Designing for the Customer Experience

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A brief interview with HFA, one of the nation's leading retail architectural firms, discussing the impact of design of retail with the customer in mind.

The goal is to design a space that works for the end-user

HFA, Harrison French & Associates, provides an overview of designing retail space for the customer experience. Based upon their mission of providing Creative Spaces and Meaningful Places, HFA architects and engineers can align the retailers' brand with their customer's experience.

Q: Retail brands work tireless hours defining their image, how do you encompass their image into the physical space you’re creating?

A: For us it’s about a deep connection with the client. We first try to understand their business philosophy. We want to know why they’re in business. Then we immerse ourselves in their brand, so we can become the customer. The goal is to design a space that works for the end-user – their customer.

Q: Creative Solutions, Meaningful Places.. What does that mean? And why did you choose it as your mission?

A: It means we aren’t just in business to design buildings. We want to create spaces that touch your heart and experience the space in a meaningful way. We chose it because that’s how we want our team members to design.

Q: Retail brands these days like to roll-out full remodels, how do you manage those projects?

A: The key is to understand the client and their customers. Once we’ve fully developed their new image, we use the techniques learned in our 25 years of retail to efficiently build every store, whether it’s 5 stores or 500.

Ranked among the top five retail firms by Architectural Record, HFA (Harrison French & Associates, LTD) is a multi-disciplinary design firm providing Architecture, Interior Design, MEP Engineering, Fire Protection, Structural Engineering, Civil Engineering, and Landscape design services to the retail, commercial and assisted living markets throughout the U.S. and holds professional licenses in all 50 states; and the District of Columbia.

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Daryl Whitmer
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