South-east-based upmarket home furnishings chain Heal’s is looking to roll-out several smaller store formats as it considers expanding the brand nationwide.
Interiors design specialist Virgile & Stone “is likely” to be developing the new concepts, according to a Heal’s spokeswoman. The consultancy has already worked on three of the retailer’s outlets, including the flagship store in London’s Tottenham Court Road. The first smaller store is due to open next spring.
Heal’s currently has four large stores, ranging in size from 1208m2 to 4180m2 – at Tottenham Court Road and King’s Road in central London, as well as shops in Guildford and Kingston-upon-Thames. But it has adopted a new strategy after encountering problems in its search for suitable sites. The proposed smaller stores will be about 465m2, selling most of Heal’s products apart from furniture.
A Heal’s spokeswoman says: “We are looking for sites, but they need to be in the right position and the correct size, with good access. We have targeted Glasgow and Manchester as [possible locations for] our fifth big store, but it is also difficult to find sites at the right price when they hear that we are interested.
“At the same time as looking at larger sites, we are exploring smaller places, as some areas have the catchment, but not the necessary resources to maintain a larger store.
“Sites in Chester, York, Brighton, Cambridge and Harrogate are being looked at, but nothing has been signed.”