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Shopwatch: Monsoon concept store at Westfield London

Monsoon Westfields London. Credit: G G Archard

With a focus on artisan craft and digital evolution, Monsoon’s new concept store in Westfield London is bright, bold and eye-catching.

Ground floor, Monsoon Westfields London. Credit: G G Archard

Ground floor, Monsoon Westfields London. Credit: G G Archard

Ground floor, Monsoon Westfields London. Credit: G G Archard

Monsoon has launched a new concept store in Westfield London. Despite having a presence in the shopping centre since 2008, this is a new location – the old store will be closing due to Westfield London’s overall redevelopment plans. The new space is just a few hundred metres from its previous location, replacing La Senza on the first floor. A newly designed Accessorize is also set to open two doors down later this year.

Monsoon Children Westfields London. Credit: G G Archard

Monsoon Children Westfields London. Credit: G G Archard

Monsoon Children Westfields London. Credit: G G Archard

The store, which opened on June 16, has a total sales area of 4,828 sq ft, split across two floors. Womenswear takes up half of the store, on the ground floor, with the first floor shared by occasionwear and childrens. The shop also stocks a curated selection from Accessorize.

Dan Leach, head of stores for Monsoon Accessorize, described the space as “an evolution and a refinement of the concept we’ve been working on since the redesign of Monsoon two and a half years ago.”

The concept focuses on digital, and the space is the first Monsoon with in-store screens. The store has three screens – two placed behind the tills – showing campaign imagery and patterns from the collection, as well as a video describing Monsoon’s artisan trust, which works with craftspeople across Asia to create a collection for the brand.

The shop front is dominated by a separate screen, showing animations including fabrics from the clothing collection. “We were quite late to adopt digital, so that’s something we really wanted to push,” said Leach. “The outside screen is more of an art installation.”

Fitting rooms, Monsoon Westfields London. Credit: G G Archard

Fitting rooms, Monsoon Westfields London. Credit: G G Archard

Fitting rooms, Monsoon Westfields London. Credit: G G Archard

A bright copper sculpture comprising 45,000 laser-cut butterflies also decorates the store front, linking to the children’s shop upstairs. The focus on art continues throughout. Wall decorations are provided by craft collective Turquoise Mountain, and works by artists Beatriz Milhazes and Arturo Herrera – donated by Monsoon owner Peter Simon from his personal art collection – are displayed in the changing rooms.

The store has also switched its visual merchandising stands from a dark wood to light, solid oak for rails, giving the space a sense of warmth, complementing Monsoon’s eclectic aesthetic. The amount of indirect and true colour lighting used in the store has also been increased, with halo illumination around mirrors in fitting rooms giving a soft, flattering effect with good colour rendition.

Leach describes the store as a “test bed for all new retail initiatives”. Any plans to roll out the concept to other stores depend on the Westfield store’s success.

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