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First look: Johnstons of Elgin's London flagship

Scottish cashmere and woollen manufacturer Johnstons of Elgin opened its London flagship store and showroom at 77 New Bond Street today (December 7).

The shopfit, designed by Checkland Kindleysides, includes features from the mills in Elgin and Hawick, such as yarn spools and contrasting exposed brick.

“We wanted the customer to have the same experience as they would in the mill, in a subtle way,” explained Johnstons chief executive Simon Cotton.

On the choice of New Bond Street, he said: “We wanted a location that attracts the luxury shopper, but also international visitors.”

”This building allowed us to bring retail and wholesale together; have a flagship,” added George McNeil, managing director of the company’s retail division, who said they looked at 50 to 60 sites before settling on this one.

There are no plans to open more stores in the UK, but the business is looking at opportunities for international retail expansion. Outside of London it has three stores in Scotland – two based at its mills in Elgin and Hawick and one in St Andrews – and took over the operation of a Johnstons of Elgin store in Nantucket, Massachusetts, in January after the owner retired.

There are plans to redevelop the retail space in Elgin next year, although Cotton said it was too soon to reveal details.

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