Best in retail innovation – London, March 2018

By Charlotte Hurd, on 12th March 2018

A pick of the best in practice retail innovation that London has to offer

Dover Street Market 

Dover Street Market is a must-visit concept store housed in London’s Haymarket. The store is spread across five storeys with plenty of cool, unusual and couture global brands for customers to explore.

Concept stores remain a way for customers to buy into a lifestyle. They marry aspirations with a specially curated selection of products.

Menswear, womenswear, accessories, literature and homeware is all on display with each floor creating a distinctly different atmosphere. Each individual brand moment feels curated and the imaginative use of materials and design creates a gallery style space prime for exploration.

On the store’s top floor customers will find a coffee shop run by staff proudly sporting the iconic Comme Des Garcon striped shirt. This extension of the Dover Street brand gives customers a relaxing space to refuel before continuing their exploration in the store.

Coat and mannequin display
Mannequins and clothing displays
Jewellery displays

Paul Smith, Albermale Street 

Paul Smith stores never disappoint and the store on Albemale Street is no exception. The entire store feels considered, with open plan rooms leading you through a curated brand story.

Quirky accents can be found throughout such as domino walls, giant cacti and vintage radios. Product monogramming in-store adds an extra personalised touch for customers buying leather goods.

The real star of the show at this store, however, is the fascia. Abstracted from Paul Smith’s hand drawings, a pattern of interlocking circles have been cast into iron. The industrial feel provides a sharp contrast to existing Mayfair architecture without being too obtrusive.

If you look closely, you can also spot three hand drawn illustrations cast into the metal work to add the iconic Paul Smith touch.

Shoe display with red chair
Colourful furniture
Metal sculture busts

Rapha, Brewer Street 

Its multi-use includes a retail space, cafe, events space, workshops and also live race showings. Group rides are organised by store staff and customers are encouraged to bring their bike to store and join the Rapha community.

The Rapha store in Soho, known as the ‘clubhouse’ has become a destination for the London cycling community.

Rapha as a brand have recognised the need to establish a lifestyle to encourage customers with a shared interest to become loyal brand ambassadors. Their Cycling Club membership is another example of creating a lifestyle led brand.

Bike retail display
Cycling clothing display
Bikes hung on a wall

Lulu Lemon, Regent Street

The flagship store is designed as a place to ‘stretch, sweat and connect’, shoppers are told to expect a ‘sense of calm’ as they walk through the door. The brand showcases the full lifestyle offering giving a wider customer experience. Customers can visit the store with a friend, do a workout, grab a smoothie, shop the latest products and get pampered.

Clean, cool greys and marbles with hints of fashionable bronze provide an Instagrammable shopping experience and homely touches like hanging plants encourage customers to feel as comfortable as possible. Upstairs, a community space has been curated to create a relaxed atmosphere and a sense of belonging.

In this space customers can enjoy free yoga classes, wellness talks or a coffee with friends. A long communal table is a central feature, encouraging customers to stay in-store as long as they like.

A photo-booth positioned at the fitting room continues this sense of community and interactive dressing rooms allow customers to view the benefits of Lulu Lemon products for sport.

Nespresso Regent Street Boutique 

Bringing an immersive experience to coffee-loving shoppers, Nespresso immerse their customers in a luxurious and beautifully designed space at their Regent Street location.

A team of highly trained coffee specialists guide customers through the Nespresso range including subscription services, a tasting bar and recycling initiatives.

The store acts as a permanent retail solution to a community of Nespresso drinkers. The store provides a very personalised experience, featuring a number of zones which cater to individual customer needs.

The Club is a niche room within the store dedicated to subscription members, The Tasting Area provides visitors the chance to try the quality of the coffee and there is also a pick up zone for members to click and collect their coffee orders and a time convenient to them.

Interactivity around the store also provides deeper brand engagement. The large video walls and interactive touch tablets enable customers to discover the range of machines available to them.


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