Next

Next, a Bri­tish brand with a his­tory of 32 years, is one of the lead­ing re­tail­ers in the UK in men’s, women’s and kids’ fash­ion as well as the home­ware seg­ment. All in all, Next stores aim at be­ing one-stop shop des­ti­na­tions. The Next Home and Gar­den stor

VM&RD - - CONTENTS - Mansi Lavsi

The new store with a boom­ing 50,000 sq. ft of space brought to life by Dalziel & Pow presents the brand in a re­freshed avatar, yet main­tain­ing the look de­rived over the years. An as­so­ci­a­tion of iden­tity is very im­por­tant to cre­ate cus­tomer con­nect. The life­style-led mer­chan­dis­ing ap­proach draws the cus­tomer to the store and un­veils the new con­cept feel to him/her. The ex­trav­a­gant store-front it­self is a trailer of the ex­pe­ri­ence to be in­dulged in. The all glass façade con­cept re­veals the store’s mag­nif­i­cence through its trans­paren­cies. The en­tire ap­peal of the front façade takes the ar­chi­tec­ture of Next as a brand to a new level. This iden­tity has been de­vel­oped by Dalziel & Pow in as­so­ci­a­tion with Stan­ton Wil­liams Ar­chi­tects. The store fea­tures a gar­den cen­tre and the ar­chi­tec­ture of the space has been de­vised ac­cord­ingly. A gar­den theme runs cross­cat­e­gory through the store. The gar­den cen­tre is shel­tered in an ar­chi­tec­tural con­tin­uum of the store which has dis­tinc­tive prop­er­ties that re­sem­ble a nurs­ery. Its open to air na­ture might give a feel of step­ping out of the store but the el­e­ments run­ning through it and the de­sign lan­guage adopted keep the iden­tity in­tact as a part of the store it­self. Although a re­tail space, the Next Home and Gar­den store is ren­dered with strik­ing ar­chi­tec­tural fea­tures which can be felt as a de­sign lan­guage be­fore one en­ters the store. The façade de­sign it­self gives away the mass void plan of the store. “The ar­chi­tec­tural de­sign de­vel­oped in as­so­ci­a­tion with Stan­ton Wil­liams Ar­chi­tects breaks from the generic ‘shed’ struc­tures usu­ally as­so­ci­ated with outof-town re­tail­ers. Clad in nat­u­ral lime­stone, the build­ing has a pre­mium, con­tem­po­rary aes­thetic and dis­tinc­tive, own­able ar­chi­tec­tural iden­tity,” says David Wright, Group Mar­ket­ing Di­rec­tor, Dalziel & Pow. The move­ment through the store is guided by an ar­chi­tec­tural lan­guage which the cus­tomer may not dis­tinctly no­tice but can feel it in the var­i­ous sec­tions of the space and the in­te­gra­tion of the zones. A cof­fee house pow­ered by Costa also oc­cu­pies a space in the store for the cus­tomer to in­dulge in a break on his long jour­ney of re­tail ther­apy.

As soon as the cus­tomer en­ters the store, he/she is met with all op­tions of fur­ther ex­plo­ration- ver­ti­cal as well hor­i­zon­tal cir­cu­la­tion from that point on. The hor­i­zon­tal ex­plo­ration mov­ing into the depths of the space leads to di­vulging the ex­trav­a­gance of the home depart­ment that Next is known for. A seam­less yet dis­tinct tran­si­tion flows to­wards the women’s wear sec­tion which now dons a new iden­tity with this store. A be­spoke ceil­ing in­stal­la­tion crafted out of sus­pended acrylic rods calls for quite some at­ten­tion. A tran­si­tion from the closed to open space to­wards the gar­den cen­tre gives a ver­sa­til­ity to the qual­ity of space and em­pha­sises the im­por­tance of treat­ing dif­fer­ent zones dif­fer­ently. A new iden­tity to be re­vealed, ar­chi­tec­tural ex­per­tise show­cased and the brand im­age of a life­style dic­tated ex­pe­ri­ence, all pieces hook up to com­plete the jig­saw. The space serves to be quite a par­adise for the DIY lovers and gar­den en­thu­si­asts. Mov­ing on to the top floor, an aura of lux­ury oozes through the men’s wear depart­ment and a con­tin­u­a­tion of the home depart­ment from the ground floor pro­fesses. In the men’s wear sec­tion, the di­vi­sion of dis­plays and the cen­tral wooden her­ring-bone floor­ing are in­di­ca­tors of di­rec­tion of move­ment in­tended by the de­sign. Right at the end of the es­ca­la­tors, a dig­i­tal screen – which is not a nov­elty any­more - sep­a­rates the home sec­tion from the men’s. In fact, with most brands now, the pres­ence of a dig­i­tal screen which may be in­ter­ac­tive or non-in­ter­ac­tive is quite a common prac­tice. A tone of VM ac­cents runs through the store which adds to the el­e­gance and an at­ti­tude of dis­tinct per­son­al­ity for each zone. How each zone can form its own iden­tity amidst a common brand lan­guage pre­vail­ing in the store is made quite ev­i­dent. Ma­te­rial fin­ishes, colour cod­ing, type of fix­tures and most im­por­tantly, amount and style of mer­chan­dise ex­posed to the cus­tomer’s eye at a given point are well-thought of fea­tures, This new con­cept and at­ti­tude hosts a pre­view to the scale and qual­ity of up­com­ing stores.

De­sign

Dalziel & Pow

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