From teddy bear tea parties to LED tickers, Drapers looks at the techniques employed by Kate Spade New York, Timberland and Uniqlo to draw shoppers into their new or refurbished central London stores. Scroll through the gallery for the images and see below for more details on each.
Kate Spade New York
Address: 178-182 Regent Street
Size: 4,000 sq ft
The words “live colourfully” are emblazoned in neon across one wall of Kate Spade New York’s new store on Regent Street, and colourful it is. Thanks to the US brand’s quirky accessories, there are pops of bright fuchsia, coral, yellow and turquoise throughout the store, complemented by primary colours on the walls and multi-coloured print rugs and chairs.
A sense of fun pervades in the green bar stools at the tills, smaller stools used to display handbags and the neon sign that greets customers in different languages – playing with Regent Street’s status as a tourist destination. In the kidswear section, teddy bears sit around a table having a tea party. The home décor department is perhaps the most striking, with its brightly coloured outdoor furniture and black and white New York city backdrop.
This is Kate Spade New York’s fourth UK store, adding to locations in Covent Garden, Sloane Square and Westfield London. The mixture of ready-to-wear, handbags, small leather goods, jewellery, watches, footwear, stationery and home decor underline its transition to a lifestyle brand. Designed in house, the store has a multi-room design that allows customers to experience the breadth of its offer. To celebrate the launch, the brand has created an English-inspired capsule range of novelty accessories, exclusive to the Regent Street store, including a wicker teapot handbag (£358 retail), clutch bag (£295) and teacup coin purse (£115).
Address: 158 Oxford Street
Size: 1,080 sq ft
Timberland’s new Oxford Street store is relatively small and narrow, so the brand has chosen to stock only footwear and accessories, and no clothing. Customers can browse the clothing collections online through an iPad, and purchases can be processed and paid for in the store and delivered to their chosen address. The long unit is a subtle shrine to shoes, from the wooden lasts hanging behind the till at the back to the display tables and chandelier, which were made using reclaimed factory items and materials. There is also a lace bar and cobbler station, where shoppers can customise their boots.
The warm interior, which features exposed brick walls, wooden floors and black display frames, was designed in collaboration with Belgian agency Pinkeye, overseen by shopfitting firm Bluegroup Retail. It makes the store, at number 158 on the north side of Oxford Street, not far from Dune and Sports Direct and next to a Hawes & Curtis, an inviting prospect for passers-by.
Address: 311 Oxford Street
Size: 24,110 sq ft over three floors
It is hard to know where to look when you step into Uniqlo’s refurbished “global flagship” on Oxford Street. Your eyes are drawn first to the towering glass case containing a cascade of boxes and mannequins that promote its new collaboration with London department store Liberty – but not for long, as a red LED ticker displaying the shop’s location dashes across behind it, the reflection caught in the mirrored beams above.
Then there are the video display screens and lightboxes, and that is before you even get to the product. Walls of product are stacked floor to ceiling and artfully arranged by colour, turning them into installations in their own right. As well as the Liberty tie-up, the store sees the debut of Uniqlo’s spring 16 collaboration with designer Christophe Lemaire.
Also new to the store are the top two floors and roof terrace. These are home to a new concept area called WearHouse, which will host events throughout the year. There is a private entrance to these floors via a lift from Oxford Street, as well as access from inside the store.
Uniqlo’s Oxford Street store has an impressive exterior, which comes alive at night. The refurbishment took more than a year to complete and architect Wonderwall has succeeded in giving it an extra “wow” factor.