Biophilia & Why it Works in Store

Although it seems that people say they are either a plant person, or they are not, investigating the benefits of being on board with flora and fauna in a retail environment is a topic worth investigating. Amazon invested in a little, actually a lot of plant power with their infamous Amazon Spheres, located in Seattle WA. They even have their own Instagram account! (@seattlespheres)

Their plants taken from over 30 countries, totaling over 40,000 varieties, and displayed in two spheres are really something to see. (For more details and to view the construction behind the design visit: www.seattlespheres.com)


When you start to see the psychological links to consumer buying behaviours that biophilia can enhance, this quickly adds value to the integration of a little plant life into a store. If nothing else, a little fresh and purified air should convince you! It is said that plants really do clean the air. Although it is dated, the outcomes remain the same over the years, NASA’s Clean Air Study compiled a list of indoor plants that clean the air and remove toxins. plants can eliminate up to 87% of poisonous elements in the air. (source: Time Magazine: “Can indoor plants really purify the air/NASA Student, 1989)


In the world of retail, the past couple of years has seen more and more plant life creep into store interiors. Refreshing. Eye catching. Perhaps echoing our shift, long before even the pandemic started, to health and well-being. For many a bit of plant life symbolizes that a retailer cares about the environment and a healthy mindset. One of the greatest and best store design award winners of recent times was the Timberland store. What was supposed to be a short pop up turned into an extended stay along Fifth Avenue in New York City.

The key to this winning design was an experiential space that integrated technology, a beautiful architectural space, and plant life that enhanced the range. Timberland being already associated with the outdoors and high environmental values, it automatically made sense for plant life to make an appearance.


It can also be said that perhaps plants contribute to an increased dwell time in store for customers. “When multiple biophilic elements are working together, customers will feel more empowered to relax, take their time, and shop around” (source: www.terramai.com/blog/biophilic-design-retail/). They in essence can be compared to the analogy of making a house, a home.


“When customers are shopping in a space that utilizes biophilic elements, the positive emotions they experience will translate into receptiveness. This happens because customers associate visually appealing biophilic spaces with higher quality and thus higher product value.” (source: terramai.com – zumtobel article: active light presentation) How great is this? Plants and greenery, when done properly, can actually elevate your brand, store environment and product range.

Plants, greenery and a feeling of new beginnings and renewal come to mind for shopkeepers during Springtime especially. Try not to limit thinking about adding a little plant power within a store only during Spring and Summer. Keep the freshness and vitality going year round.

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