South Africa’s first full functioning Phygital retail store – We Are EGG

by Ofentse Sefolo
South Africa’s first full functioning Phygital retail store – We Are EGG

Imagine bringing together the sensory and human connection of visiting a brand present so seemlessly online and in physical environment, punctuated with an ultra-personalised digital layer – an immensely powerful combination!

Introducing We Are EGG, South Africa’s first fully functioning experiential retail environment with an immersive digital component, known in marketing terms as Phygital.

Despite the fad-sounding name, Phygital is a term used to describe omnichannel marketing – an approach where all marketing channels work together to give shoppers a completely seamless, unique and highly personalised experience; that lingers long in ones’ memory and drives repeat feet.

Sounds simple – well, perhaps the digital part. But how does one create such an immersive experience in a single retail store? It started with two visionary minds.

Paul Simon, serial entrepreneur known for his YDE concept, partnered with friend and leading international retailer, Arie Fabian to create We Are Egg – the most revolutionary and collaborative experiential retail offering to date.

We Are EGG is a wonderfully curated destination celebrating local designers, incubated in a single ecosystem where each component can thrive and grow. From fashion, home & living, beauty & grooming, gadgets & accessories, sneakers & soles, to food & drink and wellbeing – all in one fantastic incubator named EGG.

Dreamy designs
Paul and Arie realised they needed an extraordinary partner to bring their vision to life, so they turned to TDC&Co, a leading Retail Interior Design and Brand agency, to create and design this highly curated and uniquely experiential store.

TDC&Co’s turnkey approach where retail strategy meets brand; store design meets collaborators; where function meets form; and real retail solutions are created; appealed to both Paul and Arie whom were searching for ideal partners to work with in delivering on their vision and brand promise. Given the crazy project timelines, TDC&Co’s 26-year history in developing globally recognised brands and their service offer including Retail Strategy, Brand and Store Design, Procure and Fit-out made them the ideal partner to bring the We Are EGG vision to life.

Mia-Louise Senekal, senior designer with TDC&CO and project design lead says, “To bring this omni-channel platform to life, where various role players can co-create, co-lab and co-evolve, needed an extremely specific brief – or so one would think. But this was not the case.”

Paul and Arie gave us one word – collaboration – and then told us to think and dream big; re-invent retail! This led us to three key concepts that form the foundation and overall inspiration for the store’s design – dream state, rainbows and play – each word inspiring and guiding the overall design.

From the use of flowing and curved shapes, a playful and dreamlike colour palette to blurred lines and the shape of the humble EGG, these all inspired the overall design.

“We wanted people to meander through the store uninterrupted, almost like walking in a lovely dream – no harsh shapes or colours, but rather a canvas of soft neutral shades, allowing each of the unique products to shine.”

“This futuristic space needed to be a place of beauty, serenity and inspiration – one where a person can shop, have a beauty treatment, eat or just stay and linger, inspired by the beauty of their surroundings,” adds Mia.

Futuristic Flooring
Any great environment needs to be rooted in great design featuring innovative and fit for purpose finishes and specifications. So, in this vein, TDC&Co applied a bottom up approach and searched for the most exciting flooring to express and set the tone for this futuristic brand.

In this search for the most beautiful flooring, they turned to their trusted partners at Gerflor and Tiletoria.

“Not only is their service impeccable every time, but their dedication and commitment to often impossible deadlines coupled with their amazing ability to ensure that we get the desired outcome is simply astounding,” notes Mia.

Gerflor and Tiletoria are both future-fit. They have the floors for the future because they are dedicated to the continued innovation of their products and offerings, staying ahead of the latest trends and designs.

“For instance, with Tiletoria, one can design and create a totally customised tile, which they will mock-up and print for you. And if you are happy with the end result, you can even choose the name of your custom-designed tile. How cool is that?” says Mia.

Besides being a pleasure to work with and their massive product range, what keeps TDC&Co going back to Gerflor and Tiletoria time and again, is the ease with which their products are installed.

“As with any large-scale retail project, time is always limited and having access to a range of products that are quick and effortless to install, easy to clean and require minimal maintenance is a life saver, especially for us”, comments Mia.

These reasons coupled with their amazing after-sales service is why Mia was so excited to use Gerflor’s Neopolis range in the colours Central Park and Songo for We Are EGG’s flooring.

“The unique 3D design creates this beautiful feeling of depth and movement, ideally suited to the futuristic and dreamlike flooring I had envisaged to flow throughout the space,” she says.

Egging for collaboration
Commenting on what the biggest success of the We Are EGG project was, Mia says that it was without a doubt the incredible collaboration between Paul, Arie, TDC&Co and the projects proffessional team, as well as their respective suppliers and contractors.

“Every single person involved in this project believed and lived this brand, from the QS, the shopfitters to the floor installers. Collaboration drove and shined through in every aspect of this build,” Mia notes.

“What Paul and Arie have done with We Are EGG is a revolution in creating a space based on inclusivity and originality. It is not only an omnichannel retail offering with online and an in-store app., it’s ultimately a wonderfully curated destination offering something for everyone. From young to old, there’s the opportunity to experience, learn, grow and of course, shop. To have been such an integral part has been an absolute blessing,” Mia concludes.

Shop now
The flagship Cavendish store is curated to present the best there is in Cape Town, with the entire initiative made possible through shared partnership with Old Mutual Properties which ensures there is an authentic level of support from the landlords, a substantial investment and commitment to ensure the project’s success.

The designer space is home to clothing stores, a hair salon, wellness offerings, a flower stall, piercing studio, sneaker hub and food arena featuring restaurants and eateries such as Potluck Club, Cheyne’s and Unframed Ice Cream.

We Are EGG is now open at Cavendish Connect, Dreyer St, Claremont, Cape Town. For the digital experience, download the We Are EGG App at the Google Play or Apple Store to experience first-of-their-kind functions.

For more information contact:
Gerflor – Tel: +27 11 206 9700; Website: www.gerflor.co.za

Tiletoria – Tel: +27 10 753 2332; Website: www.tiletoria.co.za

TDC&Co – Tel: +27 21 510 3912; Website: www.designcompany.co.za

We Are EGG – www.weareegg.co.za

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