Four IV essence for Warehouse

Four IV has drawn up retail brand guidelines for women’s clothing chain Warehouse, which could form the basis of a complete rebrand once a replacement for brand director Yasmin Yusuf is found.

The “brand essence” guide looks at Warehouse’s retail interiors to see how the brand is managed in-store and to improve the consistency of its implementation, says Four IV senior designer Kim Hartley.

The brand document is laying the foundations for Warehouse to look at its brand and where it is going, Hartley says.

“Warehouse’s in-store environments are looking tired,” adds Hartley. “Once these have been addressed, the brand and corporate identity could be looked at next.”

Four IV has created 1980s-style in-store graphics for Warehouse’s spring 2001 collections, which launch this month.

The graphics incorporate editorial rather than lifestyle photography and feature the store’s geometric print ranges against a red backdrop.

“We tried to emphasise Warehouse’s brand values of clean, stylish and sexy clothes with the graphics,” explains Hartley.

The brand document follows news that fellow Arcadia-owned fashion brand Wallis will soon be overhauling its in-store look (DW 16 February).

Retail Intelligence senior retail analyst Richard Perks says the Warehouse brand used to enjoy a strong franchise network and a young, sophisticated customer base when it was owned by Sears.

He says the risk is that, under the Arcadia parent group, Warehouse could lose its individuality. “Any brand needs constant review,” he adds.

A Warehouse spokesman maintains the brand essence document is for internal use only and will not lead to an overall rebrand of Warehouse. But he admits it features an “element of market research”, including customers’ views on the brand.

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