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Above Each of the women’s

fitting rooms has its own vintage wardrobe door entrance and theme, including a “Scottish” room, boasting tartan wallpaper, and a toy-strewn child’s playroom. The bathroomthemed room (top right) comes complete with a toilet seat that’s glued down to prevent it being mistaken for the real thing.

38 February 2011 | vmsd.com

new store opening and hoarding them in a Brixton warehouse ahead of the fit-out. So while each of the stores shares similarities, this is not cookie-cutter retailing; every branch is different. Burnett points out that the sign over the door states “White Stuff of George Street” and that it is a “local response to local people.” It’s the first time that White Stuff has done this, an attempt to show that the new arrival intends to be a firm part of the George Street commercial community. Standing at the entrance to the store, there’s just so much to look at. The majority of the first floor is womenswear, and the offerings are punctuated by unexpected elements such as a mounted, scarf-wearing antelope head and a cashwrap that looks like Ike’s general store from “The Waltons” (see cover). Cooper is keen to head upstairs and show off the fitting rooms for women. “They’re designed to be like

the wardrobes in [author C.S. Lewis’] ‘The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe,’ because when you step into them, you walk into a different world,” he says. And, indeed, when you open any of the vintage wardrobe doors that form the entrances to the fitting rooms, there’s the curious sensation of walking into a space that’s much larger than you’d expect. And each of these rooms has been themed, including a bathroom, a “Scottish” room and a child’s playroom. The point about all of this, Cooper says, is to “bring the outdoor and the unexpected into the store.” And, more pointedly, “It’s about making people smile,” he adds. “Not all of the detail will be picked up by every customer, but they may notice new things on successive visits.” It’s a strategy that puts White Stuff in a strong position. Sales at White Stuff soared 43 percent to £83.7m (roughly $130 million U.S.) in the 52 weeks to May 1. It also stands as testimony to the power of imaginative visual merchandising, as much as engaging store design, to get shoppers through the doors. x Project Suppliers Retailer

White Stuff Emporium, Edinburgh, Scotland Architect

AMD, London For a full list of suppliers, go to vmsd.com.

Visual Merchandising & Store Design - February 2011  

In this issue: Eye Candy - A playful clothing brand sets up shop in Scotland; Euroshop Preview; 2011 Outlook for Design Firms; Holiday Wind...

Visual Merchandising & Store Design - February 2011  

In this issue: Eye Candy - A playful clothing brand sets up shop in Scotland; Euroshop Preview; 2011 Outlook for Design Firms; Holiday Wind...

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