House of Fraser Victoria
House of Fraser, which is the UK and Ireland’s premium department store group, has recently undergone an extensive refurbishment to their Victoria store. The significant investment into improving the store offers customers a more premium shopping experience which will showcase the new high end brands that have been introduced across beauty, menswear, womenswear and fashion accessories.
Barlow Interiors worked closely with the House of Fraser team to implement a design that lives up to the brand’s reputation. “House of Fraser had wanted to refurbish this store for some time and, at the end of last year, we were delighted to be invited to put forward a proposal based on a scheme created by House of Frasers Designers, Kinnersley Kent,” commented Mathew Fleming, Business Development Manager at Barlows. “We were appointed as the main contractor by House of Fraser to manage the implementation of the refurbishment to all four floors of the Victoria retail store.”
In order to keep disruption to a minimum the refurbishment was phased over 22 weeks with areas being completed as others began and maximising benefit to the various brands within the store. “The House of Fraser retail store planning team engaged with those brands to make sure that once the whole store had been refurbished they had the footprint and exposure that best suited their products,” Mathew added.
The interior of the original store was dated, badly lit and made inadequate use of a large store footprint.
“The design brief we were provided came from the scheme created by Kinnersley Kent which specified finishes and a clear understanding of the retail environment that we needed to create,” commented Mathew, “Working closely with the store’s team we produced a retail space that was clearly the House of Fraser style but allowed each individual brand within it to stand out. The idea was to produce a store that complimented product as the focal point.”
The refurbishment across all four trading floors has also modernised and enhanced its womenswear, menswear and beauty floors with new flooring, fitting rooms and lighting as well as exposing previously hidden windows to allow more natural light into the store. “As part of the work, we’ve opened up the floors allowing you to see across the whole of the retail space making it feel like a much larger space than it did before,” he commented. “Included in this was some structural work, specifically the replacement of all the escalators from the basement through to the third floor.”
Menswear has seen new premium brands and labels with the introduction of Gant, All Saints and Hilfiger Denim whilst Womenswear has launched seven new brands, including Whistles, All Saints, Oui, Polo, Sandwich and Armani Jeans.
As customers pass though the store, the brands are more visible due to the internal retail space being pushed back to the original structure creating a larger and more inviting retail experience. In addition, brands have taken the opportunity to replace displays with their latest concept fixtures.
Combining improved lighting with a neutral palette has created a more cohesive and inclusive interior for the brands, enhancing the products on display. “Using a neutral palette as a background to the colours of each branded area allows the customer to clearly identify each area without detracting from the open plan layout,” he added. The use of a contrasting colour scheme to identify the entry and exit points of each floors at the escalators and the staircases around the perimeter acts as wayfinding across the store for customers.
The beauty hall has also been considerably transformed with the introduction of nine new luxury colour and skincare brands. The new beauty hall now boasts MAC cosmetics, Nars, Tom Ford Colour and fragrance, Bobbi Brown, Creed, and Kiehl’s. The fashion accessories department has been significantly increased in size with new brands including Mulberry, Aspinal of London and Lauren.
The exterior of the House of Fraser Victoria store was simplified and refurbished with better signage visibility as well as an improved view into the store. “Externally customers can now see more of the ground floor brands within the store creating an enhanced elevation,” commented Mathew.
“We’re very proud to have to have worked on this project, House of Fraser is such a prestigious national brand. We assured the team at House of Fraser that we understood their outcomes and that we could deliver to their high standards, we’re thrilled that we’ve repaid the customers trust by delivering on this promise.”