The Danish lifestyle retail chain Søstrene Grene has recently opened a new store in Belfast, Northern Ireland, launching the first of up to six stores planned for Northern Ireland.
Søstrene Grene is known internationally for its quality, affordable designs specialising in home accessories, kitchenware, gift wrap, stationery, arts & crafts, toys and furniture. The interior of the stores are inspired by Mediterranean market squares with products displayed in a wonderful world of colours, atmosphere and scents in simple and striking wooden boxes and shelves. Founded in Denmark in 1973, the Grene sisters, Anna and Clara, are at the centre of the brand and aim to enrich everyday life with aesthetic designs and an ever changing selection of products available in store.
The new store is located on Anne Street, Belfast, at the back of the Victoria Shopping Centre. It is first of up to six stores planned by Joint Venture Partners Richard Power and Norma Jacob-Power for Northern Ireland over the next two years. The brand already has 130 sites worldwide with five in the Republic of Ireland and one in Nottingham, UK.
Working together, the main contractor Johnston Shopfitters, and architect, Scan Studio, had the 4512ft2 store completed by November of this year after starting the work in September. When customers enter the store, they are immediately greeted with the newest stock and constantly changing window displays. Variety is the selling point of the brand, with new and different products becoming available every week. “The brand is famous for constantly having new products. Our Visual Merchandising Team continually creates a visual theatre for customers, highlighting the new products we get in every week.” added Norma
Sitting on the ground floor, the store’s layout is that of a typical Søstrene Grene store. “The layout of Søstrene Grene stores is a labyrinth that guides customers on a journey throughout the store,” commented Richard. “As all the stores have the same layout, it’s very much a turnkey solution where they have a local fit out company, in this case Johnston Shopfitters, who works with the brand’s architects at Scan Studio on the interior.” The layout is very straightforward with each dedicated section following on from another, which paired with classical music and subdued lighting creates an elegant and welcoming feel.
The interior itself features mainly dark brown walls with products presented in light wooden crates in order to reflect the Mediterranean market squares that the brand is inspired by. “Customers are encouraged to look, feel and smell products making the store very unique’ added Norma. The large size of the store allows Søstrene Grene to offer customers a great shopping experience.
Externally, the design team only added Søstrene Grene’s simple, classic black and white logo for the front signage. “The store also has two very large windows, which will be the main feature for customers due to the constantly changing window displays.”
The new Belfast store is a great boost to the already great city. “It is very exciting to be opening the first Northern Ireland store. Belfast is a fantastic, vibrant city and there is nothing else like Søstrene Grene in the market. Customers will love the shopping experience of Søstrene Grene; from the classical music to the open display of products that customers can touch and feel,” commented Norma. The local community will benefit from the opening of this store as it means more jobs available and local suppliers have been used wherever possible. “The quality of the store design and fit out will really enhance Anne Street as a shopping destination,” she added.
“It’s been a fantastic experience working with the people of Belfast. Everyone has been very professional and we have had great customer feedback and excitement about the store opening.”