HMV Emporium

This entertainment emporium occupies the three top floors of the Pearl City Mall in Causeway Bay. The building structure is typical for shopping malls of the seventies: low ceilings and deep floor plates with little natural light.


The client brief asked for an extremely short design and construction period, a layout that offered flexibility to adapt to changing needs, a way to bring more light and space to each floor and a raw and ready-made aesthetic.


The solution was the construction of a new atrium, visually connecting the three floors. This was combined with an interior design scheme that left most of the original building structure untouched. It was simply cleaned, sealed and left exposed. Building services were carefully designed so they could be left exposed too and contribute to the aesthetic.


Brick partitions and a couple of design ‘events’ such as signage, cashiers, bars and Dj booths were strategically placed throughout the space to create focal points and guide the visitors. A lighting system was installed to enhance this experience. Level 1 contains music a movie collection, level 2 contains lifestyle and audio products and level 3 a bar, restaurant, and music stage and a small retail area.



Three Dogs / Retail Design was appointed by SmarTone-Vodafone to work on the design development a new retail experience, seeking a departure from the existing operational model consisting of a counter with staff seated opposite customers. The client realized that sticking to this generic operational model limited their options in offering a distinctive service standard and retail experience to customers. In response to this, Three Dogs proposed a design process that could explore innovations in the mobile phone retail formats. Three Dogs carried out a study of existing retail operations and flow. The analysis leads to the formulation of several new layout options and display formats. These assumptions were tested in several simulations. After evaluation, adjustments were made and tested again, ultimately leading to the concept of product walls and display islands at the front of the store, service stations at the rear and a cashier near the entrance.


With the new operational model defined, Three Dogs moved ahead designing a visual style and functionality for the various furniture components: a modular product wall display system, cashwrap and service stations. Approved design concepts were built as prototypes and tested by staff to further refine dimensions, detailing and ergonomics to ensure maximum comfort, functionality, integration of electronic equipment and durability. The design was subsequently rolled out in all stores. SmarTone-Vodafone has become the benchmark of Hong Kong mobile phone retail interiors. Other operators have copied many of the stores’ innovations and design solutions. Smartone-Vodafone’s same-store traffic increased dramatically after renovation and the design provided many benefits including the ability to change the appearance of the store overnight to keep up with product developments.