The redevelopment of an established Premium Retail Outlet store in Portsmouth has recently opened up with a whole host of new stores. Oliver Sweeney is one such outlet store that has found a home within the new Gunwharf Quays and is the brand’s only store in the south outside of London.
Oliver Sweeney is a men’s premium retail brand with a passion for quality clothing and shoes. For over 25 years, Oliver Sweeney has sourced the finest materials in order to create the best men’s shoes, accessories and clothing available.
At Oliver Sweeney they mix traditional craftsmanship with contemporary designs to create their shoes in the same family-run factory in Italy. The factory sits in the beautiful region of Le Marche on the Adriatic east coat of Italy, which is known for its shoe-making tradition. All their leather is tanned in Italy, with most of it sourced from tanneries in Tuscany and specialist leather is sourced from CF Steads in Yorkshire, England.
Cadence Retail & Leisure Interiors Ltd began work on the site at the beginning of April of this year, taking around four weeks to complete. The project was a refurbishment of an empty shell at Gunwharf Quay and the interior of the outlet store is in keeping with the brand’s high-end image as it uses only the finest quality materials in order to bring the Oliver Sweeney brand to the outlet store.
The site itself is 1,200ft2 of retail space across one floor and is a classic square box outlet store. The exterior signage features Oliver Sweeney’s logo as a large, backlit, acrylic sign that sits across the outside of the store. The front also features two window bays of floor to ceiling windows with one on either side of the entrance door.
“We have eight stores and there’s a theme that runs across all of those to a degree,” commented Tim Cooper, Managing Director at Oliver Sweeney. “Every time we design a new store there is an element of uniqueness but if you walk into any of our stores you know you’re in a Sweeney store.” The design of the stores is quite masculine in theme in order to compliment and showcase the company’s products. In the outlet store at Gunwharf Quay, a rich blue called ‘Hague Blue’ is used on the walls to contrast strikingly with the dark wood fittings.
Like all Oliver Sweeney stores, this outlet store uses the ‘Vitsoe’ shelving system which is designed by the German designer Dieter Rams. “It’s a 1960s shelving system that I particularly love, which gives us that adaptability and flexibility to change the layout the store whenever we want,” added Tim. The lighting in the store is very dramatic, with separate lighting fixtures creating pools of light to attract customers to the in-store products.
Install Projects Ltd was the electrical and mechanical contractor on Oliver Sweeney. Working on this project, Install Projects Ltd was responsible for the installation of the lighting throughout the store.
As the outlet store is predicted to have a high traffic rate in terms of customers, ceramic flooring has been used for the first time in one of the brand’s sites. The ceramic tiles have been made to look like dark wooden planks in order to fit in with the rest of the wood in use within the interior décor. The store also has two payment points which is uncommon in Oliver Sweeney stores as well as two changing rooms. At the back of the store a wall has been built in order to create a storage area to house Sweeney products such as the handmade leather shoes.
As the outlet sits within a larger retail centre, there were some challenges that Tim and his team faced. “Doing a refurbishment in an outlet centre is always more challenging because you’ve got the rules and regulations of the centre that you need to follow whereas doing a stand alone store you can design to your own specifications,” added Tim. “Refurbishments are great fun and are fantastic to do. It was quite an investment as it’s our first outlet store, so it will be quite interesting to see how we do in that kind of environment.”
Cadence specialise in the design, plan and fit out of retail and commercial spaces for projects nationwide, but with a specific focus on schemes within the independent sector. Cadence was founded in January 2016 by Managing Director, Stuart McCarthy and is rapidly approaching its 1st anniversary!
Past projects for Cadence include the design and fit out of Barkers Home Store in Northallerton and the design and fit out of the UK’s newest independent department store, Sandersons Boutique store which is located on the Fox Valley retail park in Stocksbridge. More recently, Cadence has been commissioned to design and fit out the head offices of a leading automotive factoring company in the North East.
Working on the Oliver Sweeney outlet store in Portsmouth, Cadence undertook the design and fit out of the store. However, Stuart McCarthy’s involvement with Oliver Sweeney goes back several years having been involved with every Oliver Sweeney project – both opening and refit – since 2010.
“This latest project was a step into unchartered territory for our client, but we relished the challenge of delivering an outlet store without detracting from the premium brand feel and identity.”
Following the work on Oliver Sweeney Portsmouth, Cadence recently opened another beautiful store for the brand at Leadenhall Market.
Cadence take pride in everything they do, offering clients innovative design, a high-quality fit out and excellent customer service.
“We are uncomplicated with a “can do” attitude – it’s completely painless working with us!”