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The luxury standard in award-winning wayfinding success

Harrods - Intelligent retail wayfinding

The luxury standard in award-winning wayfinding success

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Harrods is a world-class, luxury shopping brand. It’s also a huge store – 330 departments spread across a million square feet (90,000 sqm). Such an iconic destination required a success-driven wayfinding solution. And that’s exactly what we provided.

Given its size and structural layout, customers easily got disorientated within Harrods. They struggled to find specific products among big-name boutiques. As a result, certain areas of the store were prone to overcrowding and staff would waste time giving directions rather than selling goods.

Designing a wayfinding system for an iconic department store

We were tasked with creating a customer-centric wayfinding experience; one that met Harrods’ brand values – British heritage, luxury, innovation, and sensational – and tastefully reflected the store’s art nouveau aesthetic.

We conducted 18 months of research to get some key insights; interviewing staff and customers, analysing popular areas of the store, and even watching CCTV footage.

Endpoint's intelligent retail wayfinding - Harrods shop floor

Introducing a unifying numbering system

It became clear that Harrods faced similar navigational challenges to large museums. To mirror this, our primary solution was to introduce a simple hall numbering system; one which would maintain the wayfinding experience regardless of space usage, and unify digital services and printed guides.

Our strategy drove numerous improvements. Among these, a grand entrance opened on Hans Crescent, escalators were renamed to ensure clarity, and new WiFi-ready directional totems were built to signpost the numbers system

Intelligent retail wayfinding - customer walking in the direction of the central stairs

Wayfinding results

  • Over 83% customers said the store was easier to navigate
  • Customers reported they felt reassured by the signage
  • Staff reported that the number of customers asking for directions
    had significantly dropped
  • Journey times to key destinations reduced by two thirds

Our work has also improved sales floor efficiency, reduced overcrowding, and set a foundation for digital services at Harrods.

The success of our wayfinding strategy has resulted in us winning two awards: 2018 Transform Awards Europe and the 2019 SEGD Global Design Awards.

The SEGD jury panel described our work as “A very comprehensive report and wonderfully packaged presentation of mass amounts of information. It’s an overwhelming task distilled into digestive information of planning, strategy and function."

Endpoint's Harrods project - wayfinding sign displayed on the wall
Endpoint's intelligent retail wayfinding - Harrods shop floor
Intelligent retail wayfinding - customer walking in the direction of the central stairs
Endpoint's Harrods project - wayfinding sign displayed on the wall