Dyson’s first physical store opened on London’s Oxford Street earlier this month. The Dyson Demo store captures the experimental edge of the design experts behind Dyson’s electronic products, while serving as an attraction for visitors to gets hands-on with Dyson’s innovative technological products. GDR’s Hannah Macey went to visit the store.
On entering the store, I am met by two concrete statues of Dyson’s vacuum cleaners inscribed with the words “Magna Pila” – Latin for “Large Ball” – which frame the entrance of the two-storey retail space. On first glance, it is clear that the flagship store is an experiential destination and education centre intended to showcase the innovative talents behind Dyson’s products. It’s laid out more like an exhibition space than an electronics store, with plinths playfully presenting Dyson’s iconic products.
The ground floor space displays the brand’s products on white plinths with a team of Dyson experts ready to respond to my questions with their in-depth product knowledge. Pricing and product details are available on small paper pamphlets, similar to exhibition guides. The store showcases the full range of Dyson’s products from their blade-less air treatment systems, to their striking CYS desk lighting fitted with an LED light and effective cooling system.
To encourage interactivity, the store displays 64 different dust and debris samples, in small, cosmetics-style pots, which visitors can scatter on three different floor surfaces. After emptying a pot of white powder onto a section of carpet, I experienced for myself the powerful suction of Dyson’s cord free vacuums. At the same time, I watched the workmanship of the self-controlled Dyson 360 Eye robotic vacuum cleaning away a scattering of Cheerios on the adjacent wooden floor surface. True to its promise, the powerful suction left no spot untouched.
Clearly, the space is aiming to be an interactive learning environment designed to educate visitors about Dyson’s creations. Brand storytelling is central to the store experience. Large digital screens show the inner workings of the products. The walls illustrate the technological history of the development of Dyson’s products, explaining the engineers’ vision. James Dyson’s personal narrative runs through the store: how he tried and tested, failing again and again, only finally succeeding.
Upstairs, there is a salon where visitors can have their hair styled and dried for free by professional hairdressers demonstrating Dyson’s latest innovation: the £299 Supersonic fast drying hairdryer, cleverly engineered for weightless balance.
The store feels like a hybrid exhibition/retail space and excels in both of those regards. Strong storytelling and engaging interactive features set it in a league of its own amongst home appliance retailers.