The bolder approach to the concepts of shopping halls causes that commercial space is more often treated not only as a place of transactions, but also as a place of exchanging experiences and even acquiring knowledge. The development of new technologies has a significant impact on this.
The phenomenon of “responsible retail”, that is retail trade in the spirit of responsibility and sustainable development, has gradually gained strength. An interesting example is the project of Discovery television station implemented at Dubai Mall, where an aquarium and an underwater zoo have been placed. Having 150 square metres shop is a result of cooperation between the company that runs Dubai Mall – Emaar Entertainment and the owner of popular science television channel. The guiding thought was the promotion of the concept of “responsible retail”.
Discovery team involved London-based agency Barbers Design in this project. The aim was to include an educational aspect in the commercial space. Owing to high level of flexibility given to the designers, at the world’s biggest mall was opened the shop where in principle products are to tell stories and new technologies are used to educate about the world. This is also the first case in this region of the world when Discovery Channel has become the brand in retail sector.
In relation to the aquarium, Dubai shop’s facade is formed by a glazed water body where fish swim. Over the facade has been installed a huge LCD screen that shows the mysteries of deep sea. Aquariums and numerous LCD screens can also be found inside the shop.
Inside, apart from the assortment with the logo of well-known programmes from Discovery Channel programming, we can also find products coming from the organizations that deal with charitable activity. These are, for instance, Gandys Flip-Flops – footwear created by people who survived from the tsunami in the Indian Ocean in 2004. Incomes from sale cover the costs of building the orphanages in Sri Lanka and in India.
This type of products represent approx. 30 percent of the assortment in Discovery Channel shop at Dubai Mall. The representatives of Emaar Entertainment declare that an interesting concept of Discovery Channel is the first of the planned projects in the spirit of responsible business and education.
For those who are interested, the shop is located at the highest floor of Dubai Mall.
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