How a luxury liquor shop becomes a destination

With their latest design for exclusive liquor boutique RICH & RIVANO, Dutch design studio Kolenik raises the bar for a luxury retail experience.

What makes you still want to visit a store in person? Since online shopping has become the new normal, brick-and-mortar venues face new challenges. “As a brand, you want to draw customers into your world by offering meaningful experiences,” says interior architect Robert Kolenik. “Something special needs to happen when one wanders inside the shop. Otherwise, people will just buy your product online, maybe elsewhere.”

In the case of a luxury liquor shop RICH & RIVANO in Rotterdam-Zuid, the magic happens inside and outside the exclusive bottles — some of which are so rare that only a lucky few people on the planet get the opportunity to purchase one. To be selected to sell one of these bottles is a fantastic compliment for what we aim to achieve and a genuine privilege, says CEO of RICH & RIVANO Jayant Kalika, who contacted Kolenik to design the 70-sqm boutique after seeing a glimpse of the studio’s current stellar residential project, penthouse The Box in Rotterdam, on social media. “I liked the timeless appeal and purity of his design language. Spaces seem always very clear and easy to navigate.”

Clarity and timelessness are definite features in the boutique design, with pure lighting design solutions by Viabizunno and Kreon, allowing for the special lighting of the design cabinets to take the spotlight. Although the store is filled with merchandise, nothing distracts. “I aimed to create a holistic experience,” says Kolenik, who picked the Bordeaux red hue of the marble counter and champagne walk-in closets as a visual reference to the precious drink. The use of alabaster has become a key feature of Kolenik Cabinet, and clearly works wonders in a retail environment.

The indisputable design highlight of the store is the climate chamber hosting privileged bottles of champagne. Situated at the store’s back end, together with the main counter, opens up a routing that changes the entire shop experience. “All bespoke cabinets are based on the Kolenik Cabinet designs, completely tailored to this client’s needs,” says Kolenik. “The hydraulic door system adds to the spectacle.”

Remarkable detail: The exclusive liquor shop sells bottles at a vast range of prices, from the ubiquitous liquor brands to the most rare vintage bottles. The entire rebranding and new logo design is by London-based SVI. “We are a luxury lifestyle shop, a unique destination to celebrate life,” says Kalika. “I see the store as a showroom and the webshop more as a platform. A complete world filled with information and entertainment — think luxe tastings and bespoke experiences.”

Commercial design