The US-inspired lifestyle brand has created a homely environment in its revamped Knightsbridge store
Classic contemporary with a nod to the building’s British heritage provides the theme for Gant’s revamped 2,650sq ft store on Brompton Road in Knightsbridge, west London.
On entering the store the first thing that stands out is the atmosphere of warmth and comfort, which is created by the use of soft lighting, wooden panelling, burning candles and flowers.
The Swedish lifestyle brand’s US East Coast-inspired men’s and women’s wear is merchandised by concept and divided into three sections, which occupy different rooms over three floors.
The ground floor is taken up by core menswear line GNH – which stands for Gant New Haven, with New Haven in the US being the place where founder Bernard Gant first started making shirts. The wooden shop fittings include open-panel wardrobes, tables and chests, while books, magazines, antique tennis rackets and artfully strewn jumpers sell the Gant lifestyle. Candles upon the cash desk add to the homely feel, while a flatscreen TV displays Gant fashion shows.
The smell of fresh coffee fills the air in the second concept room, named Rugger. It is located a few steps up from GNH on the first floor and contains the brand’s younger men’s range. It has a sofa area with magazines and a coffee machine, where customers are encouraged to relax. Gant’s head of retail Ella Hitchins says: “We looked at creating different areas, so people can discover other rooms. It puts the fun back into shopping.”
Vintage cartoon and film posters sit in a metal basket on a table, alongside knitwear and scarves. The lighting is bright, the colours are vivid and the atmosphere is fresh and vibrant. On the wall, three vintage photos are hung in metal frames, titled The Gant Attitude. They feature two young men playing tennis, a young couple walking in the countryside, and a father and son on a boat.
The third concept room on the first floor, named Elliot, is for the sophisticated, mature man. It features chocolate brown wooden walls, a metal fireplace, a leather armchair and soft lighting. Clothes are displayed on wooden shelves and free-standing metal rails.
Down a black and white staircase is the womenswear department, which is split again into the same three concepts, each reflecting the different lifestyles of the Gant woman. The decor replicates the menswear areas, with large wooden mirrors, soft furnishings, flowers and wooden panelling. The fitting rooms are welcoming and luxurious.
The store’s window displays give a snapshot into the brand’s preppy image, but Hitchins says: “We wanted to keep the windows minimalist, so the clothing could be the hero.”
Hitchins claims that customer feedback to the refurbished store has been excellent, and that sales have more than exceeded Gant’s expectations.
Gant Brompton Road, Knightsbridge,
Number of Gant stores worldwide: 330
Number of Gant stores in the UK: 12
Number of countries Gant is present in: 70
Brand launched in 1949