El Palacio de Hierro is an upscale fashion and lifestyle brand with 14 unique department stores in Mexico, offering high-end destinations for shopping and dining. For Palacio’s new two-level, 126,000 square foot regional store in Veracruz, the Palacio team and design team created a strategy for the localized, market-driven department store that creates an engaging environment for guests and increases brand loyalty. Implementing a boutique planning strategy, the Veracruz location encourages customer exploration through curving organic pathways that continually introduce shoppers to different vistas and visual moments.
Inspired by Veracruz’s Art Deco architecture, the designers used rich wood and a palette of light neutrals, and incorporated subtle nods to the local flora and marine life, all within a modern and inviting environment. Each department has unique elements inspired by the port city: the ground floor perfumery glistens in metallic finishes bringing to mind the nearby bay, the gardenia inspired ceiling medallions in Women’s apparel on the first floor recall the flowers in the famous ‘fortin (fountain) de las flores’, the underwater reef life is playfully interpreted in Children’s, and local artwork is incorporated throughout. Curved aisles of white and gray porcelain tile reminiscent of the Zócalo plaza and Deco inspired fretwork fascias delineate vendor spaces and add definition to circulation.
The store’s central elliptical atrium is lined in wood with a casual café at its base, making it a point of social engagement. The first floor features a large informal restaurant and varied dining options that offer guests views of the ocean. The store has several hospitality and service touch-points including a bar and retro barbershop in Menswear, a travel concierge, numerous beauty and spa services, and an e-commerce shop. The team also designed an apartment-inspired area called “El Loft Palacio” where guests can shop for home design goods and furniture.