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Attic Clothing, Aberdeen

The popular Scottish young fashion indie’s complex puzzle of a revamp has won both plaudits and sales.

Aberdeen indie Attic Clothing’s revamped flagship store in The Academy shopping centre not only gave a big sales boost to the store but also won the business a prestigious Scottish Design Award.

The storefit, which was influenced by the puzzle game Jenga, beat off contenders to win in the interior design category. But more importantly, sales at the young fashion business have rocketed by 60% since the revamp last October.

McColl Architects was commissioned to create a design based on a geometric interlocking framework of blonde wood, after co-owner Richard McLaughlin and his brothers and co-owners Adam and Craig were inspired by the Jenga game.

The original 1,400sq ft building was stripped back to reveal some of its original features, and expanded to include two neighbouring units at the centre to create a significantly larger 4,000sq ft space, all at ground level.

The concept was based around the use of natural materials with a neutral colour scheme. There is wood, brick and concrete flooring with white walls, while the high ceilings with exposed ducting add an industrial look to store. The only other main colour is lime green, which is used as a signature and contrast colour on some fixtures.

Interlocking wooden frames run around the interior, and a complex lighting circuit allows a pattern of a hundred or so low voltage, low energy bulbs to be suspended from the ceiling, creating another standout visual feature.

The overall effect is a relaxed but stylish interior with subtle but distinct design features that form an uncluttered space which allows the on-trend, branded product to speak for itself in clearly demarcated areas. Despite the extra space, McLaughlin says there is actually less product on the shop floor than previously.“The shop was getting cluttered, but we didn’t have the space before,” he says. “Now we can give more of a commitment to the womenswear side of the business as well.”

The store is split into distinct areas. The premium area houses brands such as PRPS and Blue Blood, while the more casual sport and street area stocks Adidas Originals and Nike. There is also a womenswear boutique area featuring Diesel, Bolongaro Trevor and up-and-coming designers. Another area features graphic art T-shirts and other artist collaborations.

McLaughlin says: “It was a complex piece of engineering but is very visually impressive. It is much easier to shop and it creates a better shopping environment and something different. We have another shop at Inverurie in Scotland, but are looking to expand our business and knew that we needed to create a real showcase for what we are about. The response has been amazing”.

Attic Clothing The Academy, Belmont Street, Aberdeen

4,000sq ft: The size of the revamped store
60%: The sales uplift since the refurbishment
2001: The year the business was launched

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