10 brands who make their packaging a store feature

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Don’t judge a book by its cover? So often the opposite is true when it comes to packaging. If a product doesn’t look appealing from the outside, it doesn’t matter too much how well the contents work. Despite this, all too often packaging isn’t front of mind when it comes to designing how a store looks. Yet if you’re going to the effort of making your packaging the best it can be why wouldn’t you want to make it a feature?  Here’s 10 examples of brands that use their packaging to great effect in their stores:  

  1. Nespresso

When it comes to selling the replacement pods for its coffee makers, Nespresso has used the bold, bright colours of its packaging in the very design of its spaces. In many of its stores the boxes containing the pods aren’t displayed on shelves but slot into dedicated spaces in the wall. This is a better use of space overall, but also makes the packaging an eye-catching feature when customers walk in. In some spaces, like the Paris store, the set-up is even self-refilling, so customers are never faced with an unattractive half empty shelf.  

  1. T2

While Nespresso’s thing is coffee, T2 is all about tea. Like Nespresso though the brand has made its brightly coloured boxes an integral part of its store design. The boxes are stacked in shelves that are embedded into the walls, which means the packaging looks like it’s part of the structure of the store itself. The spaces are also painted black to ensure that the packaging is the star of the show. And why not when it pops the way it does?  

  1. Allbirds

Allbirds has been shaking up the shoe scene in all sorts of ways, including its move into offline retail. For its flagship stores in San Francisco and New York the brand worked to reduce the amount of time customers spent waiting around. One way was to put its newly designed packaging out on the shop floor as a key display feature, rather than hidden in some backroom. The packaging is colour coded to make it as easy as possible for staff to quickly find the right box, as well as looking good on the shelf.  

  1. Eyecandy Belgium

When it comes to eyewear brand Eyecandy, packaging is at the very heart of the store design. The company’s glasses come packaged in boxes of different bright colours. Instead of building in shelves to display the glasses on though, Eyecandy uses the boxes themselves as shelves. Each pair of glasses sits on the box it comes in. When someone buys a pair they go into the box, which is taken off the shelf and becomes the bag as well thanks to a nifty handle. It’s a really cool example of how packaging can be used for more when it comes to the store.  

  1. Aesop

Aesop is king when it comes to store design and visual merchandising. Every store is unique and so it’s the product packaging that makes them instantly recognisable as part of the Aesop brand. One of the best examples is the LA store which has walls that are made from reclaimed cardboard tubing from fabric rolls. With such simple aesthetics, the attractive apothecary-style packaging stands out vividly. You’re not distracted by any other bells and whistles – it’s all about making the most of the packaging design.  

  1. Claus Porto

The archway in Claus Porto’s New York store is stunning enough in its own right, but it really comes to life when the skincare and scent products are put in place. The faceted design acts as ready made shelves for the packaging which takes on the effect of a museum display. The bold colours and designs of the packaging means it draws your eye over the architecture – no mean feat!  

  1. Hoxton Street Monster Supplies

Hoxton Street Monster Supplies is unique in retail. Selling various sweets and food products under some less than palatable names (cubed earwax anyone?), the company has put a lot of thought into the tin, box and jar simplicity of its packaging. Inside and out the store evokes the idea of a traditional emporium. Shelves are stacked floor to ceiling with products to give a sense of a one-stop-shop, and so the packaging is very much the main feature as you explore the space.  


DECIEM has become a first name in top quality, affordable skincare thanks to the success of ranges like The Ordinary. When it comes to its stores, the less frills the better approach carries through, with spaces that are minimally decorated. This means all eyes are on the products, which are packaged in cute dropper-topped bottles and sleek single colour boxes. The understated packaging makes its brands seem more high-end, which is interesting given the often entry-level price tag, but representative of the quality of the ingredients and formulas.  

  1. KitKat Chocolatory

If eye-catching packaging isn’t something you associate with the simple KitKat then you need to check out the brand’s Chocolatory store in Tokyo. The products are packaged in beautiful coloured papers and boxes and displayed almost like a high-end deli. Even the simple but elegant stacking lends the chocolate a more expensive feel and makes an eye-catching feature.  

  1. Penhaligon’s

When your packaging is as beautifully designed as Penhaligon’s perfume bottles you really don’t need a lot of other fuss. Each bottle is topped with a different ornate gold animal head and coloured ribbon. In the New York store, the bottles are simply displayed on a circular table and backwall, almost like museum or fine jewellery pieces. Its about treating the packaging with the respect it deserves.  


By Cate Trotter, Head of Trends at Insider Trends.