Womenswear brand Mint Velvet has officially launched its first UK stand-alone store in a non-High Street location at Bluewater, Europe’s leading retail and leisure destination. The 1,900 sq ft boutique store, situated on the lower Guildhall opposite Reiss, will hold the brand’s latest collections, accessories and footwear.
The new store at Bluewater was designed by leading British studio Kinnersley Kent Design who have worked with the brand since its inception in 2009. Relaxed and modern, tactile and sensory, the design concept achieves a fine balance between being a comfortable and glamorous environment.
Mint Velvet’s signature grey shade features on the Bluewater store walls, evolving the design concept by bringing in a lighter, fresher palette and exploring the use of contrast, texture and tone. New architectural features and filtering have been implemented – such as frosted glass screens with a chic blackened steel frame. A new dedicated shoe and accessory area with a separate bag display has also been incorporated.
Russell Loveland, Portfolio Director at Land Securities, co-owner and asset manager of Bluewater, commented:
“The opening of Mint Velvet, together with Michael Kors, LK Bennett and Jigsaw coming later this summer, are all very strong additions to the premium line-up at Bluewater’s and reaffirms our position as the first choice location in the South East for premium brands.”
Liz Houghton, Co-founder and Chief Executive of Mint Velvet, added:
“This new Bluewater store is key to and reflective of our expansion strategy in the UK. The high quality location is fantastic, with significant appeal to our affluent customer base, whilst benefitting from a much wider catchment area. We are amongst such good company and look forward to the forthcoming months of trading.”
Joining Mint Velvet on the lower Guildhall is the world-renowned and award-winning designer of luxury accessories and fashion items, Michael Kors. Additionally, both LK Bennett and Jigsaw are relocating to the lower Guildhall and will be open this summer.
This news follows a strong year for Bluewater, with over 20 fashion and premium brands opening within the last 12 months. These include regional debuts by Hackett, Anthropologie, Nespresso, Breitling and Tesla, as well as the upsized Next. Developments for a brand new 40,000 sq ft statement store for H&M are also underway, with plans to open this autumn.
Land Securities is the UK’s largest listed commercial real estate company. The company’s £14.5 billion portfolio totals 23.6 million sq ft and includes some of London’s most desirable office buildings and the UK’s most successful shopping and leisure destinations.
The largest office developer in London, this is where Land Securities own and manage a portfolio totalling more than £8.2 billion. The company’s relentless customer focus delivers vibrant working environments, both in their developments and through thoughtful asset management, which resonates strongly with businesses looking to attract and retain top talent.
In the West End, Land Securities expertise in placemaking and public realm has seen the transformation of Victoria, SW1 into a vibrant destination that is attracting global business and visitors alike.
In retail, the company’s commitment to creating an outstanding consumer experience, combined with the strength and resilience of their 17.5 million sq ft of assets, means they provide the space where consumers want to shop and retailers want to be, now and in the future. Land Securities focus on collaborating with retailers and anticipating consumer needs not only delivers an unrivalled experience for customers, but the company’s footfall and sales figures consistently outperform the industry benchmarks.
Sperling Retail Ltd
Manufacturing company Sperling Retail have been specialising in the production of retail fixtures, fittings and display equipment since the 1960’s, with a longstanding workforce and an impressive client list.
The production takes place in their single site factory that combines joinery, metalwork, solid surface and finishing. This hub of activity is where they develop ideas, prototype and produce everything from one off bespoke fixtures through to volume orders for national and international rollouts.
Sperling Retail’s clients include Arcadia brands Wallis, Topshop and Topman and John Lewis where they worked with the design team to create the new concept ‘Found and Trilogy’ departments in the Birmingham Grand Central store. Sperling also work with Hamleys to deliver many projects including the flagship Regent St store and world concept international stores. Other clients include Joules, Jones Bootmaker, Tripp, Samsonite and of course Mint Velvet.
Sperling Retail were involved in the Mint Velvet Bluewater project where they worked closely with design house KKD to develop their concept designs prototyping and manufacturing the interior perimeter and mid floor fixtures.
Ian Hasler of Sperling Retail told Premier Retail:
“Sperling has been supplying fixtures for Mint Velvet since the brand began rolling out, and we are immensely proud to work with such a great team of people, giving us the opportunity to work on really elegant designs using an interesting pallet of finishes and materials”
“Our reputation of delivering a consistent level of quality of the products we produce and the service levels from our Projects Team is what we pride ourselves in. We love to be involved with new concept projects where we can use our development skills, but have the capability to manage large scale projects worldwide. Where volumes and timescales allow, we can offer Far East manufacture for even better value.”
SMC Project Services
From its base in Somerset, SMC Project Services’ was set up in 2002 when Managing Director Simon Cornelius saw a gap in the market to work with retailers to provide them with quality end to end shop fitting and refurbishment services.
SMC’s experienced team operates nationally and specialises in managing and delivering retail shop fitting, as well as supporting clients with maintenance following the build of the project. The key team members have a unique business proposition in that they have a thorough understanding of working in retail, as well as how to build a project.
SMC has worked with many big retail names including, Moss Bros, Cook Foods, Reebok, Clarks, Kurt Geiger, The Tower of London, Fortnum and Mason, The Donkey Sanctuary and Heidi Klein.
The company recently worked with Mint Velvet on the development of their first UK stand-alone store in a non high-street location at Bluewater. SMC Projects were responsible for project management and fitting of all of the elements of the shop fit.
Commenting on working with Mint Velvet, Nickie Cornelius from SMC Projects said: “We have worked with Mint Velvet from the beginning of their start-up and we are proud to have been part of this key project, which is their first UK shopping centre boutique.”
SMC’s diligence with every project ensures clarity at instruction, professional and efficient conduct on site and quality of finish with the final product. The team at SMC are focused on building trust and a strong relationship with the client to really understand their final vision.
Nickie added: “We work by building a trusting and long lasting relationship with our clients that ensures we deliver a project that is to their specification, within budget and also their timescales. Our focus is client centred, ensuring that this is at the forefront of everything we do and the standard we deliver. As part of the way we work, we are focused on minimising costs without compromising on the high standard of finish we deliver.”