Spoken with: Andre Verhoeve
Interview by: Francis Peters
Last year you took over the De Roo optiek in Den Hague. The practice is much bigger and completely renewed. Did you have this in mind when you started the practice?
Originally I thought that I would change only the window section but this required some serious structural work so we decided to do a total refit.
There are many different ways of presenting eyewear but this system blends perfectly into the interior design. How did you go about the process?
We looked at many ideas on the internet and got inspiration from the natural look of Lindberg fixtures. I like a minimalist design in which the eyewear can be exhibited as art, so we created an atmosphere rather like a gallery. It is paramount that the frames stand out from the light background with the decoration and the surrounding fixtures complementing the environment.
Was it an intense experience for your organization?
In the beginning I did do the layout by myself. Subsequently I contacted Maarten Weidema (Procchialli Eyewear studio) and he translated my wishes ideas into a final drawing. Because of thestructural work involved it was quite a big job. I asked 4 shopfitting companies to quote from which I chose two finally and selected Reklet en van Oeveren.
How are your clients reacting on the final result?
The space is impressive and makes the people happy. There is a logical flow and enough space to browse around. We have a comfortable seating area and customers are able to touch and feel the eyewear. Some tablet screens will inspire the people while they are waiting. Also there is a nice area for the little children where they can have fun together.
Are you presenting by brand, price or segment?
We present by segment and the sub-segments are the brands and the styles . The customers can easily make up their minds by themselves. Many times the customer knows what he/she is looking for.
Did you create a special area for exclusive frames?
We created a luxury corner where there is always a story around the brand or the style. We pay a lot of attention to that; everybody working in the practice can talk to the customer about the brand, the frame material or other information concerning the design.
Why did you choose for the lockable Alumina column from Top Vision group since there is so much choice?
The choice for Top Vision Group was easy since this is the only company who is able to offer this product. In addition the company offers a complete after-sales service for the lifetime of the product.
I choose the newest Alumina columns since it integrates totally into the concept and offers a big opening for large frames. Because there is no hook anymore you will never get scratches on the frames. The sunglasses are always closed and the sales is an active process. I chose for the longer version to create extra capacity.
You chose for a mix of shelves and single frame presentations (STILO); why?
The mix will make the presentation more of an adventure; the white Stilo integrates well and the shelves give a luxurious feel.
A take over and a total refit has a big impact on the employees; how do they react?
They are happy and well very motivated; our investment will also stimulate them to do the job in the best way. They where involved in the process from the beginning.
Which part did surprise you the most?
The day the furniture arrived was a really big occasion and made me nervous; the moment when your dream becomes reality. However, I could really relax as soon when they started assembly, but it’s difficult to describe your emotions in those moments.
A Scandinavian shop design where people feel at ease