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retail focus

SEPTEMBER 2017 : £6.75 #91

September 2017/issue 91


Window Shopping : ASICS : Weekday : Liberty menswear : The Retail Exchange podcast : Designing stores for men : Airport retail : Props : Q&A with Steve Murray, CEO of Dr. Martens

scandi haven

Weekday arrives on Regent Street

Window Shopping : ASICS : Weekday : Liberty menswear : The Retail Exchange podcast : Airport retail : STORES FOR MEN : IN & AROUND BURLINGTON ARCADE : Focus on props : Q&A with Steve Murray, Dr. Martens



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CONTENTS Scandi haven


Inside the first London store of Swedish fashion brand Weekday; an unconventional, modern and uplifting space with a minimalist aesthetic.

36 The Retail Exchange

49 Airport retail

41 Stores for men

& Around: 46 InBurlington Arcade


24-34 Project Focus



ASICS Regent Street : Weekday Regent Street : Liberty menswear.


10-14 News 16-18 Window shopping


The era of ‘new sublimity’ and the ‘website in store’ experience needn’t be mutually exclusive, says Simon Mitchell, co-founder of Sybarite.

Inspiring window displays from around the globe.

20 23

Top of the POPS Karl McKeever Being able to work smarter invariably requires a fundamental change in behaviour, says Karl.



In and Around... Burlington Arcade. England’s longest standing shopping arcade, housing 40 specialist stores.

The podcast for the retail industry Listen on Download and listen later, wherever you are

67 Focus on: Props 55-64 Products Products and services for the retail industry.


Q&A Steve Murray, chief executive officer at Airwair International — Dr. Martens talks career, Camden and the role of physical stores.













UK Business Manager phone +44 (0) 20 3603 7117 mobile +44 (0) 7527 943 423



welcome September ‘17 ‘I was determined not to follow existing fashion but to create new ones,’ said Arthur Lasenby Liberty on the launch of his department store on Great Marlborough Street in 1875, as a destination for discovery. Today, the store carries on this concept with its latest unveiling — a new menswear floor. The sympathetically designed space brings out the best of Liberty’s features whilst offering an updated space for the modern man and 20 new brands (33-34). On Regent Street, ASICS has opened its largest flagship featuring plants, natural wood finishes, LED lighting, technology, an in-house DJ booth and complimentary juice bar (pages 24-26). Over the road, one of H&M Group’s offspring, Weekday, has opened its first store in London next to sister brand Arket. The modern and minimalistic interior features a mix of materials, including aluminium profiles, fiberglass and fibre cement boards — read more on pages 28-30. The latest Retail Exchange podcast episode is now available to download and asks the question, is mainstream retail dead? Mainstream retailers continue to be squeezed – from online start-ups challenging established brands, and discounters threatening margins, to a growing number of shoppers who are looking for products that are more relevant and individual. All of that is good news for independent retailers; for mainstream retailers it means that a clear focus is required to identify what really makes them different. Read highlights from the podcast on pages 36-38. Meanwhile, Simon Mitchell, co-founder of Sybarite, discusses his thoughts on how the era of ‘new sublimity’ and the ‘website in store’ experience needn’t be mutually exclusive on page 45. Gregor Jackson, founding partner at gpstudio, takes us on a journey of discovery through duty free (pages 4950), while Danielle Pinnington, owner of Shoppercentric, offers an insight into understanding shoppers’ needs and behaviours on page 52.

Lyndsey Dennis Editor



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Restaurant & Bar Design Show ExCel, London 26-27 September 2017 The Restaurant & Bar Design Show will welcome more than 3,000 restaurant owners, bar owners, architects and interior designers working across the breadth of the design sector. The 2017 event will be packed with industry creatives who will be showcasing the very best in restaurant and bar interior design, including the likes of Cellar Maison, Lyco Group, Dover Design, Revive Joinery and O1 Creative. Visitors can take in 150 seminars from the world’s leading restaurant and bar interior designers, engaging in topical discussions about the latest developments and contemporary design trends that are breaking new ground in the sector. RestDesignShow

POPAI Awards Lancaster London Hotel 3 October 2017

E-Commerce Awards London Marriott Hotel 27 September 2017

Now in its 11th year, the POPAI Awards continue to celebrate the role of retail marketing in all areas of shopper engagement and successful retailing. The evening will begin with a complimentary champagne reception for informal networking followed by a four-course dinner, the awards ceremony and dancing.

Now in its ninth year, the eCommerce Awards has consistently broken new ground in highlighting some of the best online retailers, online companies, agencies, innovations, products and campaigns the industry has to offer. The 2016 awards were a sell out so book your table now. The perfect event to network with key players in your industry.




VM & Display Awards The Bloomsbury Big Top, London 23 November 2017 The only event dedicated to celebrating excellence and innovation in the retail visual merchandising and display sector, the VM & Display Awards bring together the UK’s most influential creatives, retailers and suppliers in celebration of their achievements over the past year. VMDisplayAwards


NEWS Regent Street welcomes Arket Described as a ‘modern day market’ for shoppers, Arket — H&M Group’s latest brand to join the fold — has opened next door to sister brand Weekday on London’s Regent Street. Upon entering, shoppers are greeted with sleek, clean lines of grey, heavy marble tops, which provide the ideal backdrop to an array of bold colour palettes via carefully curated edits of fashion for men, women and kids, as well as homeware. Arket’s mission is to democratise quality through widely accessible, well-made, durable products, designed to be used and loved for a long time. A nod to its Nordic heritage, Arket means ‘sheet of paper’ in Swedish. The first floor houses menswear and homeware, whilst women’s and

childrenswear can be found on the second floor. As well as Arket’s own designs, like-minded brands accent collections throughout, including Adidas, Converse, Phaidon and Reebok alongside more niche brands like Veja bringing eyewear, Iris Hantverk’s homeware and Maileg for kitsch soft toys.

Harrods to redevelop Fine Watch Room Over the coming months, Harrods will undertake a complete redevelopment and expansion of its Fine Watch Room, scheduled for completion in Spring 2018. Rundell Architects has designed an entirely new environment that celebrates the art of watchmaking, heroes the store’s partners in large new boutiques


and ultimately offers a major horology destination in Knightsbridge. The new Fine Watch Room will expand across two floors, featuring a central sweeping, marble-lined staircase beneath a vaulted ceiling, with leather lined walls created by leather expert Bill Amberg, a custom designed terrazzo floor and an

An Arket café can be found on the ground floor. Small but perfectly formed, it serves a vegetarian café menu based on the New Nordic Food Manifesto. The 1,000 sq m Arket store concept has been designed internally and was overseen by Arket’s creative director, Ulrika Bernhardtz.

entirely bespoke lighting concept. The new room will include 10 large boutiques, an elevated multi-brand area allowing each brand greater visibility, enhanced customer experiences and larger collections across each of the brands. New boutique concepts will feature a number of exclusive elements to Harrods from Rolex and Richard Mille, to Audemars Piguet and Hublot, as well as three dedicated VIP suites. A dedicated Fine Watch and Fine Jewellery entrance will be created to the store, located at Door 1 on Hans Road. There will be an enhanced focus on service and after-care within the department, as well as the introduction of three dedicated on-site watchmakers, a first for Harrods. The department store will be partnering with the sophisticated, retro Italian Riviera inspired Chucs restaurant within the Fine Watch Room, complete with dedicated street access and late-night opening.


House of Fraser opens first sustainable store House of Fraser has opened its first store at an out of town retail and leisure complex, and its first sustainable one. The newly constructed department store at Rushden Lakes is House of Fraser’s first store to open in nearly nine years. The 5,945 sq m site boasts more than 50 premium and high street brands. As the retailer’s first green retail store with high environmental standards, the site meets the BREEAM sustainable building certification. BREEAM1 is the world’s leading sustainability assessment scheme for buildings. It specifies requirements for the building and operations to maximise its performance in terms of energy and climate change, resource, water and waste management. It also takes into account that the Rushden Lakes development is adjacent to protected natural habitats. House

of Fraser has partnered with The Wildlife Trust BCN which is managing these wildlife habitats. This is to ensure protection of the local biodiversity and share the experience with its customers. The interior of House of Fraser at Rushden Lakes is designed to connect with the beautiful, natural setting. Designed by the Green Infrastructure Consultancy, a living wall measures six metres wide by eight metres tall spanning over two floors positioned next to the escalators. It will be home to more than 2,000 indoor plants, including species such as the familiar Philodendron and more unusual plants like Chinese Evergreen. The store also boasts a champagne bar and restaurant on the first floor, offering 66 covers and Café Nero on the ground floor, with 64 internal covers and 24 external covers, both with lake views.

Petersham Nurseries opens second site in Covent Garden Petersham Nurseries has opened its second location on King Street in Covent Garden, bringing nature and elegance to the heart of London. The Covent Garden store is launching in two phases; a lifestyle, home and garden shop, delicatessen, wine cellar and florist are now open, with two restaurants and a bar to follow. The Grade II listed building provides a befitting home for The Shop, set beneath three Victorian atriums and filled with trees and greenery alongside homeware, furniture and gifts. With an emphasis on urban gardening and being mindful of smaller spaces in central London, The Shop provides inspiration for window boxes, indoor gardens and terrariums. A potting service prepares and plants window boxes and containers for customers to take away. For the first time the retailer has introduced The Delicatessen, bringing the spirit of a traditional Italian grocery store to this elegant setting, whilst also drawing inspiration from ingredients found in the Boglione family’s own larder and fridge.

Petersham Cellar, founded by Lara Boglione and her husband Giovanni Mazzei of Marchesi Mazzei, offers an ever-evolving selection of carefully sourced and handpicked fine Italian wines. The Cellar team are on hand to advise and suggest wines and pairings. The Florist captures the true essence of Petersham Nurseries. Bespoke seasonal bouquets and posies are readily available in store or to order online. In line with Petersham Nurseries’ ethos, there is an

emphasis on seasonal, British grown flowers and responsible sourcing. In terms of the proposed restaurant offering, The Petersham will be a sophisticated à la carte restaurant that takes inspiration from the family home. La Goccia will be a vibrant informal restaurant and bar serving small plates, launching at a later date. Both restaurants will flow onto Floral Court, the central courtyard and a beautiful green space for al fresco dining.



In brief... TAG Heuer opens boutique at Meadowhall Swiss watch brand TAG Heuer has opened its latest boutique at Meadowhall Shopping Centre in Sheffield. This store follows the opening of its Chelmsford boutique at the end of last year in the city’s new Bond Street development, and another in London’s Old Spitalfields Market last month. The 60 sq m contemporary store features an iconic façade exemplifying the brand’s avant-garde flair. The sophisticated interior offers the ideal setting for customers to discover sport, lifestyle, art and heritage — universes that TAG Heuer masters. ‘We’re thrilled to announce the exciting TAG Heuer concept arriving in Meadowhall this summer as part of our store expansion plans, which we’re confident will be a

Fitch appoints new managing director for London

Sam Smith has been promoted to the position of managing director for London at global retail and brand consultancy

thriving business for the brand,’ says Craig Bolton, executive director at Goldsmiths. ‘The centre has changed dramatically over the last two years and there is huge aspiration in its planned £300m extension due to complete in 2021 which will continue to improve the offering and futureproof its commerce for years to come.’ Rebecca Hopes, TAG Heuer Meadowhall boutique manager, adds: ‘Our brand new boutique provides a dynamic shopping environment which perfectly captures TAG Heuer’s rich heritage of pushing boundaries and breaking rules to overcome technological restraints and create daring watches and chronographs. We are looking forward to welcoming our first clients in Sheffield in the coming weeks.’

FITCH. Smith joined FITCH in 2015 as general manager for London. She brings 15 years of experience in the independent integrated creative agency BD Network, with the last six years as managing director. Smith led the work for clients including The Coca-Cola Company, Diageo, Nestlé, Peugeot, Orange (EE) and Mondelēz International. The firm has also appointed two new creative directors in London. Anna Chimes and Matt Michaluk will oversee the London studio creative output alongside Nathan Watts and John Regan.

MG announces boutique at St David’s in Cardiff British car brand MG is opening its first retail boutique at St David’s in Cardiff. In conjunction with regional dealer Nathaniel Cars, the new 149 sq m store in Cathedral Walk will showcase models from the iconic motoring brand’s range of cars, bringing automotive retail into a bustling shopping centre and connecting consumers with this much-loved British brand. The new store will be emblematic of Nathaniel MG’s passion for ‘Reinventing your car buying experience’. Designed


by Nathaniel MG, the scheme will incorporate a video screen wall at the far end of the store, interactive iPad stations and an informal seating area. A collection of the range will be on display including MG3s and the MGGS for visitors to experience and interact with. Product geniuses will also be on hand to help customers at every stage of the car buying journey, from booking a test drive to arranging a part exchange and financing purchases.

Twenty years after opening its first boutique on Regent Street, L’Occitane is relocating to a 599 sq m space at 74-76 Regent Street. It will create an iconic new UK flagship for the brand and will be open by the end of 2017, offering customers a luxurious and sensorial experience. Burberry will relocate its Knightsbridge store from Brompton Road to No. 1 Sloane Street, as one of seven new flagship retail units as the first phase of The Knightsbridge Estate K1 development. The brand’s new home will cover 1,393 sq m over four floors. The gateway to Covent Garden in London will be transformed into a ‘vertical park’ this month, with a living wall covering more than 139 sq m of the building facade on the corner of Long Acre and James Street. This creation forms part of a greening initiative to recreate the area’s garden heritage. More than 8,000 plants and 21 different species will be planted over the 139 sq m area with multiple purposes — to refine the quality of the air, increase the area’s biodiversity, capture pollution and offer the beauty of a vertical park. Monki is opening two news stores in the UK at Westfield Stratford and Buchanan Galleries in Glasgow. Both stores will adopt the Monki World concept, leading customers into an imaginery universe that has inspired 115 stores. With fitting rooms decorated across a spectrum of rainbow colours, Sea of Scallops tables, shimmering features and exclusive Monki World facade, the new stores will offer the full story-telling experience.

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international news


NEWS Mall of Switzerland to welcome Bershka Young fashion brand Bershka will open its first store in central Switzerland at the Mall of Switzerland on 8 November 2017. The Spanish brand currently has retail outlets in more than 70 countries around the world, including five in other parts of Switzerland. Featuring high quality, creative shop design across all its locations, Bershka delivers memorable shopping experiences through music, screens, projections, contemporary furniture design and lighting effects and this will be the case in its 800 sq m store in the Mall of Switzerland.

Arket opens in Copenhagen Arket continues its expansion plans with the opening of a new store in Copenhagen, following the brand’s launch on London’s Regent Street in August. The new store is located at Købmagergade 33 in one of the city’s historial palatial townhouses. Arket occupies the 1,000 sq m ground floor and includes a cafe based on the New Nordic Food Manifesto that sits in a spacious sunlit room directly inside the entrance. The opening will be followed by Arket stores in Brussels, Munich and London’s Covent Garden during the coming weeks and months.

Joseph set for Miami opening Joseph has announced plans to open a new store in Miami – its largest international site. The 232 sq m store will be located at 119 NE 41st Street and will offer womenswear, menswear and accessories. The store is being designed in partnership with Sybarite and will reflect the seaside architecture of the city in the 40s and 50s. The retailer already has two stores in New York, on Madison Avenue and Green Street in SoHo, and is also available in several other stores across the country including Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdale’s and Neiman Marcus.


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visual merchandising


Saks Fifth Avenue

Photography: Romer Pedron for Saks Fifth Avenue

It’s been 10 years since Saks Fifth Avenue in New York opened its 10022-SHOE Salon, a floor so big it needed its own postcode. The retailer is marking this milestone with a set of windows featuring custom designer birthday cakes. Brands such as Jimmy Choo, Chanel, Christian Louboutin, Saint Laurent, Gucci and more have been with 10022-SHOE since the beginning and have honored the anniversary with their cake windows. A total of 16 designer Happy Birthday 10022-SHOE cakes are gracing the New York flagship’s windows.

Furrer Jacot Jeweller Furrer Jacot currently has a beautiful paper snake adorning its window in Brighton. Designed by L’Atelier Five, the window scheme has been created to promote the retailer’s Snake Bone ring collection, and is designed to showcase the inspiration and handmaking processes behind the ring and Furrer Jacot as a brand. The ring itself was inspired by the continuous form of a snake. L’Atelier Five’s artist handcrafted the 15ft snake using two different forms of wire and 2,500 cut scales in the blue and white card matching brand colours.


visual merchandising Joseph Fashion Joseph’s latest scheme features ‘Light, strong and versatile’, an installation to coincide with the ‘Plywood: Material of the Modern World’ exhibition at the V&A Museum in London. Using one repeat shape cut from 0.8mm aeroply, the team simply tabbed together piece after piece to create six pillars which were used as the basis for the structure. On site, these were then joined to the back walls and built up towards the ceiling to create a world for the mannequins to exist within. The scheme was produced and manufactured by Harlequin Design, with mannequins and styling by Nathan Hicks, head of visual merchandising at Joseph Fashion, and Danny Letton, freelance creative consultant. Photography: Melvyn Vincent

Bentalls Kingston The current window scheme at Bentalls Kingston is based on the film movement in the 1940s. The visual merchandising team has recreated movie covers in the windows. Even the mannequins have been given the black and white makeover with a touch of femme fatal red lips. All of the props were created in house, with mannequin rennovations by Artywigs.

See more window schemes at

TOPMAN Topman Oxford Street recently unveiled a ‘live’ window display to promote its new collaboration with singer-songwriter James Bay. The musician created a Wall of Inspiration, which included his own original drawings, and customers were invited to join him in completing the artwork. The concept of the window scheme was undertaken by YourStudio, which created an immersive maze that took customers into the mind behind the creativity. Stylo produced all the items and installed the window. YourStudio layered the drawings using sound, light and vision. Giant white neon interlinking hands taken from one of Bay’s illustrations filled the windows, whilst a black and white fingerprint design was multiplied from a fractal mirror installation beyond.


visual merchandising Bergdorf Goodman

Photography: Michael Steele

Bergdorf Goodman has collaborated with New York City-based artist Sean Slaney on a run of three windows. Slaney spray painted stencil patterns on seamless paper for David Hoey, window director at Bergdorf Goodman. Some of these were draped like a pulled back curtain. ‘I have freelanced for many years at Bergdorf Goodman building props, painting backdrops and installing sets. Frequently I would show the window director David Hoey my personal work and he expressed interest in doing stencil art windows,’ says Slaney. The team decided to work with stencils themselves, with Slaney drawing a mix of unrelated things — animals, objects, vehicles, fauna etc. ‘I made stencils and then spray-painted wacky patterns that were about shapes working together and bright colours on seamless paper. I then brought the large scale patterned paper to Bergdorf Goodman and hung them on the wall to show the scale and the collaboration was born. David Hoey came up with the presentation of layering seamless paper draped in an artful way,’ says Slaney.

Galeries Lafayette Fashion giant Prada took over Galeries Lafayette’s windows on Boulevard Haussmann during the first three weeks of August to promote its latest lines. A series of giant posters were installed on the store’s facade to depict Prada’s view of a woman’s role in contemporary society. In addition to the 11 windows, Prada also occupied the four windows at the menswear entrance, as well as a window on Rue de Mogador devoted to perfumes. The Prada takeover was completed by two exclusive pop-ups with eye-catching contrasts between the men’s and women’s items displayed.

 enwick of Bond F Street Roll up, roll up! The circus has arrived at Fenwicks of Bond Street in celebration of the store’s accessories. Produced by Creative Services, the Fun House windows are adorned with balloons and bunting. Handbags and scarves spin on revolving wheels, whilst mice tuck into spilt popcorn. Hats are displayed on heads mounted on circus plinths.

See more window schemes at



TOP pops of the

Company: IPOS

Client: Jack Wills

Display title: Pittards — Crafted in Colour

Sector: Fashion apparel/accessories

Location: Carnaby London

The brief: Jack Wills approached IPOS to collaborate on a series of bespoke windows and in-store displays for its Carnaby Street store to promote its partnership with Pittards, a Somerset-based leather goods producer that Jack Wills has worked with for five years. The display had to highlight the premium quality of the Pittards bags, reflecting the heritage and world-renowned reputation of the brand. The display also had to celebrate the launch of Pittards’ full colour range, which was a first for the Witney bag, tying in the transitional Summer to Autumn seasons.

The solution: IPOS used the vibrant colourways across the Witney bag collection to create the displays, taking inspiration from luxury accessory brands across the globe. Between the store windows and in the in-store display, the team produced 16 individual, vinyl wrapped plinths, colour matched to promote each bag within the range. The company drew attention from the street by covering each window in a full PVC backdrop. This drew the colours from the product into the plinths, which flowed into the floors and up the backdrop behind. The customer journey was led by the colourways of the bags, flowing onto the display plinths, across the backdrop and directly into the centralised display in store. 20

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Karl McKeever

Making the cut Some of you will have flown back from holiday last month having made a summer resolution to ‘make a change’ and seek out new job opportunities. Many others, though, arrived back to their retailer’s head office and stores after the summer break to discover that someone else had taken that decision for them. While the rest of us have just begun readjusting to life back at the office, several retailers have announced that the axe will fall on thousands of jobs; 1,000 head office positions are to go at Sainsbury’s, 3,000 store staff at Asda will also soon be left without a position, and meanwhile, Wilko has placed 3,900 members of its store team into redundancy consultation. They are just the latest in a growing number of retailers to embark on major restructuring programmes that will significantly impact on retail operations. The British Retail Consortium’s (BRC) latest employment figures suggest the downward trend is set to continue. For decades, retail has been home to a rich source of employment opportunities. But by 2025, the BRC estimates that there will be nearly a million fewer retail jobs. The reason being given for the change is quickly becoming a familiar one: a desire by retailers to create simpler structures that will deliver a better shopper experience. Commenting on its most recent round of job cuts, Tesco said its move was less about cutting costs and more part of a drive to ‘help improve service to shoppers’ by ‘aiming to have more colleagues on the shop floor, more often’. In truth, this is a veneer being applied to a somewhat starker reality. Competition is fierce. Sterling’s value is weak. Costs are rising (the national living wage presents very real challenges to labour-intensive industries like retail), and growth for many retailers is proving increasingly difficult to come by. In the UK, the introduction of the Living Wage and Workplace Pension reforms have come at a cost too. Then there is the brave new age of technological automation that is quickly spreading throughout all aspects of our daily lives. Smart homes, driverless cars, self-scan checkouts, and mobile pay in store — it isn’t surprising that retailers are currently asking serious questions about how they and their stores are resourced. For all of the focus placed on what the Store of the Future Karl McKeever is founder and managing director of visual merchandising and brand delivery consultancy Visual Thinking.

Email Karl at karlmckeever

will look like in physical terms (technology, design, its ‘reason for being’), what it looks like operationally is arguably the more interesting and pertinent question right now. Put simply, stores do not need as many staff as they once did. So what are the operational realities of this new dawn? The BRC has talked about a future of ‘fewer but more productive jobs’. Yet surely, shouldn’t store teams working productively be a given? Even those retailers without plans for reducing headcount should be ensuring that every team member in every store is working as productively as possible. For me, there remains too little discussion focused on how this is (or rather, why this isn’t) routinely achieved within our industry — And that is a mistake. Sainsbury’s decision to draft in consultant McKinsey is part of a stated three-year plan by the retailer to deliver cost savings of £500 million. I think most would agree that, arguably, there is too much operational complexity within many retailers. The result can often have a stifling, suffocating effect on the business, especially when it comes to decision making. Simply reducing headcount, however, doesn’t equal greater efficiency — just a lower cost-base, as well as the potential threat of a demoralised workforce. Visual operations and maintaining retail standards already have to fight to avoid taking a backseat to other instore priorities. Too often, these are viewed as a ‘nice to do’ rather than an operational imperative. The unavoidable truth is this: being able to work smarter invariably requires a fundamental change in behaviour, and this is especially true at store level. As a result, there will be a great deal of hard work ahead before the benefits of restructuring is seen. Delivering improvements in productivity will require some of the savings that retailers achieve through reducing staff numbers to be reinvested into learning and development programmes. You simply can’t strip out layers of store teams without providing those that remain with the knowledge, skills and tools needed to help them perform more effectively and efficiently. Retailers have a responsibility to ensure that store teams tasked with seeing through the transformation are full of inspiration, motivated and, most importantly, capable of delivering on the vision — not only in terms of customer service, but also in respect of performing the daily routine tasks that go towards creating the kind of ‘improved’ instore environment that the future promises and shoppers are demanding. Retail history reminds us of the many cost-cutting, slide-ruling measures that have previously gone before. Retailers should not forget the ‘unseen’ impact of reducing staff numbers on the shop floor — so much of what makes an effective retail business is all about the people who work there. Retailers who ignore the fundamentals of what make the ‘bricks’ operations different to their ‘clicks’ transactions will do so at their peril: people to deliver well-planned, well-stocked and great looking stores, and the much-valued service that keep shoppers coming back for more. Cutting costs is quick. Rebuilding performance takes considerably longer and, ultimately, comes at its own cost.


project focus


Regent Street, London Design: Brinkworth Opening date: August 2017 Store size: 840 sq m

Sportswear retailer ASICS has opened the doors to its largest global retail store, located on Regent Street in London. Featuring all four ASICS brands under one roof for the first time — ASICS, ASICS Tiger, Onitsuka Tiger and Haglöfs — the state-ofthe-art retail space has been designed by Brinkworth and will bring to life the ASICS ‘Sound Mind, Sound Body’ philosophy. The store showcases how ASICS can be part of every area of a customer’s lives and opens a new channel for the brand to reach a wider variety of shoppers. ‘Our world is changing rapidly and


our business is growing alongside this to become a leader in creating valued consumer connections. This store represents a statement that we are one brand that can deliver products for an active lifestyle and through our digital communities, apps and consumer interaction we will also inspire people to move, and enjoy the physical and mental benefits of exercise,’ says Alistair Cameron, CEO of ASICS EMEA. Under the guidance of lead designer Sam Derrick, the store brings together the four Asics brands whilst maintaining a clear distinction between each. ‘Innovative digital

technologies are included throughout the store to enhance the customer journey, and make the store into a destination worthy of its prominent location,’ says a spokesperson for Brinkworth. ‘The two lifestyle brands, Onitsuka Tiger and ASICS Tiger, occupy half of the ground floor space, whilst the performance-focused ASICS is showcased on the other half and in the basement, alongside Swedish outdoors brand Haglofs. Each brand is represented with its own distinctive visual language attuned to its specific focus,’ explains the Brinkworth spokesperson.

project focus

‘Maple slat walls and flooring provide a warmth that offsets the concrete and steel elements.’


project focus

‘The concept aims to express the innovation and technical excellence of the ASICS brand through innovative and technical exploration and production, balanced with warm, human finishes and a world class service offer.’ The new approach offers consumers a fully integrated, holistic sports environment brought to life in an innovative and elevated shopping experience where both the mind and the body are stimulated. The ‘Sound Mind, Sound Body’ ethos of the brand is consistently channelled through the use of living plant installations, sustainable products, natural wood finishes, LED lighting and technology, as well as a complimentary juice bar and in-house DJ booth. Digital touchpoints feature throughout the store to allow customers to make informed choices about which product is most appropriate to their needs. X-Y plotter technology picks the requested shoebox from the rack and deposits it in a chute to either ground floor or basement, for fast and efficient delivery of shoes. Robotic arms in the window serve to explain and demonstrate key products to passers-by. Bleacher seating and juice dispenser taps make the store a destination where customers can hang out. A kinetic lighting feature extends the full width of the ground floor to animate the space, with different colours pulsating at the same pace as the heart rate of a 100m sprinter. In the Motion ID area staff use sensors to assess a customer’s running style in order to provide more specific product advice. The customisation area contains a body scanner to create personalised 3D printed tights and Foot Balance machines to form custom moulded insoles. The materials and colour palette take their cues from the brand’s Japanese heritage, and from the ‘Sound Mind, Sound Body’ ethos. ‘Maple slat walls and flooring provide a warmth that offsets the concrete and steel elements. Stainless steel is used in various finishes to unify the different brands,’ says the Brinkworth spokesperson. The design concept makes use of the existing shell of the building to give each store a sense of locality; in the case of Regent Street this includes a historic listed ceiling. A new void was cut in the floor slab around the existing staircase to create a better connection between the ground floor and basement, revealing riveted steel beams.


‘Our new Regent Street store is a beacon for the ASICS DNA. Through the innovative retail space consumers can physically interact with the brand witnessing the technology, breadth of product and “Sound Mind, Sound Body” philosophy. We will take all of the positive elements of this state-of-the-art offering and translate it through further store openings across the globe, as well as our shop-in-shop and

e-commerce platforms. Direct to consumer represents a strong part of the ASICS future and this is just the start,’ says Scott Wakefield, direct to consumer director, ASICS EMEA. The Regent Street space is one of many new openings as part of a drive to create more physical brand stores in major city centres, including Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam, Tokyo and New York.

‘The design concept makes use of the existing shell of the building to give each store a sense of locality.’

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Weekday Regent Street, London

Design: Inhouse by Johanna Karlsson Opening date: August 2017 Store size: 650 sq m

Swedish fashion brand Weekday has opened the doors to its first London-based store at 226 Regent Street. The brand’s H&M Group parent company already has H&M, Cos and & Other Stories flagships on the street. The 650 sq m store has been designed by Weekday’s inhouse architect, Johanna Karlsson and her five strong team. The store is an unconventional and uplifting space spread over two floors. For the Regent Street location, Weekday has created an updated store experience, working with various elements whilst being careful to respect the building’s history. ‘Weekday stores are modern and urban environments with a minimalistic yet forward-thinking aesthetic that use high quality natural materials, ambient


lighting and warm finishes to create a casual, inviting atmosphere that strike the perfect balance of minimalistic, stylish and welcoming,’ says Karlsson. ‘For the 650 sq m space on Regent Street we aimed to create an updated store experience, working with new and unique elements to respect the beauty of the historical building while maintaining the dynamic and youthful nerve and aesthetics of the brand.’ The design team was inspired by the city of London itself. ‘We used “real” materials like wood, fiber glass and steel, and we used off-the-shelf products and material in a different way they were meant to be, for example aluminum profiles, fiber glass or fibre cement boards,’ continues Karlsson.

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‘Weekday stores are modern and urban environments with a minimalistic yet forward thinking aesthetic.’


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A special feature in the store is the Storemade room where the retailer creates its Zeitgeist t-shirts and totes. ‘Each week we create a new design reflecting on current events in popular culture and society, which we print in our in-store studio. We wanted to create an inviting workshop in the middle of the store, so the room is completely made of glass to create a transparent live printing area where people can follow the process,’ says Karlsson. ‘It has always been on our agenda to open up a store in this great and inspiring fashion city, and it is a real honor to open on Regent Street. It is such a historic shopping destination. We believe that Weekday will be a great compliment to the city and especially to this area. It just feels like a natural fit with Weekday,’ adds David Thörewick, brand manager at Weekday. Regent Street is just the start of Weekday’s UK expansion, with a second store planned to open in autumn/winter 2017 and following its Paris site opening earlier this year on rue Vieille du Temple.


‘We aimed to create an updated store experience, working with new and unique elements to respect the beauty of the historical building.’

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Liberty menswear Regent Street, London Design: Daytrip Opening date: August 2017 Store size: Undisclosed

‘I was determined not to follow existing fashion but to create new ones,’ said Arthur Lasenby Liberty on the launch of his department store on Great Marlborough Street in 1875, as a destination for discovery. Today, the store carries on this concept with its latest unveiling — a new menswear floor. The store’s menswear department has undergone a total re-focus with the launch of more than 20 new brands and a fresh take on key favourites. Working with design practice Daytrip, the space has been transformed into a celebration of all that is special about Liberty London in a comfortable, refreshed environment. The newly refurbished department on the lower ground floor has been redesigned as a space for the modern Liberty London man. With the largest investment that the department has ever seen, the redesign creates a unique backdrop for an enhanced menswear offer.

The department returns to founder Arthur Lasenby Liberty’s vision for the emporium with items displayed in comfortable surroundings. The space is modelled on an eclectic home, with rooms centred around fireplaces and decorated with art and objet. Textile designs from the print archive are used to create a quintessentially Liberty London atmosphere, appearing on tapestries and drapes. The space also includes more than 60 vintage rugs sourced from around the world by Liberty London rug expert, Bruce Lepere. Men can also take part in a spot of manscaping at award winning barbers, Ruffians. Treatments on offer include cut-throat razor shaves, beard tidies, skin consultations and haircuts. Liberty has reinstated a previously unused staircase to create a smooth customer journey directly in to Liberty London menswear from the store’s Great


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Marlborough Street entrance. Rooms have been reshaped to expose previously covered original features such as beautiful fireplaces and panelling, while beams have been restored. The new floor also houses a refreshed denim department, offering styles from key denim brands including Edwin and Acne Studios. There is also a new Japanese area with cult brands such as Fabric, FDMTL, and KAPITAL. As a new addition to the department, the buying team has curated a t-shirt gallery featuring brands such as Strangers, Maison Labiche, MKI and Remi Relief who have each created exclusive styles for Liberty London. New Parisian labels, Harmony and Études, have also been added to the emporium’s contemporary offering. ‘In this day and age stores run the risk of

‘The whole floor includeS new designers, bringing the unexpected back to the Liberty London menswear department.’ 34

carrying the same selections from identical brands. Customers are excited by newness, diverse brand offerings and considered buys that serve up something different. I have carefully curated our current brand offer while introducing over 20 new ready to wear and accessories brands to intrigue and excite. Our new t-shirt gallery will house exclusive collaborations and the whole floor will include new designers, bringing the unexpected back to the Liberty London menswear department,’ says Laura Robertshaw, Liberty’s menswear buyer. The Central Designer Gallery houses major international brands, including Dries Van Noten, Thom Browne, and Balenciaga. The pillars of the Central Designer Gallery have been decorated with a mural by artist Stephen Doherty. In the Collector’s Room, accessories are playfully displayed in large uncased vintage cabinets that exhibit the product. A new addition to the accessories collection is jeweller James Tanner, who’s designs are handmade in London. The Collector’s Room also features a dedicated Liberty London menswear space, alongside vintage accessories curated by Stelios. The shoe department in The East Wing includes charred timber panels, tapestries and printed drapes, with product displayed on green glass circular tables. The refurbishment has uncovered original, unseen heritage features that have been complemented with dedicated seating areas using plush Liberty London print armchairs.


Is mainstream retail dead? As retail design and in-store experiences evolve at fast speed, we ask the question, is mainstream retail dead?

Text: Lyndsey Dennis


Lucinda Bowden Host

Karl McKeever managing director and founder of Visual Thinking

Mainstream retailers continue to be squeezed — from online start-ups challenging established brands and discounters threatening margins, to a growing number of shoppers who are looking for products that are more relevant and individual. All of that is good news for independent retailers. For mainstream retailers, it means that a clear focus is required to identify what really makes them different.

What are shoppers looking for from the modern retail experience? ‘I think there’s been a huge shift in the last few years, moving away from mainstream retailers to people wanting to find products and services that are really right for them,’ kickstarts Richard Ash, CEO of Green Room. ‘They’ve been spoilt by the internet, they can find anything they want, and I think when they go out into retail they want that to be the same. We’re seeing brands and retailers desperately trying to come up with ways they can create their environments to very much compete with the online experience.’

Is personalisation A fad or THE future? ‘People have become very familiar with the whole concept of “it’s all about me” and I think people are now feeling much more empowered to know that their choices are taken seriously by brands and they can pretty much ask for what they want. We have become much more individualised as a society,’ says Karl McKeever, managing director and founder of Visual Thinking. ‘It’s what retail has been forever; if you talk about personalised retail experiences, when you used to go into a shop 30 years ago you would get to know the person working there and they would


Richard Ash CEO of Green Room

Steve James-Royle co-founder of The Yard Creative

welcome you by your first name, and offer you products that suited what you like. So actually, no it’s not a fad, it’s just recycling back round and is the core fundamental basics of retailing,’ says Steve James-Royle, co-founder of The Yard Creative. He asks the panel: ‘What is mainstream retailing today? Because if you look at the definition of it, it’s something that is considered normal. So, in the normal world of retail today, are we talking about Boots, Debenhams, the more old school retailers or are we actually talking about mainstream retail coming under fire from discounted retailers? But is that not now the mainstream?’ Ash says, who wants to shop at a mainstream retailer? ‘It sounds old and fuddy duddy and not particularly appealing at all. One thing that retailers would hate to be considered as is a mainstream retailer; they like to think they’ve got a niche, an individual proposition that nobody else has got. You think you know your consumers but they’re consistently evolving and you have to consistently study them and quite often consumers will differ greatly.’

Today it seems we have a very fickle shopper. How does a retailer keep hold of that shopper and maintain brand loyalty? ‘Choice is on an astronomical level, so you will try everything you can to keep them but actually that’s not the right way to go about it,’ believes James-Royle. ‘The right way is keeping them engaged; making sure you’re constantly talking to them, constantly relevant and constantly innovating. Every brand should always be asking themselves the question: What did they set out to do? What are their core beliefs, their core big ideas and how are they then constantly evolving from that onwards?’



‘It’s harder to take those risks and harder to be brave, but those brands that do will be the ones who survive. Take risks!’


McKeever adds: ‘Whether you are a niche business or aspiring to become mainstream, it’s that clarity on how you manage that proposition from being small to being bigger to being biggest, which really makes all the difference. I think being a mainstream brand really means that you have to be much more agile or nimble and I think that’s one of the things the bigger retailers who are typically our mainstream volume brands struggle with most.’ He continues: ‘If you’re trying to broaden your appeal, how far is too far, and how far do you stretch your brand before it starts to lose some of its value?’ Ash says: ‘We see it all the time, retailers having to expand and widen their proposition. I quite like it; it keeps things fresh and I like walking into a retailer and thinking “oh my word that’s really interesting, they weren’t doing that last year, they’re evolving.”’ He uses Paperchase as an example, which is introducing trial zones where people can experiment with products, have craft sessions and attend parties. ‘They’re making it a destination. It’s important for retailers to keep things moving and keep things fresh.’

How important is it that these stores offer not just a retail experience but something else? ‘Massively! Our whole industry has been talking about theatre in retail for probably 20 years now, and it’s probably only the last five to 10 years we’ve really seen that start to come about. The Nordic states do it phenominally well. We were in Stockholm earlier this year and just about every single store has a coffee shop, or another offer within it,’ says James-Royle. ‘I’m certainly seeing a lot of brands now who are wanting to try and position their proposition as being not mainstream,’ says Ash. ‘I was in a coffee shop — Coffee Number One — the other day and it looked very much like a local coffee shop; the whole interior had been designed on a local basis, with history about the area and there were local cues within the store that were very much historical and relative to that area. I thought it was just a local guy that had set it up but infact it’s part of a large brewery. That’s quite interesting, I’m seeing large brands who’ve wanted to create a huge network and look to be incredibly powerful and strong, now actually going anti that and trying to create something that is very small, personal and relevant to that area.’ McKeever adds: ‘Waterstones has been opening some “local”



shops, and brands like Mamas & Papas have been experimenting with small boutiques and almost niche stores in the likes of Bayswater. I think there’s an inherent difficulty in doing that. If you are a mainstream brand and you’ve spent a long time developing a lot of those brand values and all the good things brands are trying to do with their consumers — establishing trust, the dialogue and repor and those types of things — if you then in a sense go underground and do things in a covert basis, there’s a chance that you might actually lose some of that good will along the way.’ James-Royle agrees: ‘I would tend to agree with Karl on this. For a big brand to pretend to be something they’re not is really dangerous, and I don’t think any of us here would recommend it. But there are definitely ways that brands can tap into local communities and if you look at big brands like Primark they do amazingly well. Look at their huge flagship store in Madrid; it’s become almost a tourist attraction. Wrapping around each level is this huge transparent screen and a lot of the content on it is put together by local artists, and when you walk in the impact is out of this world. But they haven’t tried to be something they’re not; they’re true to who they are and they have really ramped it up.’ Ash adds: ‘I’ve certainly seen many brands trying to make themselves relevant to the local community and certainly the sports brands have been particularly good at that. We’ve seen Nike’s running club where they’re opening up stores and inviting runners to go there. There’s no requirement for you to buy the product, they’re not really bothered about that. They just want you to get in the store or linger around, meet fellow runners and then get out there and do it. I think we’ll see a lot more of that.’

Is mainstream retail dead? ‘No, I don’t think it is. It will be very much part of the retail makeup over the coming decades, but just like any other retailer they have to be brave. The moment you just sit still, you’re going to disappear. Sometimes in the bigger businesses, it’s harder to take those risks and harder to be brave, but those brands that do will be the ones who survive. Take risks!’ says James-Royle. ‘For me, they say adversity is the mother of invention. I think it’s a very exciting time for retail; it’s hugely challenging. I take Steve’s point — if you’re not moving ahead you’re getting left behind and will eventually end up like so many retailers we have seen go in the last few years who didn’t move with the times. You have to innovate, you have to be at the forefront, listen to your customers, invest in your staff — they’re absolutely critical; they’re the face of your business and are very much your eyes and ears as well,’ says Ash. ‘A brand has to be very clear about what it is and what it does, and how it wants to do it differently to its competitor. You have to choose the things you’re going to differentiate on. Do them well, own them and then make those the reasons that people visit you,’ rounds up McKeever. You can download the full podcast and listen to other episodes at The Retail Exchange website:



‘Listen to your customers, invest in your staff – they’re absolutely critical.’

designing stores for men



As more retailers enter the menswear market and guys are faced with greater choice of products, styles and sizing, the sector is becoming more competitive. Cue a host of standalone stores and experiences for men. According to a recent article in The Telegraph, Vismay Sharma, L’Oreal‘s UK managing director, said that demand for makeup among men was growing fast and predicts we will see male makeup counters in the next five years. It’s clear the male sector has seen a boom in male grooming and fashion. ‘As more retailers are entering the menswear market and men are faced with greater choice of products, styles and sizing, the sector is becoming more competitive. Millennial men are also becoming more demanding, wanting higher quality pieces, frequently updated ranges and unique designs, and they will choose to buy clothes from those retailers and brands that step up to the plate,’ says Tamara Sender, senior fashion analyst at Mintel. More retailers and brands have been tapping into the growing menswear market by expanding their men’s clothing offer, as well as launching stores and separate websites. ‘Research claims that 50 per cent of men have purchased one or more items of beauty products online versus four per cent in 1991, and the male grooming market is set to be worth $26 billion by 2020. So perhaps, how men consider their image in society is fuelling the interest in tailoring exclusive shopping experiences for male consumers. That said, there is very little evidence of retailers and brands putting this into practice in such a way that differs from the traditional male fashionista boutiques or high street barbers that we have routinely shopped since the early 1950s,’ says Martin Fawcett, managing director of The Shopper Agency. ‘There are of course many high street brands that we know cater for men — Paul Smith, Diesel, Ted Baker and Burberry — but as they also cater for women their store formats homogenize to provide consistent brand experiences. Very few have reached further into formats that

Text: Lyndsey Dennis

stimulate the differences between male and female shoppers.’ Shopping from our screens rather than in store has certainly helped men catch up in terms of shopping behaviours and frequency. ‘When it comes to store layout for the men’s section, keep it simple to ensure an easy customer journey. Shoppers want to find what they need quickly and don’t want to be obstructed by fancy promotional displays. Use masculine materials for fittings, such as glass, metal and brick and, if using a pattern, stick to subtle, neutral colours,’ says Stuart Geekie, managing director at HMY Group (UK). Floral Street in London will welcome British heritage sportswear brand, Kent & Curwen this Autumn under the partnership of creative director, Daniel Kearns and business partner, David Beckham. Henrietta Street in Covent Garden is another hot area for menswear — boasting the likes of Joseph Cheaney, Fred Perry and Nigel Cabourn — as is Earlham Street in Seven Dials. Shaftesbury has made a concerted effort to shape Earlham Street’s male focused offer. The street welcomed a UK debut store for French-Swedish sportswear brand Ron Dorff, and BEAST’s male beauty offering with its first physical store. British handmade men’s loafer brand, Duke & Dexter also launched its first UK flagship store there. Sam Bain-Mollison, group retail strategy & leasing at Shaftesbury, says a lot of Shaftsbury’s male stores feature modern, minimalist designs that incorporate metalwork, dark woods, or a black and white colour scheme. Whilst the range of products on offer is diverse and covers fashion, beauty and grooming, the Main: Martin Fawcett, managing director of The Shopper Agency. says Goodhood in London has crafted a genuine ‘man cave’ experience.


designing stores for men

environments that the retailers are creating have a traditionally masculine edge to them, compared to say the creams and golds of Club Monaco, Fresh and Dinny Hall. Mike Tristram, strategic planner at Checkland Kindleysides, which designed the Joseph Cheaney store, says generally speaking female consumers are much more sophisticated and in-tune with their own identities than their male counterparts; evolving from a trend-led mindset expecting brands to go further in helping them translate and understand how these trends can work best for their size, shape, skin tone and personal style. The in-store experience therefore must be designed with empowerment, personalisation and self-service at its heart; accommodating them as individuals whilst enabling them to flaunt serendipitous ‘micro-moments’ on social media to get the approval of their well-informed peers. ‘Male consumers on the other hand are only just beginning on this path of enlightenment, embracing new catwalk trends and the latest grooming styles to a greater degree than previously seen. We have also noticed a significant shift, especially amongst younger generations, to more collective retail experiences as opposed to the perceived solitary male shopping experience,’ says Tristram. ‘For men, we believe retail environments should be designed to offer immersive education, immediacy and knowledgeable service; curating products by lifestyle offers that enable them to be on-trend as well as making their shopping experiences much more convenient as speed remains key.’ However, looking to the future, Checkland Kindleysides believes there is a fundamental change on the horizon as younger generations display unconventional shopping habits ushering in a new era where the gender divide/categorisation in store begins to blur. ‘That will be a key influence on the way we design retail environments in the future as the need increases to accommodate this new anti-stereotypical mindset of future generations,’ says Tristram. He believes ‘Immersive Immediacy’ will be fundamental to appealing to today’s fashion forward masculinity and satisfying digitally savvy consumers, who crave more education from brands yet are used to consuming content at speed due to increased connectivity and social media. ‘As men embrace a new-found sense of retail therapy, the role of design will be to create social destinations that foster a sense of community and belonging, strengthening the relationship between retailer and consumer.’


Kate Nightingale, founder of Style Psychology, shares behavioural advice when designing stores for men: • Simplicity is key — men are very good at laser focus on one task but don’t deal well with multiple decisions and tasks. Keep things simple, well differentiated, easy to recognise and easily comparable. For example, Harvey Nichols’ new menswear department in Knightsbridge curates collections into specific looks. • Digital could be better than human — men feel more comfortable, emotionally engaged and trusting when dealing with digital tools rather than human; there is room for human interaction but it’s either with a trusted friend/partner or later in the shopping process from a sales assistant. • Maximise exposure — when shopping with partners or children, men require resting areas or other engagement such as phone charging, sports, drinks etc. Strategically place merchandise in these areas that might be of interest to men but it’s not in their face. • Shopping is a mission — whether it’s one item or a whole new wardrobe once a year, the majority of men still treat shopping as a necessarily evil; remove all the frills and obstacles making the shopping journey as swift as possible; wayfinding is key here! • Offer escape — in the experience-led and attentiondeprived world we live in, brands that benefit their customers personally usually win. Men often find dealing with emotions and stress difficult and value distraction as a coping mechanism. Provide that to them and they’ll subconsciously feel the need to reciprocate by shopping with you.

Below left: BEAST in Seven Dials — ‘Changing the way men shop for beauty’. Below: Harvey Nichols’ menswear department in Knightsbridge curates collections into specific looks.

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Blended strategy The era of ‘new sublimity’ and the ‘website in store’ experience needn’t be mutually exclusive, says Simon Mitchell, co-founder of Sybarite.

LS:N Global delivered a special report in 2012 detailing a new era for the physical in store shopping model — they coined it the ‘New Sublimity’. They asserted that consumers were approaching a phase of questioning what they must do in order to feel fulfilled in a world of confused, oversaturated branding. In recent years, a more thoughtful consumer has been defined, one who is thinking more spiritually in terms of the relationship with their belongings and interiors. This consumer often searches for a more authentic, fulfilling relationship with brands as an antidote to overt consumerism. The outcome has provided a shift towards a more experiential rather than purely transactional form of retail and store design that encourages contemplation and relaxation. This can, of course, seem at odds with the next gen consumer, who expects and desires high-speed tech innovation to expedite the process of browsing, selecting and buying products whether online or in store. Burberry has successfully demonstrated how the latest retail technologies can be merged with an in store experience that feels simultaneously hi-tech and sumptuous, welcoming and relaxing. At Sybarite, we believe a more sensually appealing in store experience and innovative technology (both online and in store) to provide efficiency and excitement need not be mutually exclusive. It is the role of the contemporary retail architect to create a seamlessly blended merging of the two (to a greater or lesser extent depending on the brand, of course). A more sensually fulfilling experience, encouraged in large part by the interior retail architecture, will encourage the consumer to stay longer, giving them more reason to connect with the brand and to browse products more closely. When done

well, the consumer leaves feeling uplifted. pampered and their mood transformed, which is something the online experience isn’t able to do in quite the same way. Sybarite aims to blend technological solutions and this notion of ‘sublime materiality’ into design proposals for its luxury retail clients. We employ this blended strategy independently for each client, as opposed to creating a standard Sybarite house style. For the vast space of the SKP department store in Beijing we wanted to create a flow across seven floors and an identity that transcends the brands within it. The new logo was the starting point; two parallel lines linked by two tangential curves create a flow. This SKP curve has then been applied in a multitude of different ways to create a sense of contemplative flow with a holistic language that realigns the store into one recognisable form, without overpowering the individual luxury brands. The consumer is encouraged to stay and explore via a coherent sensually appealing architecture. Colour palette, lighting, shapes and forms play a huge role alongside technology in encouraging the consumer to spend longer in store and explore. Since our transformation of SKP, the store ranks first among all luxury department stores in Asia in both scale and sales and turnover has seen a tenfold increase in some departments. We worked closely with Marni for 15 years, working around the world to find a common brand language that doesn’t rely on overt branding. This Marni store design identity was first achieved by the purposeful omission of clothes hanging from walls. Instead we developed an organically shaped sculptural structure that flowed through the centre of the store, with garments hung from it. Materials were smooth and sensual to subliminally trigger contemplative states in the consumer’s mind, just as sculpture will often encourage thoughtfulness or stimulate the imagination. As a result, consumers are encouraged to browse, to linger and to look more closely. Providing a meditative quality or sense of mindfulness can be created as an antidote to the frenzied overload of

our technologically enhanced lives. This approach to creating retail environments promotes the notion of ‘being in the moment’, and looking more closely at what’s in front of us, rather than continuously thinking about what’s just happened or what is yet to come. In order to view clothing or product in detail, it helps to have one’s senses open to the experience. Overpowering technology can detract from this – so it needs to be offset with carefully considered tactile materials and shapes to create a more sensual environment that results in a more conversational form of commerce. Hard edged technology risks overwhelming consumers or taking away a human aspect, but when retailers blend technological innovation with softer, organic forms, technology is welcomed as efficient, as opposed to frenzied. Through a number of client projects, we’ve made reference to Art Deco style as a means of evoking a sense of timelessness and classic luxury, prompting memories of iconic grand shopping destinations like Burlington Arcade where the shopping experience is sumptuous and savoured. Aesop encourages visitors to stay in store longer to better understand the brand by providing a sensory experience. The materials and lighting encapsulate an organic return to nature experience. Each store unique, they never employ the harsh lighting favoured by beauty halls ; instead they create a spa-like sanctuary, inviting the consumer to wash their hands with the product and ponder the range in a slowed down state. Aveda has long provided tea, to similar effect. Modern day consumers often choose online over in store for ease. The contemporary retail architect must create environments that complement this with ambient surroundings that seduce the senses and encourage customers to explore and to linger. A unified cross channel consumer experience that appeals to the senses as well as responding to the need for efficiency and speed should be the goal in mind for today’s retail architect.. 45

burlington arcade

burlington arcade Nestled in the heart of Mayfair between Bond Street and Piccadilly, Burlington Arcade is England’s longest standing shopping arcade, housing 40 specialist stores and policed by The Beadles. Burlington Arcade began its life in 1819, under Lord George Cavendish, brother of the 5th Duke of Devonshire, who had inherited the adjacent Burlington House. Since its opening, the Arcade has been policed by The Beadles — guards wearing frock coats and braided top hats in the original livery colours of Lord Cavendish. The Beadles were originally recruited to enforce a strict set of behavioural rules in the Arcade, many of which still apply to this day, such as no running, no bikes and no whistling. Historically, whistling has always been forbidden as it was used by pickpockets as coded signals in the 19th century. ‘Burlington Arcade is where retailers with unique stories to tell operate and do business. For us, maintaining the heritage and “magic” of the Arcade is of the upmost importance when leasing a unit here,’ says Ellie Lewis, head of retail marketing at Meyer Bergdorf, joint owner of the Arcade with Thor Equities. ‘When approaching a leasing decision we look into such areas as craftsmanship, individuality, and the level of service offered to ensure that it meets and exceeds the standards of our visitors, who appreciate a high quality offer that is typical of its historical notoriety, and often travel from far and wide just to visit it.’ The Arcade’s current offer includes, among others, designer hat store Maison Michel, Swiss-French watchmaker Bell & Ross, lingerie brand La Perla and Manolo Blahnik’s women’s and menswear store. Most recently, it has become London’s go-to place for destination fragrance houses such as Roja Dove, Frederic Malle, Kilian, True Grace, and soon-to-open Atkinsons.


Text: Lyndsey Dennis

Retail neighbourhoods

The Arcade plays host to a wide range of events including private shopping evenings and dinners for its retailers, as well as annual public art exhibitions. The most recent is the current exhibition, Birds by Mathilde Nivet. ‘We have also had an in-store takeover collaboration with Royal Academy of Arts and Mayfair Art Weekend, and an exclusive Anthony Gormley sculptural installation called Cinch, which can be viewed at the Burlington Gardens entrance,’ adds Lewis. ‘Mathilde Nivet is well known within the luxury sector for her bespoke creations for brands such as Chanel, Hermes, and Christian Louboutin, where she has created window concepts. Inspired by this, we wanted to showcase her talents on a larger scale for our visitors to enjoy. It took Mathilde several months to create the 300 individual paper birds installation which are all individually handmade and installed,’ says Lewis. ‘We continue to nurture and develop Burlington Arcade in line with our leasing strategy. It is continually evolving and is enjoying a resurgence as a world-leading luxury destination. We will soon be announcing some very exciting news, so watch this space.’ Spanish fashion designer, Manolo Blahnik sums up the Arcade: ‘I have adored the Burlington Arcade from the very first visit; it has that intimate feeling and one always feels welcome, especially when the Beadles greet you at the entrance. It is an elegant place with history and tradition and the shops that occupy it share the same qualities as I find essential in beautiful, handmade products. Honestly, I could not think of a better place to be.’

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airport retail

LINE OF DUTY Gregor Jackson, founding partner of London-based design agency gpstudio, takes us on a journey of discovery through duty free.

Traditional bricks and mortar retailing has generally recorded low single-digit growth for the past few years. Meanwhile, airport stores, alongside e-commerce, is in double-digit growth, with duty free shopping alone set to reach $64 billion in total revenue by 2020 (double this figure if taking into account other airport non-aviation revenue generators). Airports are an ascending market and a potential honeypot for retailers. But its future growth and future success will depend on a strategic development and significantly improved customer experience. Not that long ago, airports offered travellers a poor and limited choice of F&B, and duty free meant stocking up on cheap booze, cigarettes and distinctive triangular shaped chocolate, all in an overly lit environment, stacked high and resembling a wholesale warehouse. It has progressed over the last two decades into the world of ‘travel retail’, but even this is sometimes still viewed as a slightly derogatory retail term… as one of my clients does when referencing bad downtown retail design as ‘looking a bit travel retail’, he’s referencing a poor experience. And, in the case of airport travel, retail, often it is. Historically, it safely relied on being a protected enviroment, with a captive audience, and value-driven tax and duty free proposition that didn’t need the same thought and care as its downtown comtemporaries. But change is starting to occur. I must admit, as a frequent flyer for business and pleasure, I now find myself actually looking forward to the airport experience. No longer a place to just tolerate as part of the process of getting from A to B or even Z, I now have

favourite airports, and within them favourite lounges, retail stores, restaurants and services. A percentage of my own spending has definitely shifted to the airport. Despite this, change has been slow and in areas the bar set too low. The overall master planning and strategy of many airports (new or refurbishment) doesn’t appear to have fully embraced the future potential of an ‘aerotropolis super-infastructure’, with retail and service as the lungs and travel as the heart. With retail, F&B and amenities within the airport, radiating out far beyond land-side — 34,000 ft above it — and not just appealing to consumers holding a boarding or landing card. Reasonable scale is being achieved, and there are some


airport retail

terrific examples around the world, but a friction appears to exist between aviation, airport and tenants, that transcends into bland architecture and ultimately a lackluster passenger and consumer experience. Airport shopping is no longer necessarily cheaper than the high street (never mind the online retail world), while consumers increasingly expect just as much from an airport shopping experience as they expect from an uber cutting-edge urban mall, and a purchase any time, any place, any where convenience. The often referred to ‘golden hour’ between security and boarding gate has the potential to be expanded not just in time but also in depth and breadth. Digital plays a vitally important supporting role. Processing passengers through an airport is increasingly by means of digitalisation and self-service. Digital shopping can also seamlessly ease, enhance and broaden consumer engagement. From smartphone connectivity ‘talking’ to the frequent flyer, digital showrooming of products where space or stock-holding is at a premium, in-flight, through to the likes of ‘click and collect’ grocery or meal kits for those returning home or heading to Airbnb accomodation. But with any retail, digital or physical, most importantly it needs to be a meaningful experience, not just brands and products presented against a bright and glitzy backdrop. Surveys suggest for more than 78 per cent of airline passengers, travel represents to them the opportunity to explore the authenic culture of their chosen destination. Airport retail needs to examine and respond to the demographics and profiling of their consumers on an airport by airport basis, often even at the micro level of specific terminal or gate, to ensure in a global environment, consumers don’t meander through an airport fuzz with the same array of stores filled with the same brands in a ‘could be anywhere in the world’ state of mind. Any retailer that allows their product, design and enviroment to customise, be unique, and provide a sense of place — in a distinct

gpstudio recently collaborated with DesignHouse to support Shilla on its winning tender for Hong Kong International Airport across beauty, cosmetics, fragrance and accessories.

physical village setting — will build an emotional connection with the consumer and commercial success will prevail. As we conceptually achieved with Shilla at Hong Kong International Airport. Eating is often referred to as the new retail, and certainly the elevated choice of F&B and diversification at airports has rocketed over the last decade, with further growth and innovation possible. I’m seeing on my travels Martini bars, gourmet pop-corn shacks and restaurants offering everything from wagyu and blue cheese burgers, sushi to crab-cake sliders now sitting alongside each other to tempt me (and fellow passengers). An international offering is expected, yet most importantly a local food mix for placement is essential. While the overall master planning needs to take into account and carefully allow a balance between restaurant ‘dwell’ and retail ‘spending’. Or digitally combine the two. I’d happily shop online while sitting at a Martini bar then collecting my purchases at the gate! Travel retail is not just at home within an airport, and many have made their way downtown, and visa versa; the downtown mall operator into the airport. If airport travel retail is to continue accelerating its success, it needs to define itself through developing a density of retail, F&B and amenities — the aerotropolis I mentioned earlier. Allow digital to act as the solar system around it, convert browsers into buyers through engaging and unique experiences, create a sense of place, and appeal to a wider yet specific passenger audience, and consider the non-traveller as a consumer as well — and throughout the customer journey: booking; airport; flying; and destination, providing a ‘total retail’ experience.

Image courtesy of Appear Here


Photo Credit: SLVHCS ‘Project Legacy’, New Orleans, USA © Sean Airhart/NBBJ


How to help your shoppers shop Danielle Pinnington, owner of shopper insight company Shoppercentric, offers an insight into understanding shoppers’ needs and behaviours.

Ease of shop is not just about getting the basics of navigation right. It is also about actively engaging the shopper through attraction and persuasion. The trick is to know which route(s) is going to be of most value to the category or even range that your business is focusing on. So, when we say a brand or a category needs to work harder in store, what we are really saying is that a brand or category needs to make it easier for the shopper to see what it has to offer them — placement, yes, but also providing reasons to look (attraction) and reasons to buy (persuasion). The more we understand shoppers’ needs and behaviours, the more we can see the role of emotions in the purchasing process. There is no single look of success. Instead it is about applying the thinking that will achieve results. Successful ease of shop is about removing the barriers in the purchase process, but without losing the triggers that will drive a sale. To do this we need to identify both the triggers and the barriers within each of the ease of shop routes — see fig 2. So, as is so often the case with shopper marketing, the look of success starts with a real understanding of the shopper: their needs and the way they interact with the existing in-store environment. By taking that understanding as a knowledge platform on which to build the new in-store experience, businesses are better placed to design stores, fixtures and ranges which truly are easy to shop.

Fig 2: Ease of Shop Triggers

Fig 1: A definition of ease of shop

Ease of shop is one of those topic areas that regularly appears on shopper research briefs, with clients keen to understand how they can deliver this in relation to store, category or range layout. With so many retail options available to shoppers, ease of shop is one of those factors that can make the difference between store or brand loyalty or rejection, so it is hugely important that businesses work to smooth the path to that all-important sale. In a nutshell, the art of ease of shopping is the art of getting on the same wavelength as the shopper and successfully tuning into their needs (and wants) in-store. When shoppers articulate ease of shop they infer a sense of empowerment: the ability to be in the driving seat of their shopping trip, whether they want to grab-and-go or to step back and consider the options. This might depend on which category they are shopping, how much time they have, the shopping mission they are trying to satisfy or even what mood they are in. Plenty of us are grumpy shoppers and we need retail environments that are ‘on our side’, not conspiring against us. It is in this way that retailers and their suppliers will be better able to maximise the potential of our trip. If we start with shopper needs we can identify three key opportunities to empower shoppers to deliver ease of shop — see fig 1.


Text: Lyndsey Dennis


SURFACES & FINISHES Armourcoat Armourcoat is exhibiting at Decorex from 17-20 September on Stand H31. The company will present a range of hand-applied polished plaster wall finishes and the latest additions to its luxury Signature Collection. Armourcoat will also launch the new Armourcoat Acoustic Plaster System, designed to optimise the acoustics of interior spaces. Armourcoat products are made from natural minerals including recycled Italian marble, contain low or zero VOCs, and have the added confidence of a full 10-year guarantee. T. +44 (0)1732 460 668 E: Twitter: Armourcoat

James Latham James Latham has become a major distributor of Abet Laminati, a leading manufacturer of decorative high pressure laminate (HPL). In a move which significantly strengthens its credentials as a leading laminate supplier in the UK, James Latham will be offering the full Abet range across all nine of its nationwide panel depots. ‘Abet has always focused strongly on creativity and innovation, and with links to the best Italian and international designers in the business, they offer a diverse range of laminates in many colours, styles and textures to suit almost any application Rob Smith, Latham’s group laminate manager, T. +44 (0)116 257 3415 E: Twitter: lathamsltd

Surface Styling For designers and specifiers, the Surface Styling design resource can take the headache out of sourcing the multiple surfaces that are required for interior projects. The portfolio embraces the world’s most innovative materials with more than 12,000 product lines to choose from. Products on display at 100% Design in September will include a new worksurface range made from the specialist nanotechnology surface, Fenix NTM, plus the latest additions to Avonite, Hanex and Hanex Stratum solid surface, Showerwall bathroom panelling, the Swiss Krono One World collection of decorative panels and Malmo luxury vinyl flooring. Visit Stand D302 at the show. T. +44 (0)845 603 7811 E: Twitter: SurfaceStyling

CD (UK) Corian has been specified by architect Object Space Place at the Victoria Gate and Victoria Quarter shopping centres in Leeds to create landlord furniture and kiosks. Corian helps to achieve a strong yet elegant and cohesive design statement that connects the historic Victorian arcade with a modern retail setting. Running through the shopping arcades are a series of elliptical information desks, plus seating booths and other elements, all formed from the refined beauty and adaptability of Corian. In the recently introduced Deep Nocturne colour — part of a series of rich, saturated dark tones made with DeepColour Technology — these organically flowing elements make a distinctive impact while offering multi-functionality. T. +44 (0)800 962 116 E. Twitter: coriandesign



LIGHTING Megaman Working with distributor Artelum, Megaman’s LED Tube was specified for Argentian sports retailer Dexter for its Buenos Aires store — an ideal alternative to T8 fluorescent tubes and suitable for retrofitting. The 18W LEDs also help to provide the requisite ambience due to the cool white colour temperature of 4,000k and an impressive 1,750 lumens. To enhance the merchandise on display, Megaman’s 10.5W PAR30s LEDs were installed in the track fixtures. A custom-built lighting fixture was created by Artelum, comprising nine dimmable 15W GU10 AR111 LEDs T. +44 (0)1707 386 000 E: Twitter: MegamanUKLtd

Hacel Lighting The Aleda range of ported downlighters offers maximum versatility to a host of lighting scenarios. Available in Solo, Duet or Trio formats with a refined and discreet semi-recessed port, the distinctive luminaires are aesthetically designed with the inclusion of Aleda downlighters, offering excellent pan and tilt adjustment further enhancing the products outstanding appeal. Available in a choice of lumen outputs, delivering up to 5,029 lumens per Aleda head, including efficacies up to 127 lm/W, the Aleda range features the latest single point LED modules and converters, with a life expectancy in excess of 60,000 hours (L70, B10) and colour stability within 3 MacAdams. T. +44 (0)191 280 9911 E: Twitter: Hacel1

Megaman Pedal On in Tadley, Hampshire recently underwent a refurbishment, specifying Megaman’s Dino LED batten range to help accentuate the products on display. To create a high quality environment for customers, it was decided that Megaman’s 63W Dino LED battens, supplied by Wilson Electrical in Basingstoke, would create the even and bright distribution of light desired. The integrated LED battens produce up to 6,500 lumens, have a colour temperature of 4,000K and offer a 50,000-hour lamp life. However, it is the considerable increase in light due to the beam angle of 120 degrees that has had the biggest impact on the store’s overall ambiance. In fact, the Pedal On team feel that improved visibility of the extensive product range has led to an increase in sales. T. +44 (0)1707 386 000 E: Twitter: MegamanUKLtd


Ansorg The ultra-flexible, award-winning Coray family is a range of universal fittings for all retail applications, from decorative lighting to the illumination of peripheral and central areas. The luminaires come in various sizes and designs, providing dynamic yet consistently stylish lighting. The powerful driver is invisibly integrated and all surface-mounted luminaires rotate 360 degrees and pivot 90 degrees. The accessories range includes reflectors, collimators, glasses and films which can be used as required to ensure optimum light distribution in brilliant quality, and excellent colour rendition whatever the ceiling height. T. +44 (0)20 7954 3058 E:



However you choose to fit out your retail interior, the SDEA Retail Display Directory will link you to specialist manufacturers and suppliers of innovative and exciting retail display products and services.

Be inspired by a diverse collection of creative retail interiors.

Order your free copy today by calling SDEA on 01883 348911, or email

Shop and Display Equipment Association

24 Croydon Road, Caterham, Surrey, CR3 6YR T: 01883 348911 F: 01883 343435 E: W:


TECHNOLOGY Futura Retail Solutions Whether you are a well-established brand with multiple software systems that aren’t communicating properly or are looking to expand, the choice of a retail management system could make all the difference to your future growth. Drawing on the company’s 30 years’ experience in delivering retail management systems to more than 35,000 users, Futura has put together a guide to help you through the critical stages of selecting a new solution. Visit and click on the link on the home page to receive your guide. T. +44 (0)1189 841 925 E. Twitter: Futura_retail

Peerless-AV Pioneer Group has been selected to install displays across three iSmash branches in London. The express repairers of smartphones, tablets and computers chose the AV and IT project expert for its premium quality 55in high brightness displays. Mounted using a Single Pole Modular System from AV technology pioneer Peerless-AV, the displays deliver attractive in-window advertising to entice passers-by. The Peerless-AV floor-to-ceiling Modular System consists of a mount, adaptor and a 50mm chrome pole fixed to heavy duty ceiling and floor plates, which can be mounted to wood or concrete. The versatile design allows displays to be positioned at any point along the column for perfect viewing height.

NEC Display Solutions NEC Display Solutions Europe has announced a collaboration with Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu Core and Screenly, the leading digital signage software solution for Raspberry Pi. This is one of several partnerships NEC has made with digital signage software companies leveraging Raspberry Pi as part of their digital signage solution. The joint collaboration facilitates an innovative digital signage solution which uses NEC’s P and V Series 40in–55in large format displays and modular Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3 (CM3) to deliver high impact visual content in an integrated package for professional AV applications. When it comes to deploying signage in professional environments, not only the playback performance is paramount, but also the overall user experience and the overall platform security, reliability and manageability are vital. This collaboration is a strategic move by NEC to highlight these capabilities within the brand’s versatile range of display solutions, and is in line with NEC’s Open Modular intelligent computing strategy. T. +44 (0)870 120 1160 E. Twitter: NEC_Display_UK


T. +44 (0) 1923 200 100 E: Twitter: PeerlessAVEU

imageHOLDERS imageHOLDERS continues developing its standard products to securely enclose specialist devices to create multi-device solutions. The Slimline+ tablet enclosure can now securely enclose biometric readers in response to market demand. imageHOLDERS are now able to securely enclose biometric readers within their Shell+, Integrator Pro and now Slimline+ tablet enclosures. This ensures that any mount or tablet size can be securely enclosed within one of imageHOLDERS stylish tablet kiosks. T. +44 (0)1202 892 863 E: Twitter: imageHOLDERS


Virtual Reality, Real Insights How shoppers make purchase decisions is at the core of marketing research. But there’s one big problem with analysing shopping environments: they’re dynamic and interactive, meaning that the environment influences shopper behaviour as much as shoppers influence the environment. This presents a challenge because it’s often difficult to control the environment for shopper research making it difficult to test new ideas in contextually relevant settings. Recent developments in virtual reality present a genuine opportunity for advancing shopper research through immersive environments that can be interacted with but are under the control of the researcher. Of course, it’s not just about how people interact; tools like eye-tracking and other biometric measures are now core research tools that are used to study precisely how the environment influences behaviour and decision-making, particularly at an unconscious level. Combining tools like VR and eye-tracking can be tricky, and typically requires significant programming experience. But thankfully that’s about to change. The eye-tracking experts at Acuity Intelligence created AcuityVR — a tool which allows real-time gaze data to be captured, replayed and analysed in fully immersive 3D Virtual Reality. Heat-maps, gaze replays and detailed analytics for every element in the environment are combined with journey mapping for individual and aggregate shopper insights. Best of all, because we’re experts in eye-movements, you don’t need to be – everything is done automatically and immediately. AcuityVR works with multiple new and existing VR headsets, and with almost any Unity environment, so you can reuse existing assets to test new ideas. If you don’t already have your own environments, fear not, we can help there too.

Taking advantage of new technologies like VR can give you a real edge, but it can also be a bit scary to be ahead of the pack. Acuity Intelligence offers full service research using AcuityVR meaning you can try before you buy. If the real world is sometimes just a little too real and makes it too expensive, too slow or simply too difficult to test your ideas in, Virtual Reality might just be for you. Follow-us on Twitter @AcuityVR or contact us on to find out more and arrange a demo. 59

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FLOORING Polyflor Vinyl flooring manufacturer Polyflor has added new wood effect designs to its relaunched Forest fx PUR flooring collection, incorporating the latest commercial interior trends into one of the company’s most popular sheet vinyl ranges. The expanded 18 design heterogeneous collection features nine new shades, including two parquet effect designs for dramatic statement floors as well as a selection of contemporary grey-toned oaks and rustic wood designs which add variety to the collection. The Forest fx range is available in a practical and resilient 2.0mm gauge vinyl sheet format with a 0.7mm wear layer, making it ideal for high traffic, heavy commercial environments in the education, healthcare, leisure, retail, housing and office sectors. T. +44 (0)161 767 1111 E: Twitter: Polyflorltd

Junckers Riverside Campus at City of Glasgow College has won a multitude of architectural awards for its outstanding design. Home to the Maritime College, the new building features a grand atrium where Junckers 22mm Oak Harmony finished in Ultramatt laquer was specified for the expansive staircase and walkway. The flooring adds natural warmth to the large, open space and provides a hardwearing surface for a busy college environment. The flooring contractor was McKay Flooring. Junckers solid hardwood flooring is made from renewable, sustainable forests. T. +44 (0)1376 534 700 E. Twitter: junckersfloors

Havwoods Introduce the grandeur of French parquet flooring to interiors with the Versailles panels from wood surface specialist, Havwoods. Named after the famous Palace of Versailles, where in 1684 the iconic diagonal parquet flooring was introduced to replace the old marble covering, this surface is now synonymous with luxury and elegance. Havwoods‘ Versailles design is perfect for adding depth and intricacy to a space. Continuing the time-honored artistry of this historical pattern, customers can choose from six distinctive finishes including the deep rich tones of Antique and Drift, and the cool palettes seen in Eston and Unity. T. +44 (0)1524 737 000 E: Twitter: havwoods

Polyflor Hardwearing wood effect Expona Flow commercial flooring from Polyflor has given a new lease of life to the National Waterways Museum in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire. Lancashire based interior designers BWD Ltd were contracted to manage the design and build of the museum refurbishment project and selected Polyflor’s Expona Flow PUR sheet vinyl flooring in Sun Bleached Oak for the reception area, shop and Waterside Café. Featuring wood grain detail for added authenticity and subtle cool tones, this floorcovering complements the interior design scheme perfectly, improving the experience of visitors as soon as they enter the museum. Available in a two metrewide format with a 2mm gauge and 0.7mm wear layer, the UK manufactured Expona Flow PUR flooring collection includes 50 high performance wood, stone and abstract designs. T. +44 (0)161 767 1111 E. Twitter: Polyflorltd



SIGNAGE & DISPLAY Signwaves Signwaves has expanded its café barrier range by introducing the cost effective stainless steel alternative, the Adfresco LT. The new stanchions (pole) and base offering has the same ‘top clip’ mechanism as the original Adfresco units, and is used in conjunction with the top cross rail for banner fit. To allow for further savings the new LT only comes with bottom bungee tethers to secure the banner into place. The Adfresco LT has a low profile base with a weight of 10kg, however it still benefits from being concrete filled and therefore provides superb stability. T. +44 (0)1493 419 300 E: Twitter: Signwaves_Ltd

Graphica Display Graphica Display specialises in the design, production and installation of retail and commercial interior graphics and signage. From roll-outs to promotional displays, branding to exhibition and event graphics, Graphica Display has the solution for you. Find out more about the company at its new and exciting website: T. +44 (0)845 373 0073 E: Twitter: graphicatweet

DURABLE (UK) Tablets are a versatile POS solution for presenting product and customer sales information. Durable’s versatile TABLET HOLDER range enables you to present tablets in any customer facing retail environment including stores and showrooms. With its stylish design and premium aluminium finish, the TABLET HOLDER FLOOR stand is a versatile retail accessory. The screen can be smoothly adjusted and rotated and a cable channel at the rear allows the tablet to charge whilst in use. Simple one-handed operation makes placing and removing the tablet fast and easy, and the tablet also can be secured into place via a locking system which prevents theft during use. T. +44 (0)1202 897 071 E. Twitter: durableuk

Anchor Magnets Attract is a multifunction, double or single-sided magnetic display system, designed for use throughout a retail environment. The versatile nature of Attract allows it to be installed as a free-standing, wall-mounted or suspended unit. Attract contains an internal magnetic surface housed within an elegant, sleek frame. The magnetic surface works in conjunction with printed ferrous media such as digifilm, which is overlaid onto the magnetic surface. Displays to be quickly and easily changed or updated, and promotional messaging to be added instantly. T. +44 (0)114 244 1171 E. Twitter: AnchorMagnets



VM & DISPLAY DecoWoerner Red and gold are evergreens, always in demand for a true festive Christmas decoration. Classic stars and sphere shine brilliantly, but red minideer and berries, in various formats, also exude festive charm. Red and gold always goes well with wood, which contrasts the lustre with is naturalness. The Nutcracker is also a fascinating eye-catcher, naturally in gold and red. Original items such as an antique oven and xxl-biscuit cutters provide inspiration for the well-loved tradition of Christmas baking. DecoWoerner — visual merchandising and decoration specialists. T. +44 (0)20 7754 5499 E. Twitter: DekoWoerner

Tenn Hunter approached the team at Tenn to help make their visual ideas for a quick and simple window and in-store display become reality through a series of curated props. Tenn sourced a series of pre-cut wooden trunks and stumps, themed picnic blankets and sprayed stackable suitcases. It was then down to Hunter’s talented VM team to curate this store takeover. T. +44 (0)203 488 1210 E: Twitter: TennLtd

Andy Thornton The new Dr. Martens store in Camden tells the story of the brand’s spiritual home with images and artefacts from the mid 1900’s through to the present day, with select industrialstyle retail display fittings sourced from Andy Thornton. Many visual merchandising pieces from Andy Thornton’s hugely successful Vintage Style Collection can be seen around the store, complementing the original brickwork and stripped pine flooring. This Post Office shelving unit, which incorporates multi wire-mesh compartments and is ideal for displaying various styles of the famous brand, blends seamlessly with the period arched metal window frames and original props. T. +44 (0)1422 3760 00 E. Twitter: andythorntonltd


bbrown bbrown is part of the Muraspec Decorative solutions Group which specialises in manufacturing and supplying wallcoverings, fabrics and other decorative finishes for the interiors market. bbrown concentrates its efforts on the display market and continues to offer both stocked products from its standard collection as well as a sourcing service, which finds solutions for a variety of projects from the company’s network of regular suppliers who understand the time and delivery pressures as well as the budget restraints in the retail market. bbrown continues to research and offer relevant display materials and is always up for a challenge. T. +44 3705 340 340 E. Twitter: luvbbrown


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focus on PROPS

From a giant 5m-high giraffe to vintage pieces for a magic inspired interior, this month we bring you a wide mix of items that have helped to create the wow factor both in window schemes and in store.

Standing tall Animals took over Oasis on Argyll Street, London in August in celebration of the brand’s collaboration with the Zoological Society of London. Greeting customers inside the store entrance was a giant 5m-high giraffe, surrounded by mannequins wearing the new collection. A zebra and tiger were also created for the window scheme. The props, windows and in-store scheme were produced in collaboration with Harlequin Design.

Kitted out Millington Associates produced and installed the Tottenham Hotspur FC Vs Chelsea FC kit launch at Niketown London to showcase this historic London derby. The kit launch began with an interior sculpture, 420 painted footballs placed on a bespoke green turf wall with the Tottenham cockerel and Chelsea lion overlaid in neon lights. This carved a path to a series of chrome mannequins on plinths showcasing the home and away vapor max core kits. North and West walls presented official merchandise from both teams on crafted shelves and wall bays complete with player imagery. In the main core space a mannequin fan army replicated the passion of the terraces.

Festive cheer Graham Sweet Studios has designed a new range of VM Bauble Shelves for the festive season. Designed especially for smaller items of merchandise including jewellery, watches and perfume, the new style bauble display props are ideal to showcase delicate, more high-end goods. The curved walls of the shelves are a more elegant alternative to the original VM Bauble Shelves, making them ideal options for premium displays. Whether finished in a coloured glitter or with a sleek matt black finish, the shelves add a touch of class to store windows. They are supplied as standard with a clear acrylic shelf, and can be hung inside a window or in-store area with ribbon or thin nylon.



Slight of hand To celebrate the launch of Ted Baker’s new store in Los Angeles, Prop Studios designed and produced a range of props for the windows and store. Taking inspiration from past magicians like Harry Houdini, the new store pays tribute to The Magic Castle. Prop Studios sourced one-off vintage items, which were then reworked to compliment the décor and architecture of The Magic Castle. A stack of old books with a vase of flowers were designed to hang upside down. Magician hoops with suspended playing cards, together with white doves and a white rabbit in a top hat, were strategically worked to surprise and delight, like magical memorabilia. The team also created warped chequered walls, distorted mirrors and perfectly angled mannequin legs to form a weird and wonderful illusion.

Focal point For Harvey Nichols’ womenswear department in London’s Knightsbridge, design specialist Tenn sourced and supplied a series of white dowels of mixed lengths and sizes to create an interesting focal point. Harvey Nichols suspended the dowels overhead in womenswear to create a statement and eye catching nest of glowing poles. A perfectly simple yet creative project.

Make the call This pop-up display for Vodafone at Harrods was created to advertise the company’s summer tariffs. It featured a fully operational conveyor belt and holiday props. The miniature luggage was all painted by hand and included suitcases, deck chairs, sun glasses, flip flops and beach balls. The base unit came with hand-sculpted palm trees and sand. Stylo designed, manufactured and installed the stand.


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DIREcTORIES Visit the Retail Focus online directory at to discover a comprehensive list of the UK’s leading retail suppliers. Each listing contains indepth company information together with inspirational images, video footage and informative press material. You can also link through to company websites and connect with suppliers through Twitter and Facebook. The Retail Supplier Directory is divided into a number of categories, such as design agencies, point-of-purchase, lighting, props and surfaces, to make the site easy to navigate. To feature in the online directory, contact Terry Clark on 0845 6807405 or email



Aluminium Fittings

Specialist Stockist of Aluminium Extrusions and Mild Steel Fittings for the shopfitting industry. Extensive stock held of: *Slotted uprights *Aluminium slatwall *Perimeter Sections *Corner sections *Design and bespoke service. T: 01273 582241 E: W: S.

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Bespoke Display

Bespoke Display

Design Consultancies

Axis design, develop, manufacture and install bespoke retail display solutions. We’ve worked with the biggest names on the high street, but approach every project in the same way, with the maximum thought for your brand, products and sales environment.

Spur Creative Workshop deliver unique visual merchandising solutions for retail brands. Boasting a wealth of experience in high quality prop making we create display concepts for window staging, POS and brand awareness campaigns.

We are a global retail agency. Visual Thinking develops strategy, skills, hearts and minds to deliver retail excellence and transform brand performance.

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Bespoke Display

T, +44 (0) 1788 543 331 E. W. S.

Design Consultancies

MicroSlat is a strong versatile 25mm fine pitched aluminium slatwall system. With a bespoke range of components it can be used to build unique and interesting displays or add value to existing designs.

Original suppliers of display fabrics, textiles, PVC and polycarbonates for retail displays and exhibition stands since 1934 Backgrounds have been our background since backgrounds began and B Brown have more than 400 in stock.

Walker Bros (Elland) Ltd is an Engineering Manufacturing company specialising in sheet metalwork and plastic fabrication. We supply precision metal and plastic products, components and light fabrications to a broad range of industries and markets throughout the UK and Europe.

IGNITION is an independent creative company Our multi-disciplined team work together to deliver exceptional retail and commercial environments, global exhibitions and brands.

T. 01325 351 276 E. W. S.

T, 08705 340 340 E. W. S.

T: 0 01422 310767 E: W:

T, +44 (0) 1179 725168 E. W.

Audio Visual Integration

Anna Valley looks to help guide clients with their audio visual decision making by offering high end impartial advice and help manoeuvre them through the current “minefield” of different technology and services available to them. This process then enables them to have a clear vision of what they are actually striving to achieve within the budget available to them and then provides a full range of services in the delivery of that vision.

Bespoke Display

Hello Flamingo is a creative company for the retail and event sector, specialising in window displays, in store solution, POP ups, project management, design, manufacture and installation for bespoke projects at our fully equipped manufacturing workshop.

Brochure Holders

Design Consultancies

Brochure Holders International Limited is part of the global Taymar group recognised as a leading manufacturer of premium quality injection moulded leaflet holders and display solutions. Committed to on-going product development the Taymar group offers one of the world’s largest collections of ‘clear view’ wall, floor and counter standing brochure displays.

We are TWO Visual, the retail agency specialising in visual merchandising. Led by brand directors Jeanette Cheetham and Brendan Gordon we provide everything retailers need to make their brands visually dynamic, whilst improving team and commercial performance.

T: +44 (0)1473 229250 E: W:

T, +44 (0) 1858 414275 E. W. www. S.

T: +44 (0)208 941 1000 E: W:

T: 01273 585768 E: W: S.

Balloons & Bunting

Bespoke Display

Climate Control


No.1 Advertising Balloon Service: • Printed Latex and Foil Balloons • Helium Gas delivery and collection • Flags, Bunting and Banners • Promotional Sashes and T-shirts • Multi-store distribution nationwide

KSF provides retail merchandising display solutions to retailers, brands and trade customers from CONCEPT to COMPLETION via our global supply chain (China/UK/East EU) to deliver LOWER total cost of ownership. YOU’VE TRIED THE REST; NOW PUT US TO THE TEST.

Air Control & Development Ltd are Daikin, Mitsubishi and Toshiba accredited contractors, specialising in providing quality air conditioning, ventilation and overdoor heater installations, service & maintenance within the retail sector.

arken are a UK design and manufacturing facility creating bespoke poster display solutions. As well as our bespoke offer, we provide off the shelf products such as poster frames, light boxes, poster hanging systems, pavement signs, forecourt signs, all available in a range of colours and sizes.

T, 01494 774376 E. W.

T: +44 (0)8450 944 699 E: W: S:

T 01922 455523 E: W: S:

T: +44 (0)1638 565656 E: W:




Focused on our customer’s unique needs, with expert knowledge of the procurement market, and a firm grip on the entire visual merchandising supply chain, we are specialists in designing and delivering complex point of sale projects.

T +49 (0) 911 97 13 389 E: W:


Display - DIGITAL


Internationally acclaimed, award winning unique magnetic wall system offers instant flexibility & creative choice to architects, interiors & store designers. Since launching the magnIQ system in 2006 the response has been quite phenomenal. To date the system has won 13 prestigious awards and is now internationally recognised justifying the many years Rare Basic spent on research and development.

Crystal Display Systems is already a leading UK designer, distributor and value added reseller of flat panel display solutions. We have a vast array of media players, interactive displays, videowalls and shelf edge displays. Our knowledge and expertise has also led to us being one of the European leaders in transparent LCD.

Spur Creative Workshop deliver unique visual merchandising solutions for retail brands. Boasting a wealth of experience in high quality prop making we create display concepts for window staging, POS and brand awareness campaigns.

T +44 (0)20 8348 9888 E: W: S:

T: +44 (0) 1634 292 025 E: W: S.

T 01892 890608 E: W S: spur_creative



Display - DIGITAL


Durable have been one of Europe’s largest business supplies manufacturers for almost 100 years. We’re pioneers in developing and producing innovative solutions designed for retail from literature displays and POS to signage and display solutions.

Spur Creative Workshop deliver unique visual merchandising solutions for retail brands. Boasting a wealth of experience in high quality prop making we create display concepts for window staging, POS and brand awareness campaigns.

We provide total end to end solutions encompassing all aspects of designing, implementing, managing and supporting multi-faceted marketing technology concepts and Digital Screen Media networks.

We create bespoke tailored solutions for retail, interiors, exhibitions, museums and 3D and we know one size does not fit all. Our teams are always ready for the challenges, big or small.

T 01892 890608 E: W S: spur_creative

T, +44 (0)845 481 8020 E. S.

T: 01923 800666 E: W: S.

T. 01202 897 071 E. W. S.


We are ICON. We create and deliver engaging brand and live experiences, particularly in the retail sector.

T: +44 (0) 20 7593 5200 E: W: S:




Providing Scotland’s signage, exhibition displays, digitally printed wallpapers, LED flex faces, light boxes and window graphics. Located in the centre of Scotland we are ideally situated to cover your requirements throughout Scotland. We can offer huge savings with an excellent, professional and prompt service

Offering an extensive range of EPOS hardware from world class suppliers such as Star Micronics, Honeywell and Posiflex, DED offer the complete EPOS hardware solution alongside a unique rewritable loyalty system.

Graphica Display print, produce and install retail graphics including till point graphics, window graphics, LED lightboxes, cut & printed vinyl and much more. Nationwide & Euorpean delivery and installation.

T: 0131 337 1237 E: W: FB: Specialized-Signs

T: 01797 320636 E: W: S:



Impulse POP specialises in Point of Purchase display systems for the Retail sector. We offer many years of experience in all aspects of retail design, with in house manufacture - including quick turnaround prototypes, or overseas manufacture, delivery, installation and retail merchandising.

Woodwood Group –Tx Frame UK are a specialist in tension fabric display systems and LED light boxes. We are able to deliver the highest quality service with a friendly but professional approach to ensure you receive the spectacular results you deserve.

Armourcoat is the world’s foremost supplier of polished plasters, sculptural effects and innovative surface finishes.

T, 01767 682756 E. S.

T, 01376 295 016 E. W.

T. +44 (0)1732 460 668 E. W. S.



T: 0845 3730073 E: S.


We create bespoke tailored solutions for retail, interiors, exhibitions, museums and 3D and we know one size does not fit all. Our teams are always ready for the challenges, big or small.

T: 01923 800666 E: W: S.


interactive displays




Crystal Display Systems is already a leading UK designer, distributor and value added reseller of flat panel display solutions. We have a vast array of media players, interactive displays, videowalls and shelf edge displays. Our knowledge and expertise has also led to us being one of the European leaders in transparent LCD.

Rootstein Display Mannequins is a creative mannequin manufacturer and renovation specialist - delivering both ready-made and bespoke concepts for fashion retailers, globally.

Suppliers of innovative P.O.S display equipment and quality shopping baskets. In addition to our standard range of products we work with clients to create bespoke solutions to suit specific requirements.

Durable have been one of Europe’s largest business supplies manufacturers for almost 100 years. We’re pioneers in developing and producing innovative solutions designed for retail from literature displays and POS to signage and display solutions.

T: +44 (0) 1634 292 025 E: W: S.

T: +44 20 7381 1447 E: W: S. @rootstein_

T: +44 (0)1924 468940 E: W: S.

T. 01202 897 071 E. W. S.


LED Solutions are a specialist LED lighting supplier who can offer you a wide variety of bespoke lighting solutions for the sign, shop fitting and display industries.

T: 0116 262 5933 E: W: S. LEDSolutionsUK

Literature Display

Brochure Holders International Limited is part of the global Taymar group recognised as a leading manufacturer of premium quality injection moulded leaflet holders and display solutions. Committed to on-going product development the Taymar group offers one of the world’s largest collections of ‘clear view’ wall, floor and counter standing brochure displays. T: +44 (0)1473 229250 E: W:


Air Control & Development Ltd are Daikin, Mitsubishi and Toshiba accredited contractors, specialising in providing quality air conditioning, ventilation and overdoor heater installations, service & maintenance within the retail sector.

T 01922 455523 E: W: S:


Harrison Products provide one the largest ranges of POS and Display componentry in the UK. We are able to supply off the shelf and customised products to suit your project. We pride ourselves on our industry leading service and super quick delivery options.

T: +44 (0)1451 830083 E: W


Durable have been one of Europe’s largest business supplies manufacturers for almost 100 years. We’re pioneers in developing and producing innovative solutions designed for retail from literature displays and POS to signage and display solutions.

T. 01202 897 071 E. W. S.


We are ICON. We create and deliver engaging brand and live experiences, particularly in the retail sector.

T: +44 (0) 20 7593 5200 E: W: S:

pop up


Hello Flamingo is a creative company for the retail and event sector, specialising in window displays, in store solution, POP ups, project management, design, manufacture and installation for bespoke projects at our fully equipped manufacturing workshop.

GENESIS MANNEQUINS design and produce high-class and trend-lead shop window mannequins, busts and displays for the international fashion industry. Additionally we offer style, trend and product consultation as well as a comprehensive after-sales service.

T: 01273 585768 E: W: S.

T: +49 (0) 5752 1803 0 E: W: S:

Retail Consultancy


We are a global retail agency. Visual Thinking develops strategy, skills, hearts and minds to deliver retail excellence and transform brand performance.

Rootstein Display Mannequins is a creative mannequin manufacturer and renovation specialist - delivering both ready-made and bespoke concepts for fashion retailers, globally.

T, +44 (0) 1788 543 331 E. W. S.

T: +44 20 7381 1447 E: W: S. @rootstein_


Specialist Stockist of Aluminium Extrusions and Mild Steel Fittings for the shopfitting industry. Extensive stock held of: *Slotted uprights *Aluminium slatwall *Perimeter Sections *Corner sections *Design and bespoke service. T: 01273 582241 E: W: S.


We are a global retail agency. Visual Thinking develops strategy, skills, hearts and minds to deliver retail excellence and transform brand performance.

T, +44 (0) 1788 543 331 E. W. S.



STEVE MURRAY AS CEO of global iconic brand Dr. Martens, Steve Murray’s role centres around building its unique heritage both in the UK and globally. Here he talks about expansion plans for the shoe giant, the new flagship in Camden and the role of the physical store.

RF.  How did your career lead you to Dr. Martens? SM. D  r. Martens is an iconic brand with an iconic product and a very unique history. I’ve spent my career with great, globally recognised brands where building on a unique heritage is key — including Vans and Urban Outfitters, whose customers and business models have many parallels with that of DM. In addition, I’ve spent almost half my working life in the US, which is Dr. Martens’ biggest market, and I also have extensive experience in both Asia and Continental Europe. More than 80 per cent of Dr. Martens’ revenues are from outside the UK so I guess the international component was a big factor. RF.  Who is the Dr. Martens customer? SM. T  he customer we’re most often associated with are those who want to stand out from the crowd — those not afraid to look different. Through the years there have been many social tribes who’ve adopted Dr. Martens as part of their uniform — punks, goths, scooter boys, grunge enthusiasts, you name it. Usually with a particular musical genre associated with the look. However, we started as a work boot and a big part of our business is still industrial, where the customer is firmly blue collar and more focused on functionality of the product — comfort, durability, protection and so on — than they are the more rebellious aspects of the brand. More recently we seem to have been adopted by a fashion customer too, and in certain parts of the world we have a substantial casual business where the consumer is more mainstream.

RF. Can you tell us about Dr. Martens’ expansion plans? SM. W  e have big plans for the future. Firstly, geographical – historically we’ve been over-reliant on two markets, the UK and the US, but we’ve recently been growing dramatically in Asia, Canada and Continental Europe. We’re investing a lot in these new markets. Secondly, we’re expanding our direct-to-consumer business, not just by opening new stores but by turbo-charging our digital capabilities. It’s important to recognise that we don’t just see this as a trading channel, although obviously giving our customers the opportunity to view the entire product line the way they want to buy it is important. But we also see it as a way to share news — music events, our artist community, our connection to local activities. Lastly, product — although we’re incredibly proud of our Originals line, in recent years we’ve extended and updated the type of footwear we make and can now point to significant success in areas such as vulcanised pumps, sandals, women’s heels and more athletically-inspired casual shoes.

RF.  Can you tell us about your new store concept in Camden? RF.  How do you feel the role of the physical store has changed? SM.  It really is an experiential store concept, and it’s the location and the store elements that make the space really special. Even though we’re very proud of our manufacturing heritage, we regard Camden as the brand’s spiritual home because of its alternative vibe, diverse street culture and association with music. There are probably more Dr. Martens wearers in Camden than anywhere else. The building is a 19th century stable with lots of original features, and we echoed this in the store’s design, which is deliberately an industrial, stripped down, hard edged environment. Downstairs, we have a permanent live music space where we host some established and up-and-coming bands in collaboration with online radio specialist Mixcloud. Around the edge we showcase some of our music memorabilia and original items donated by the likes of The Joe Strummer Archive and Pauline Black of The Selector. We also installed a virtual reality experience, which takes customers on a virtual tour of our UK factory, showing them how a pair of DMs is made. Upstairs, we have a customisation area where you can personalise and create your very own DMs.


SM. O  ur own stores have gone through transformation over the last couple of years and we’ve spent a lot of time internally talking about how our store environment has to represent everything we want the brand to be. Hence why the design of our newer stores — and some of the older ones which have been refurbished —­ now use materials which emphasise our industrial roots such as burnished steel fixtures, reinforced industrial shelving, tough work benches reclaimed from factories, metal cages to merchandise our footwear, unvarnished antique flooring, etc. These design elements are combined with imagery lifted from the music side of Dr. Martens to give the customer a brand experience to go with their shopping experience. We think bricks and mortar stores will always be a critical part of our distribution mix, but for a brand like ours, only if we use them to tell a bigger story. To read the full interview visit

T 0207 3771776 FOLLOW US @blacksvisuallondon Blacks Visual London Blacks Visual London

Retail Focus September 2017  
Retail Focus September 2017  

Inspiration publication for the retail design industry