'A natural element that would make the customers feel home'

'A natural element that would make the customers feel home'

Lutz Brinkmann - head of building service at L&T department store in Osnabrück.

He is responsible for the renovations in their department store, having a team of 16 employees, in addition to managing the external specialist architects, engineers and planners.

The feeling of home

I have worked at L&T for the last 3 ½ years, but I was familiar with the company for a long time. I previously worked as a freelancer, having several larger workshops throughout North-West Germany. In a mutual approach, L&T and I decided to follow the future path together here in Osnabrück.

L&T has a very large department store in the new shopping mall. At L&T we have adopted a new approach to retail shopping that can compete with the increased popularity of online shopping. We have built our new premises and are changing them into an experience-based department store. We offer new events weekly, following the ethos that the customers should have an experience. By the sports house we have a giant, indoor wave pool, called Hasewelle, which is unique to a fashion house in Europe. There is also a fitness studio in our department store. With these activities and events, we can combine the customer experience with the sale of sportswear.

We have chosen parquet flooring throughout the department store. In recent years we have created a master plan for redesigning the fashion house which will present the products in a better way and give the customers a pleasant experience. In the planning stage it was clear that the flooring has a large impact on the presentation. We wanted a natural element that would make the customers feel at home, similar to what they could find in their living rooms. We moved away from the cold tiles and PVC flooring and wanted something more comfortable on the floor, like parquet.

The choice of the flooring was first and foremost about the feel-good factor of the customer. We decided on parquet flooring as the building material to give the shop a higher quality look, which would create a nice framework for our high quality goods. The experience is not only about the products. It is also about everything that surrounds the merchandise, creating a great experience for the customers. The flooring should definitely fit in with the interior of the showroom and the lights, but we chose it mostly for the feeling. The design team really loved the herringbone pattern, and we decided on this style of flooring for the L&T showroom. We chose Oak Nature Prestige with the Live Natural oiled surface.

We wanted a natural colour and a classic wooden floor. Then we opted for the oiled surface, which will reveal the surface structure more quickly than varnished flooring. Having a surface structure, patina, in the flooring would add some character in our fashion house.

BOEN was introduced to us by our parquet floor layer, Mr. Heuser from the company Krause. We have worked together for some years and we can always trust his work. He assisted in choosing the parquet flooring and recommended BOEN.

We had never seen BOEN parquet in real life, only in some photos. We visited their showroom, and the BOEN parquet flooring was exactly what we were looking for. Both the surface structure and the colours made it obvious that we would decide upon a parquet flooring from BOEN.

In the design stage of the new showroom we considered how the flooring would behave under stress and in real sales conditions. With time the surface structure develops, in particularly in areas where a lot of people would walk. A showroom floor will not remain clean and flawless, especially in the winter months when people walk in with dirty boots and shoes. As a result, cleaning is an essential everyday care of our floors. We wanted a vibrant department store that is living, so the material in our floors should be living too. Our customers have given us positive feedback on the parquet flooring from BOEN. The surface is of very high quality and fits in well with the shop interior and our products. Customers tell us that it feels good, that they almost feel like home. It turned out to be more than what we were hoping for- our customers are really experiencing the cosiness and feel-good factor we wanted! Our employees also have positive views on the flooring. When the space and surroundings give them a great feeling it contributes towards their motivation.

The department store is constantly being redesigned and the construction work has been ongoing for the last four years. There are new expansions daily, and it is a constant work in progress for the parquet floor layer and his team.

The Feeling of Home

“The choice of the flooring was first and foremost about the feel-good factor of the customer.”

Lutz Brinkmann