With 1.4m visitors a year, Chester Zoo is the UK’s second most popular paid-for attraction in the country. As part of a £225 million long-term masterplan scheme, the zoo’s entire arrival area was architecturally remodeled. Ticketing, a 600 square meter retail site, membership and adoption areas now revolve around a central piazza.
The new proposition, messaging, look and feel and fit out for these areas needed to bring the Chester Zoo brand to life and provide an enduring, positive and differentiated offer to promote return visits and increase dwell time for the zoo’s diverse visitors – from school groups and families through to adults only.
The core idea centres around a ‘Base Camp’ theme: the reference point, the place that everybody returns to for all of their support needs.
This is best showcased in the retail shop and includes:
‘The Tree of Life’: representation of a giant merchandised tree with integrated audio visual equipment in the retail area, enabling the zoo to have engaging conversations through demonstrations, talks and events.
Breaking the ‘soft toys’ mould of zoo shops by introducing two main merchandise zones – one for kids and one more adult orientated.
Circulation, traffic and queuing solutions to cope with massive surges of footfall in the summer and at other key points in the year.
Use of sustainable and energy efficient materials and finishes where possible, particularly in terms of lighting.
“M Worldwide rose to this challenge in its ability to understand what our visitors want, to collaborate with the many stakeholders and partners involved in making this happen, and to do it on time and to budget.”
Simon Mann, Director of Development, Chester Zoo