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Shopwatch: Jaeger

After 50 years at its King’s Road address, Jaeger’s smart revamp brings it up to date while staying true to its heritage.

With its elegant boutiques and affluent postcode, there is a certain expectation when it comes to shopfit and design on the King’s Road in Chelsea - and Jaeger’s newly refurbished store does not disappoint.

Having occupied the 145 King’s Road store for more than 50 years - since February 21, 1964 - Jaeger has repositioned the space by stripping out menswear to focus entirely on its women’s collection. The new look immediately impresses with a modern, fresh façade with simple signage and windows dedicated to its autumn 14 range.

And the mannequins in the windows displaying the latest collection are not just any mannequins. Jaeger has worked with design firm Iconeme to use VMBeacon mannequins, which send mobile alerts about products merchandised direct to the smartphones of customers with the Iconeme app.

The two-floor, 3,000 sq ft store opened on the corner with Flood Street on September 4 and represents a new retail concept for Jaeger. It is part of chief executive Colin Henry’s five-year plan “to return Jaeger to its position as one of Britain’s best loved, premium heritage brands”, set out in autumn 2013. He adds: “A key part of this is to invest in our stores. This concept encapsulates what is at the core of the Jaeger brand - beautiful, classic design, quality craftsmanship and inspiration from our proud UK heritage - and is a key milestone in our journey.”

With the store now dedicated to womenswear, comprising a full offer that includes 250 options and more than 1,200 SKUs, the results of the revamp are positive. The company hasn’t spared any attention to detail on the store design, with the concept created by retail design agency Uxus, whose clients include Donna Karan, Bloomingdale’s and Selfridges. This is evident from the moment you reach for the door handle - engraved with Jaeger’s signature ‘J’ knot logo - to enter the store.

Inside, the space is zoned into rooms and on entry you are greeted with the aroma of Jaeger’s 1884 signature scent, available as part of a lifestyle offer including perfume and candles. The first room houses hero pieces from the womenswear collection, with a luxurious alpaca belted coat at £599, Gostwyck fine merino knits from £80 for a crew-neck sweater to £150 for a roll-neck sweater, and a Broadwick hobo bag, made in Britain and priced at £350. Under creative director Sheila McKain-Waid, who joined in November last year from her role as designer at Saks Fifth Avenue, this season sees 80% of the collection made from natural fibres.

There is an organic feel throughout this area with light walnut flooring and UK-made black walnut and Corian display tables with a curved design for a feminine touch, and both spotlights and hanging lit baubles for soft lighting. Atop the till point sits a news article about the store from the 1960s, and behind that the J knot motif adorns the wall.

To the rear, two steps take the customer past a display wall featuring Jaeger’s accessories offer - including a Julianne tote for £150 with a metallic option for £165 - down into a second room. Here customers will find cashmere and knitwear at the front, with V-neck sweaters at £175, dual-coloured cardigans at £199 and a sweater dress at £250.

Towards the back of this room is a casual offer, including skinny jeans for £80, and outerwear, which starts at £199 for a fur-trim padded style up to the aforementioned alpaca coat. Strip lighting hugs the curved designs on the fabric-covered grey walls, spotlights and hanging lamps provide flattering lighting and a screen behind the till at the back shows Jaeger’s autumn 14 ‘Mothers & Daughters’ campaign, featuring British models Jacquetta Wheeler, Jasmine Guinness, Jodie Kidd and their mothers. Two changing rooms are also found here.

The store design plays with textures throughout. Next to the accessories wall a carpeted staircase with a leather-covered handrail leads into the basement personal shopping area. Here there is a central product display of more outerwear and workwear, an iPad for customers to order from the Jaeger website to collect in store and a comfortable chair for weary husbands to put their feet up. Two luxuriously roomy changing rooms, similar to those upstairs, feature bespoke silk wallpaper, adjustable mirrors, chairs and rails. Customers can also take advantage of an alterations service, which is then done externally.

Henry says all new Jaeger stores will use this shopfit. “We have two openings planned in the near future - Belfast in November 2014 and Bath in February 2015 - and their fittings and fixtures will reflect this concept. We are also refreshing our existing store portfolio using elements of the design.” He declines to reveal the investment in the Chelsea refurbishment, but says: “As you can see, no expense has been spared in creating an environment that supports our new brand aesthetic.”

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