The Design Solution creates Candy Cloud store for ARI at Dublin Airport


London-based airport specialist retail design practice The Design Solution has created a 90sq m colourful and exciting new concept for travel retail company ARI in the children’s confectionery category at Dublin airport Terminal 1’s new €8m walk through shopping zone, The Loop which operates 21,000sq ft retail space.

The new Candy Cloud store is the first time that ARI have decided to create a standalone confectionery concept targeted at adults & children alike and focused on capturing the gifting and self-treating opportunity. The retail offer features over 180 different lines, including a wide range of quirkily flavoured popcorns, top-selling brands such as M&M’s, Skittles, Haribo and Nestlé, as well as a range of branded toys and stationery.

Kevin Patience, The Design Solution creative director, said: “We’re especially proud of the travel themed Candy Cloud, designed and executed based on a detailed client brief.   This is a stunning confectionery store featuring clouds and planes so that, wherever you look – even right up to the fun of the ceiling ‘clouds’ – there’s a sense of play and a childhood fantasy theme.  We wanted to create a sense of the whole store being made out of sweets.  Often the best ideas come when you’re out of the studio and for me, the main inspirations for this concept came from watching the film Wreck it Ralph and reading Carl Werner’s A World of Food with my children.”

This is a highly experiential concept.  Midfloor cloud-shaped gondolas feature ‘candycane’ legs and lolly pop signage, the ceiling installation evoke clouds of meringues and the floor design features a stylized version of swirling candyfloss.  The central area of the store is brought to life with a replica hot air balloon basket.  Multi-sensory experience bespoke scents and a parabolic sound system bring to life the retail experience for the customer encouraging them to spend more time exploring the store and creating a memorable experience.

ARI undertook detailed market research and engaged with children from a local school, hosting a design competition with the winning entries which helped to guide and inform the look and feel, the range & merchandise and the of the own-brand range which was developed exclusively for Candy Cloud. The end design features a kids-only zone complete with an enchanted forest filled with giant lollipops and marshmallows. Visual merchandising is a mix of branded wall bays and category-led gifting ideas and grab and go impulse.

Candy Cloud aims to drive incremental sales for ARI.  The confectionery category in travel retail is one of the key drivers of penetration thanks to a wide range of customer purchase motivations including impulse, gifting, snacking and sharing.

Candy Cloud complements The Loop’s existing confectionery business, which is heavily skewed towards specifically premium Irish brands such as Butler’s, Lir and Lily O’Brien’s. Paul Neeson, Retail Director ARI estimates that newly opened Candy Cloud concept will significantly increase the retailer’s children’s confectionery sales.

The Design Solution is a London based retail design practice with a strong specialism in the £60bn travel retail industry – with 25 years’ experience in developing world class retail solutions for airports, rail, motorways and other retail destinations all over the world together with compelling merchandising and experiential designs for brands.  Recent airport duty free projects include The Nuance Group walk-through stores in Pulkovo Airport, Saint Petersburg and at Athens Airport as well as the duty and tax free shops in Terminal 1 at Toronto Pearson Airport.