Fun & shop, beyond the factory outlet
The factory outlet has become a growing phenomenon with different characteristics for every industry and product.
DESIGN - Sep 19, 2012
In Italian the term ‘outlet’ generally denotes a point of sale where you can buy branded goods at lower costs than those normally practiced. Therefore the "factory outlet" is the "company store", which means a retail directly managed by producers, integrating the production function (hence the adjective factory) and the function of selling branded products at discounted prices.
Not only discounts and promotions, but also a space for an engaging experience. From anonymous sheds to real "chocolate factories".
One thing is sure: Besides the concrete saving measure consumers know that in a factory outlet they can find a place to deepen products and production methods, and why not, to live engaging experiences by participating in particular courses and other activities.
On the other hand companies leverage factory outlets in order to increase their brand awareness, making a communication instrument of them that is able to engage in a direct relationship with consumers, creating a memorable experience.
A place of fun
Chocolate is always one of adult’s and children’s favorite foods and because of its pleasantness, it is often associated with games and relaxing moments. That must be why Ritter Sport, a famous chocolate brand not only recognized for the quality of its products but also for the famous square tablet which over the years has taken on many different colors and flavors, has decided to focus on art and game as characteristic elements of its Factory Outlet in Waldenbuch.
The square form , typical of Ritter chocolate packs, is the basis on which the entire layout of the store is built.
The aim is to enhance the family history even more than the product itself without sacrificing fun and "education" which allow for example to learn how a cacao seed grows and how it is transformed into a tasty product. “The chocolate Factory’s” idea is the same. Here adults and children can live a dream and and go into another world made of taste, color, art and history. d children can live a dream and go into another world, made of taste, color, art and history.
On the same principle you can find the Jelly Belly Factory , which is the Jelly Belly factory outlet of the United States. The environment is reconstructed as a real playground, a colorful train guides you inside the industry and every day many events for children are organized.
From the garden to the product testing
Whether it's chocolate or other foodstuffs, as it is food it is natural to think that the tasting is one of the main attractions of a Factory Outlet. This phenomenon is even bigger when it applies to foods that come from the soil such as vegetables and fruits. In these cases the zero food miles is an added value to the product, that grown and consumed in the place of origin has a special taste and flavor.
A good example is Idea Natura, a farmer market born in Salerno (Italy) a few years ago. Here you can besides buying products that come directly from the soil at a lower price enjoy salads, juices, and barley coffee exclusively made from the products of the surrounding areas. It is not a coincidence that the environment plays on visual codes taken from the countryside, giving to those who enter the place the opportunity to immerse themselves in another world, linked to nature, its colors and materials.
Where the story begin
There are some brands that more than others, are able to engage the consumer for their disposition. In particular, for those products which, over the years, have become part of everyday life and are recognized everywhere. This is the case of Guinness which has created a real "Store house".
The interior Guinness Store House - Above: the sales area. Below: a scene of the exhibition.
The original factory becomes a place to celebrate the brand in all its aspects, a sort of "place of worship" where hundreds and hundreds of people go to every day not only to taste good beer but above all to live an emotion, to enjoy the products, history, techniques, and images of those who a hundred years ago gave birth to what later became a myth.
The exterior of the spectacular building that houses the Coca-Cola museum and shop.
Even stronger and more appealing is the operation done by Coca-Cola in Atlanta. A brand that is part of our everyday life stages a veritable spectacle of the product in all its forms and moments: a loft dedicated to all POP materials created during the history of the brand, a theater where a short film is projected ("The Happiness Factory"), the vault where the secret formula is hidden, the presence of the bear mascot that greets visitors, ten galleries full of historical objects that show the brand’s history up to the bottling process.
Some details of the rich exhibition in the museum Coca-Cola.
Describe the production to emphasize the product
If for some products it is easy to have a story to tell and to leverage on a factory outlet in order to highlight some emotional factors such as land, family or the product’s characteristics, this is less important when it comes to a highly consumer product, such as salty snacks and chips.
Nevertheless UTZ, a well known American manufacturer and distributor of some of the biggest names in his sector, has managed to transform the factory into a real museum where guided tours for mothers and children are organized.
A striped tent, an urban floor and posters on the walls recreate the brand image.
The goal is to describe, in a simple and straightforward way the process from the ingredient of origin to the finished product, in accordance with the highest standards of hygiene and safety, trying to "exorcise" the unhealthy image of this kind of product. Since the consumption of snacks and "chips" takes predominantly place in urban environments, the Factory Outlet UTZ has obviously been developed with elements of a typical metropolitan area.