The most powerful media channel is a real-life experience. TMR design worked closely with the Shiseido team to develop the new store concept for the US market.


How do you create a consumer journey to engage visitors, introduce them to products, and invite them to interact with products, select, try, and purchase? We planned every step of the customer journey and designed tools to support the sales associates and skincare consultants at every stage. We worked closely with staff in several Shiseido stores to understand their specific problems that ranged from stock, cleaning, and organizing to finding ways to engage potential customers in conversation. Stores ranged from Shiseido Macy’s, the busiest location in the US to Saks Fifth Avenue with more personalized service, to a regional department store.


In a typical layout, beauty counters separate the semi-private space of the brand from the rest of the store. We created a porous open boundary that invites visitors from every direction. Multiple access points to the store translate into more traffic. More circulation space gives visitors more privacy. Salespeople can approach customers and start the conversation more casually. The showcase detailing is reminiscent of airplane carts, compact, durable, and functional, with an efficient storage compartment.


The other critical component of the store design is information. Shiseido has an extremely complex product selection, with 8 lines of skincare as well as color collections. In addition, gifts, sets, and seasonal and new items play an important role and need to be prominently displayed. We designed the store as an information system..


Omotenashi originates from the Japanese tea ceremony and stands for hospitality with empathy, restraint, and attention to every detail. One of the main differences between department store “service” and Japanese hospitality (Omotenashi) is that Western service is often done with the hope that customers will pay for a product or an additional service, whereas Omotenashi is performed without an expectation of anything in return. Omotenashi is frequently invisible to the customer, it’s care that goes into preparing the space, products, and stories. We designed tools to host customers in a restrained and respectful way.


Brands today are storytellers. Even small stores would have two locations devoted to temporary narratives and exhibitions. One is a wall vitrine, and another is a totem at the busiest corner of the store. It could become a temporary installation devoted to Japanese Beauty or Shiseido’s rich history or an artist collaboration to bring back aspects of Shiseido’s avant-garde image, which deeply resonates with today’s culture.


In Japan, many decisions are made in consultation with others. In the Shiseido store, a central social table replaces the typical row of testing tables. Seating in the center also feels comfortable and protected.
Beauty consultants’ tools: tablets for a digital Omotenashi experience, planners, trays, hand mirrors, and supplies have dedicated places. The Hanatsubaki mirror was designed with the lighting providing the best illumination and color rendition.


Skincare trays are the central part of the Japanese Beauty routine. Small details speak to the rituals and give the feeling of calm and integrity. A tray with a custom selection of products is assembled for each guest. A secondary makeup tray could be prepared for post-skincare, makeup consultation.


While Shiseido has always been a global brand, they have also always maintained a uniquely Japanese aesthetic. Japanese clichés and stereotypes should be avoided. For Shiseido, Japanese culture is to be found in the combination of seeming opposites: for example, tradition and avant-garde, East and West, art and science, understatement and luxury, perfection, and imperfection. How to bring across this highly nuanced and sophisticated message? It’s quite hard to grasp. It is even harder to get across in the dense, fast environment of the department store. We had to find a cohesive visual language for the physical spaces that can be recognized by an audience on digital platforms, e-commerce, and social media.


respectful audacity


bold minimalism


understated luxury

You might also like Shiseido materials and Shiseido posters.