Fashion and sportswear brand Lacoste has opened its flagship store in Knightsbridge.
Lacoste London opened in July 2012 following a £1.4 million re-fit operation by Nottingham-based fit-out specialist DG Professional Interiors. Situated opposite Harrods, the brand new 6,500 sq ft store is the largest Lacoste store in Europe and boasts a Lacoste Lab – the brand’s new concept in shopping – along with a number of state-of-the-art features.
In order to mark the debut of the new store, an official opening day took place in July and featured DJ sets and live music, with many A-List celebrities in attendance – including Will.I.Am, Eliza Doolittle, Filipe Oliveira Baptista and David Ginola.
Work began onsite in April 2012. In order to meet the opening date deadlines the re-fit was condensed from a 14-week period to just 10 weeks, with site teams conducting work via two 24- hour shift patterns. DG Professional Interiors was the main contractor on the site, whilst Brighton-based practice Design LSM was the architect.
DG Professional Interiors has completed new and existing Lacoste store fit-out works for over 12 years. The company has achieved such a long-standing relationship with the brand due to its ability to design and manufacture bespoke products at their in-house workshop in Calverton.
Richard Potzesny, Lacoste, commented:
“DG Professional Interiors invested a lot of time to understand the new concepts by visiting some of our European stores. They then worked with us to transfer these ideas to the actual fit-out of our new flagship store.
“We are delighted with the quality of the finished store, and the feedback from guests on the opening night was tremendous. It is very interesting to have people we know we can rely on to deliver our project on time and within budget with no unforeseen surprises along the way.”
DG Professional Interiors Managing Director, Ian Coward, added:
“Before we started work on the site, I travelled to Paris and Germany with Design LSM so that we could witness firsthand what European Lacoste stores looked like once they had received the new fit-out.
“Upon our return we then manufactured some of the Lacoste fittings – with additional elements delivered from France – so that they were replicated in the same style as those that we had seen in Europe.”
The three-storey Lacoste site comprises a first floor, ground floor and lower ground floor. The lower ground level is aimed at shoppers aged between 16 and 24, whilst the ground floor is reserved for menswear – including Lacoste’s L!VE collection and Lacoste Lab.
Lacoste Lab is the first of its kind in the UK and allows customers to order a selection of large items including footballs, bicycle helmets and surfboards directly to the Lacoste store. The concept was conceived by Lacoste’s design director, Christophe Pillet. The remaining level of Lacoste London contains ladieswear and a children’s section.
All of the work on the site was completed in June 2012. The transformation of the store involved the complete removal of all of the building’s existing features and the installation of a new staircase with LED lights in the base and a lift pit. With the pit in place, a new glass passenger lift was installed – subsequently providing access to all three levels of the building.
On the lower ground floor all existing plumbing services were redirected to match the building’s new configuration, whilst a new sprinkler and air conditioning system was also installed in the building. The lower ground floor received new wood-effect flooring, whilst a £98,000 resin floor was installed on the ground floor.
To complete the fit-out works, the stock room was improved, whilst Wi-Fi was installed and security measures – including a full CCTV and security tagging system – were also fitted. New signage was then installed at each level of the building and a full programme of decoration works took place. No exterior work was conducted on the site.
Additional features of the new Lacoste store include a heritage wall that showcases images which document the history of Lacoste. Visitors will also marvel at the Polo Fit wall and Polo Bar, where the brand’s iconic L.12.12 polo shirt is exhibited in all 65 colours and oak panel changing rooms.
Ian Coward, said:
“The transformation of the building was a challenge logistically because the store is located in a very popular area of London opposite Harrods, with offices situated above. GVA – the company that operate from the offices above – commented on how well we dealt with the works and I think this was testament to all of our hard on the site.
“Prior to the opening of the flagship store Lacoste owned a smaller store nearby, however this is a completely new concept in shopping. Lacoste London is a boutique store with high-end finishes and a range of services from hotel delivery – allowing shoppers to have their items sent directly to their hotel – to multilingual staff who can help international shoppers.
“With this new store Lacoste is offering a personal service unlike any other. It is a modern reworking of an established brand and has been designed to improve the customer experience.
“DG Professional Interiors is the nominated shop fitter for all Lacoste stores in the UK. We have built up a great working relationship with Lacoste and the feedback for this store has already been very good, with suggestions that this is the best Lacoste site in the world.
“Lacoste continually alters its design in order to offer its customers the best possible shopping experience. Indeed, some of the existing stores – including Birmingham and Leicester – are undergoing a few alteration works to bring them in line with the new flagship store.
“Lacoste take the view that the world is always changing, so alterations allow them to be ready for any future developments. Lacoste has stores in Paris and New York and now is exactly the right time to have this flagship store in London.”