The luxury online and retail business, Aspinal of London, has opened its doors to their first ever airport store at Gatwick.
This is a pivotal milestone for the company, which prides itself in producing luxury handmade leather goods. Work commenced on the project in June 2013, following an agreement to take over the site in December 2012.
Instalrite Design was the main contractor on the project. Despite facing the challenge of completing the store in time for the annual summer holiday getaway the store successfully opened in August and has since had a highly promising and positive response from consumers.
This elegant and unique business provides customers with an array of luxury leather products ranging from passport holders to luxury travel cases. Product prices can vary from £30 to £1200 therefore creating and providing quality leather goods accessible for all.
Other products available at the new store include wallets, purses and stationary with an increased focus in recent years being the design and manufacturing of elegant and sophisticated handbags.
Aspinal Of London, with its primary purpose of providing beautiful quality and fine products, is in a unique position, with online business accounting for 50% of sales. However over the past five years this elegant and sophisticated business has been continuously developing with the opening of various retail sites across the country.
This latest launch location, Gatwick, will be the luxury retailer’s 14th site and 7th stand alone store, adding to a store portfolio including stores/ concessions in Brook St, Covent Garden and Selfridges.
Gatwick International Departure Lounge is at stage 1 in the retail development process. Aspinal of London has opened alongside various stores with Harrods underpinning the creation and establishment of a luxurious and indulging shopping experience. As a small organisation and with intense competition from other retailers, it can prove difficult to gain retail space in an international airport. This latest development is therefore a clear reflection of the belief and high regards of the success of Aspinal of London.
Katie Cavanagh, Chief Financial Officer of Aspinal of London, highlighted the impact the latest store could have on the business, explaining:
“For us this is a fantastic opportunity to get into an airport location and operate in the travel retail sector. This is a great fit for us, as a lot of our products are travel related. For us it is about being successful in this retail space which will then hopefully provide opportunities to open stores in other airport locations. It is also provides a great platform to speak to international customers and showcase our beautiful handbag collections.”
Strategically the company is expanding internationally, earlier this year they opened up their first Middle Eastern store.
The Interior design of the Aspinal of London stores has a specific focus on the British heritage which is very important to the brand. All of the stores’ interior design and decoration follow a similar theme of traditional wooden furniture, and wooden panelled rooms with the created effect reinforcing the desired British heritage ambience.
Aspinal of London, ensure that the decor of their stores is in keeping with their location. Their latest development at Gatwick will incorporate the established British heritage theme whilst ensuring it fits comfortably within the airport setting. The store will provide customers with a brighter and airier shopping experience, featuring lighter grey panelling with spacious surroundings.
Aspinal of London’s latest project ran relatively smoothly with only a few challenges due to this being the first store within an airport location. The main issue that the company faced was around a paramount feature of all Aspinal stores, a decorative, ornate cornice ceiling. Due to fire regulations and the requirement of exposed ceiling space within the airport the designs had to be adjusted.
Katie Cavanagh, Chief Financial Officer for Aspinal Of London added: “This store has had a tremendous reaction so far with even Pippa Middleton spotted in store. It is a very exciting opportunity.”
For more information – Aspinal of London