle segment like Villeroy & Boch, Hansgrohe/Axor, Dornbracht, Alape, Kreeo as well as Viega Plumbing technology are being displayed. Level 3 showcases a complete range of Imported Tiles, Décor, Wooden flooring, Doors & Partitions blended with premium designer Bath & Wellness Brand – Gessi.
Zoning, Display, And More
Talking about adhering to brand display guidelines in a multi-brand showroom Trivedi shares, “Every brand has a specific way of displaying their products and in our showroom, we have always tried to uplift the brand’s products in a different manner. Fortunately, all the brands are aware of this and we are allowed to display the products in a manner we deem fit rather than following a specific format that is being followed by everyone else in the market.”
He further adds that all three levels of the showroom have a different and unique manner of display. “Our goal is to showcase what the brand has got in terms of bathroom products in its true sense with which the customer would be able to relate. We follow a concept-based display wherein we prioritise architects’ and designers’ choices as well as include our own concepts which we think are best for today’s market. Each brand has different products in different categories which we have successfully tried to differentiate and display in our showroom.”
A muted grey palette, neutral shades and contrasting wooden flooring dominate the interior of the showroom. “The moot point here is that the product should be highlighted appropriately. We do not prefer all white or brighter shades because it does not create a very pleasing vision for the eye. The colour tones have been chosen based on the concept, product colours and the overall theme,” shares Trivedi.
Although the showroom doesn’t have access to natural lighting, apt artificial lighting has been used to uplift the ambience of the space. “We were very particular about the lighting being used in our showroom. This is why we involved a lighting consultant – Vikas Giri from Associated Lighting Systems, since the initial design stages of the project. We have tried to justify each and every area in the showroom with specific lighting fixtures. Overall, we have incorporated about four to five different kinds of lighting with different focusing intensities for different collections. All of these lighting fixtures work well together uniformly to brighten up the ambience of the entire space,” informs Trivedi.
Detailing the idea behind the concept-based display, Trivedi shares, “Most of the showrooms these days focus on filling up the entire space using various products engaging every corner of the space. On the contrary, the concept of our showroom is to bring out the feeling of a real-life bathroom to the customers where they can relate to the spaces, have a look at different concepts, compare and then go for the one that suits them best.”
He further adds that the showroom tries to justify the display of every piece of product and repetition is avoided. “We have also displayed products by categorising them under premium and luxury. Customers can get entire design solutions for all their bathrooms in just one showroom.”
To further help the potential buyer make an informed decision, the showroom has video-based concepts and views that will help the customers visualise how the products will fit in their washroom. “We try to educate and explain to the customers in detail about each and every product with the help of video tools. We try to understand the requirements of the customer based on budget and other design factors and according to that, we try to provide them with the perfect solutions,” shares Trivedi.
“As of now, we have not tried advertising or marketing our showroom or the products that we showcase. But today, social media has been playing a major role and for the last year and a half, we are increasing our digital presence for better reach.”
Talking about the market scenario of premium and luxury bathroom products, Trivedi opines, “Post-Covid, the market has recovered well and is growing fast. I see positive changes wherein people have started spending more than usual and I’ve also observed that the conversation time with clients has drastically reduced. I feel the coming 3-4 years are very promising. Nowadays, bathrooms have become as important as any other space in the house because people have started investing more time in designing, customising and improving this personal space.”
He further adds, “We have noticed that showering products are one segment where the client is willing to spend the most because ultimately showering is an experience. Automation and technology have also emerged as a major influence. Customers are willing to upgrade themselves and most of the upcoming technological features have been drawing attention.”
Talking about the company’s future plans, Trivedi reveals, “Surfaces+ as a curator of luxury international Interior product solutions has carved a niche for itself as a pioneer of various lifestyle products giving a complete solution to the customer since past 4 decades. And, we would stay focused on the premium and the luxury segment. The expansion in the allied categories will also be in the same segment.”
He further adds, “As of now, we have not tried advertising or marketing our showroom or the products that we showcase. But today, social media has been playing a major role and for the last year and a half, we are increasing our digital presence for better reach.”