The creation of a premium, luxury Dunhill tobacconist at 1A St James’s Street in London has now been completed.
The venue was unveiled in January 2014 and has been established as the spiritual home of the Dunhill Tobacco brand.
Works began on the project in August 2013 in a bid to transform the former retail outlet into a premium unique offering with a true lounge and luxury retail space. Premier Hospitality caught up with Simon Stacey, Creative Director at Household, the lead designer on the project to find out more. Simon informed us:
“The site used to be a Dunhill shop; it was previously more of a retail outlet with smoking area that had been there for a few years. The client, Dunhill Tobacco of London Limited, had been doing a lot of work on redefining its core product offers, to reinforce and strengthen its positioning in the market as a true premium tobacco brand.
“Dunhill have identified their target audience as the ‘bon vivant,’ an adult smoker who is a curious explorer of life and its pleasures. With this in mind, we elevated Dunhill as a symbol of confident indulgence, creating a visibly distinctive and aspirational lifestyle hangout.”
The main ground floor space of the venue consists of three experience zones. The first space is the premium retail space itself which comprises premium tobacco products and a full length explorer wall which will change with new promotional activations four times a year. Visitors will also be able to browse the curated range of accessories in the space such as pipes, travel humidors, lighters and other tobacco requisites.
Guests can then enter the Sampling Lounge which is housed within transparent wall screens; the lounge area allows customers to try their products as well as sample a selection of spirits in comfort and privacy. The final room within the tobacconists is entitled The Humidor which features an impressive wall of copper plated private humidors for customers to rent on an annual subscription. These can be used to store their cigars and tobaccos.
The venue also boasts an impressive Master Blender’s Room, accessible via a VIP corridor, where highly valued customers can meet the Master Blender and find out more about the art of tobacco blending. Here they are invited to touch and smell the tobaccos, learning about its provenance as part of a truly sensorial experience
Simon Stacey, Creative Director, added:
“With reference to the design of the tobacconist we were inspired by gentleman’s clubs but we also wanted to make sure the brand was looking forwards, not backwards. 1A St James’s blends heritage with the ultra-contemporary to create a twist on the authentic tobacconist. Timber flooring can be found throughout the different zones, as can timber fixtures and fittings. Contemporary metals are also utilised in a very modernist architectural style, especially black, chrome and copper. The main signature feature of the venue is the tobacconist ceiling which comprises a sculptural array of tobacco leaves made from cedar wood, which have been designed to look as if they are hanging out to dry.”
When asked what it means to have been involved in the project, Simon was very enthusiastic:
“It has been great to be involved in developing the retail brand 1A St James’s. This continues to involve a lot of close collaboration with the client, which has been driven by an unswerving focus on delivering a unique experience and we don’t believe there is anywhere else like this in the world.
“The destination really is a world class luxury tobacco experience and there has been commitment from everyone involved to make sure 1A St James’s, the spiritual home of Dunhill, is the best it could possibly be.”
John Anthony Signs
John Anthony Signs specialise in the manufacture and installation of national and international sign rebranding programmes. The company has been in operation for over 45 years; during this time, John Anthony Signs has worked on a range of projects, including work for Harrods, Louis Vuitton, Starbucks, Manchester United, Royal Observatory, National Portrait Gallery and Westminster Abbey to name a few.
On the Dunhill St James Street project, John Anthony Signs has been involved in the consultation, manufacture and installation of the signage and graphics.
David Fagg of John Anthony Signs, said:
“We are about doing the unique. People often come to us when things are a little bit challenging and difficult. We have a lot of experience in all market sectors and our factory has highly skilled craftsmen that know everything they need to know to help our clients find solutions to their challenges.”
“Quality and service is what we’re about. We’re very proud of the way that we’re opening up international markets, we’ve worked in 52 countries around the globe and this is largely due to the peace of mind that we bring to our clients no matter where we work in the world.”