London's Retail Landscape
London’s Retail Landscape
London’s retail landscape is evolving into a series of experiential spaces which integrate a brands online presence alongside enhancing customer experiences through special planning and engaging installations.
One noticeable trend is luxury brands are beginning to create immersive flagship stores to offer both a retail and exhibition experience into their customers. Matches, Stella McCartney and Roksanda have launched their flagship spaces in Mayfair, with each store seamlessly combining installations with shop-able spaces.
Inspired by their online presence, Matches has created their home, 5 Carlos Place, in a former 19th-centruy town house and invites customers to explore the space both physically and digitally. Using the existing architectural features and designer homeware throughout the building, each floor is designed to represent the brand through curated shop-able exhibitions, intimate personal stylist lounges, and a communal café and garden. The flexibility of the space allows for the brand to host numerous edits, events and exhibitions.
Whilst Matches offers flexibility to host a variety of collections and edits, Architect David Adjaye, has curated Roksanda’s first London boutique to be a fully immersed environment drawn as an extension of her fashion collections. Known for her geometric and symmetrical designs, the interior of her Mayfair store features a series of linear stacked and angled shapes and materials. From the zig zagging diamond clothing rails, parquet marble flooring, block work wall and sliced mirrors – customers find themselves a part of a physical Roksanda design.
In contrast, Stella McCartney’s new Bond Street store, explores the hot topic of sustainability in retail with a design led focus. Integrating recycled paper into wall panels, foams into cladding and raw concrete materials, the sensory experience of the store is complimented through artistic, architectural and sound installations whilst acting as a muted statement backdrop for luxury fashion.
Meanwhile, amongst London’s famous shopping highstreets, both department stores and high end fashion chains are reinventing their stores to capture and compliment their designers. Through muted tones and limited material palettes, high street shopping experiences are becoming contemporary theatrical environments.
Coinciding with their new head of creative, Riccardo Tisci’s, first collection, Burberry’s flagship Regent Street Store has been reimagined to celebrate the brands signature product. Through a series of soft curtain walls and partitions in “trench inspired-hues”, each room is designed to enhance a product collection. Tinted mirrors, plywood plinths and thick carpeted floors add layers of texture and tone throughout the space, whilst the former three-storey auditorium is now dedicated to host exhibitions and interactive art installations, creating an impactful juxtaposition to both the environment and experience.
Similarly, Selfridges London has launched its new accessories hall with a similar approach. With only three core materials, the terrazzo clad product displays create a monochrome overall look and feel. Softer colours and tones are added through colour blocked product display areas and walnut counter tables. Lifting the space and adding a contemporary gallery-like essence, linear features pendant lighting fill the ceiling and guide customers through the space. As one of London’s most prestigious shopping locations, this new contemporary environment offers a visually impactful experience against the buildings heritage.
Known for their creative instore experiences and installations, Korean based eyewear brand, Gentle Monster, has launched its first European store on London’s Argyll Street. On entering the store you are immediately greeted with the store’s Alien story concept that is seamlessly integrated throughout through the choice of primary materials, interactive sculptures, ceremonial sounds effects and fragrances. With raw, natural inspired materials creating an organic feel throughout the space and creating an alien planet-like environment, contrasting metallics, mirrors and gloss white surfaces host the brands featured product.
Finally, As the urban streetwear market continues to grow and take over London’s high street, California based brand, Stussy has launched its first permanent store in Soho. Capturing both the surf and skate culture through tone and texture, adding colour and presence the space is dominated by a mint green mesh partition, that contrasts the exposed materials used to create interior fixtures and fixings. Breeze blocks, timber and metal extrusions create a structural base whilst oversized planters and greenery add a natural sensory experience.