This month saw the delivery of a project apt.Design had the pleasure of working on, the new Conran Shop at Selfridges & Co.
The new Conran Shopping Experience @ Selfridges
The classic british brand and national treasure with more than 45 years of history ‘The Conran Shop‘ has re-invented itself letting go of the past and embracing the future of retail in the largest concession within the Selfridges homeware in 400 Oxford Street, London.
The new creative director Stephen Briars partnered with APT Design to re-discover the essence of the brand and distill its best values by creating a new engaging lifestyle shopping experience.
The first Conran Shop concession was launched in Selfridges during the London Design Festival in 2015. It was a small island concession in the middle of the lower ground floor at Selfridges. An eclectic space that lacked clear visual brand identity, boundaries and foot traffic. After a couple of years it was clear to the brand that they needed another space, to expand and to create direct access circulation flows.
Each millimetre at Selfridges is a priceless piece of real estate. The department store was saturated with many other brands and there was very little room for expansion, however there was an under-utilised space in the lower ground floor dedicated to events only. It was a room in itself within Selfridges. A ‘raw’ space stripped of flooring, ceilings and decoration. A space full of possibilities for the new concept store and APT took on the challenge.
The new Conran space has direct access to foot traffic from 4 elevators situated on both sides of the concession and it is divided by 2 corridors crossing in the centre. This makes the store very permeable and fluid collecting multiple visitors from different directions, but at the same time limits the possibilities the brand has to become a place in its own rights.
To be able to unify the store and capture the attention of the visitors the space has been designed with a unique visual identity and series of milestone fixtures to catch the eye of the customer during its journey through out the department store.
The customer journey of this new retail space starts at the very front of the store where the customer encounters signature displays with the trendiest chairs on display as a form of entrance gate or introduction which is inviting the customer to discover more inside. These two milestones are at the same time directly related to a third one in the centre of the concession where the largest chair display is situated to catch the eye of the customers and dominate the space from all angles.
Once the customer has been driven into the heart of the store a sophisticated design lab-like environment composed by antireflective blue paint decoration on the walls blackened steel features and a FLOS lighting system reproduces ideal conditions to appreciate in full the quality and details of the highly curated products on display.
In a world where e-commerce has disrupted what is typically a slow-moving sector within the retail industry, Conran is emphasising experience, the experience of encountering their product first hand in store and fall in love with its colour, touch, smell or feel. All enhanced by a highly engineered environment. A design statement in itself.
The ultimate goal for APT design in this project was to provide the necessary conditions for this space to become a destination for design lovers from all over the world to hang out. An engaging environment flexible enough to organise events, art exhibitions or showcase the latest design ingenuity. An ever-changing experience.