DFS Edinburgh – A New Beginning
Furniture giant DFS is ready to embark on a new chapter for the brand with the rollout of a new retail concept. Unveiled at its Edinburgh showroom with a soft launch in October 2016, the new concept was created through a collaboration between by je+1 and Nottingham based creative agency, True Story and was given an official opening earlier this year.
With a strong reputation for creating compelling interior retail designs, je+1 was the perfect choice to lead DFS in this new direction. Working alongside them on this particular project to implement their vision was Rotherham-based shopfitter Foers Contracts Limited. Westminster Project Services then acted as the project manager of the overall work.
Located in the west of the city, easily accessed via the A1, DFS Edinburgh totals 28,500 sq ft with 17,000 sq ft of this occupied by the main showroom. The rest of the 11,500 sq ft is divided between a DFS Bedroom and Dining concession, a DFS Clearance section and a new ‘Dwell’ store with access and customer flow between all spaces. Also making its debut in Edinburgh is a Sofa Workshop which stands apart with its own entrance and a 2,500 sq ft floor space.
The new concept on show in the main showroom was developed in conjunction with new range and merchandising principles being introduced by DFS. At the heart of the new design is a commitment to embracing the digital side of retail to help communicate more effectively with customers. The new store is an evolution on what was present previously and reflects key brand messages throughout.
Central to this digital overhaul is the 3×3 video wall which engages with customers along with an interactive table. These two features complement each other with the ability for information to be transferred from one to the other.
Before work could begin to implement the new design, the old store had to be stripped back to its shell then be re-configured so the two new DFS group brands – Sofa Workshop and Dwell – could be incorporated. The new layout also sees the division of the main DFS store into a dedicated bedroom and dining furniture section and a clearance section.
To help complement and enhance this new layout and the products in the store, new floor and wall finishes have been selected bringing a fresh approach. Colour has been injected in carefully chosen locations to help enhance the brand message.
Obviously at the heart of any showroom, and central to its success, are its displays, which showcase the best of the products currently available. At the DFS Edinburgh showroom, a large amount of space has been allocated for this function to once again enhance the brand message.
Having worked with DFS for a number of years, je+1 have an excellent understanding of what the brand needs. Speaking in the April edition of Premier Retail, je+1 Managing Director John Evans outlined the importance of the working relationship with DFS:
“We are proud to have worked with our longest running client, DFS Furniture Group for over 40 years. We have supported them on their journey from three small stores in Yorkshire right up to the present day where they stand as a nationwide, market leaders with 113 stores across the UK & Ireland, and more significantly, as they took their first steps into mainland Europe, where they now have a further 7 stores across The Netherlands and Spain.
“In 2014 DFS acquired ‘Sofa Workshop’ and ‘Dwell’. We produced new store concepts for both brands and have been involved in rolling these out successfully across their existing and growing estates since.
“Having retained DFS as a client through many different management structures and a change of ownership, is something we are very proud of. Over the years we have been fortunate enough to have been involved in a varied, and wide range of design and creative work for them and have enjoyed seeing their success grow.”
To learn more about je+1 and their continued work with DFS, please visit jeplus1.com.