Luxury furniture retailer OKA has opened its 14th store in Edgbaston – its first store in the Midlands.
Founded in 1999 by British designers Sue Jones, Lucinda Waterhouse and Annabel Astor, the mother of former Prime Minister David Cameron’s wife, Samantha, OKA stocks luxury furniture and home accessories, as well as offering interior design, trade, wedding list and click and collect services.
Speaking to Premier Retail magazine about the latest store opening, Lucinda Waterhouse, OKA co-founder said: “Edgbaston Village was an obvious choice as we have a loyal and growing customer base in the surrounding area. We’re confident that our covetable collection will appeal to the wide range of visitors that flock to the city and residents alike.
“The location is part of a new development – Edgbaston Village – a new retail and dining offering in the area that is slightly different to central Birmingham, which is more high street. The vision is for Edgbaston Village, with its different mix of shops and eateries, to become the premier leisure and lifestyle destination for those that live in the area while attracting new visitors far and wide.”
Housed in a newly converted Edwardian property on Harborne Road, work has been undertaken on the store by Garenne Shopfitting with Calthorpe Estates responsible for the overall development project.
Set over three floors, the 8,000 sq. ft. store has plenty of natural light, perfect for showcasing OKA’s collection, from lamps, cushions, tableware and other home accessories, to sofas, chairs, dining tables and much larger furniture. OKA Edgbaston also boasts a dedicated florist on hand to help choose from the extensive faux flower collection, but who can also put together something bespoke – simply bring in a favourite vase.
Lucinda added: “We have taken two buildings which have been knocked through so the space has been opened up and transformed. We were also very conscious of wanting to make the most of the existing period features.
“The building has two big, beautiful bay windows at the front and we have created some of our signature inspirational room sets in there so it feels like you are going into an actual home. We aim to give people ideas and inspiration on how easy it is to change the look of your home, which is so much easier to do seeing products in context, especially with interiors.”
OKA Edgbaston opened its doors in February 2017 and has received positive feedback from shoppers and customers.
“We’ve been warmly welcomed by the local community, and people have been really positive about the Edgbaston Village development and what it’s going to bring to the area,” said Lucinda. “There are a lot of corporate offices and residential spaces in the area so it has been crying out for that injection of retail and dining.”
Following its 14th store opening, OKA are hoping to continue with their push to open more retail stores across the country.
Lucinda concluded: “We’re in the process of expanding our network of shops and we’re concentrating on opening in areas where we know we have existing customers. Our intention is to continue opening new stores across the UK – there’s a huge growth potential – and this new store marks the start of an exciting phase in OKA’s journey.”
Garenne Shopfitting specialise in delivering fit out projects within the retail sector, ranging from high street schemes, shopping centres and retail parks to airports, train stations and more. The company has been in operation since 1999 and within this time has worked with an array of prestigious clients including Gant, Monsoon Accessorize, Bravissimo, Hotpod Yoga, Jacks of London, Phase Eight, Calvin Klein, Amanda Wakeley, Burberry, Hugo Boss, Jigsaw, Tommy Hilfiger, White Stuff and BA, to name but a few.
Most recently, Garenne Shopfitting was appointed as the main contractor on OKA Edgbaston. Garenne Shopfitting became involved with OKA through Ampersand, who acted as a client PM/QS. Garenne Shopfitting has a history of working with similar clients to Ampersand and has built a great working relationship with them.
Grant Pendreigh, Garenne Shopfitting, said:
“We have been working with OKA since 2015, so it was important for us to work on this project to maintain our relationship with both the client and PM team. It is the strength of our business to develop and maintain open and proactive relationships with all of our clients.”
“At Garenne Shopfitting, we pride ourselves predominantly on our service, by getting this right the other aspects of our relationships become easier to manage. We rely on the people we employ and collaborate with which means our selection process is critical. In fact, selecting the right people to work with a specific client is key to starting the process correctly.
“We pride ourselves in delivering our projects on time and on budget with quality of finish another key attribute.”