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Eton, London

The men’s shirt retailer took a scholarly approach when refitting its London flagship.

Men’s shirting brand Eton has revamped its London store with a classic new concept. And with 80 years of men’s shirt-making tucked under its belt, the traditional shopfit is accurately pitched at its discerning customers.

The 500sq ft store on Kingsway in London’s Holborn is Eton’s only standalone unit in the UK and was in need of sprucing up after five years with the same shopfit.
The brief was a challenge: to build a new concept around one product category, shirts, which are notoriously tricky to merchandise in an interesting way. Retaining the brand’s heritage and values was paramount and the task of coming up with the new look fell to designer Morten Bogh Andersen of Danish design firm Morten.
Typically, shirts are merchandised either folded on tables, hung sideways or front facing, but as the shirt is Eton’s core product Bogh Andersen wanted to create a shopfit with innovative display techniques.

When it comes to selling shirts there is a heavy focus on sales per sq ft, says Bogh Andersen. “When I was creating the design for Eton it was important that the theme was flexible so the shirts can be showed off as well as possible,” he adds.

The new look feels right for the brand’s 20- to 80-year-old-plus customers. It is clean, sleek and elegant, and upon closer inspection an accomplished use of white and coloured lighting adds a contemporary twist and a contrast to the sober shopfit. The lighting is this store’s strength – a huge, dandelion-shaped light dangles from the ceiling and makes for a bold and quirky design feature.

Bogh Andersen came up with a study or library theme, but with books replaced by shirts, of which hundreds line the shelves in a disciplined fashion. Each shirt has its own cubby hole-like shelf and one shirt from each block is hung front facing.

Colour is key with tones and patterns, from fuchsia pinstripe to baby blue gingham, helping to brighten up the display.

A ladder sits on a rail which runs the full length of the shelving, again playing on the library-come-study theme, but this also has a more practical use, enabling shop assistants to access the vast collection of shirts, some of which are stored 12ft above ground level.

A sophisticated mixture of materials have been used in the shopfit. The shelving and display units are made from masculine, high-gloss black oak, while black stone paving adds coolness to the shop floor. A vast square of damson-coloured carpet brings colour and texture.

The most interesting design touch is a shaft of brightly coloured light, which sits across the top of the shelving units and changes from green to pink and from yellow to blue on a slow timer. As well as being a novel feature in itself, this adds a modern touch to the more traditional nature of Eton’s shopfit.


Essentials

7%: The sales uplift following the new shopfit
1,000: Number of shirts on the shop floor
1: Number of times the windows are changed each month

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