RPA gives Halifax a little extra help

Halifax has introduced a trial branch concept said to represent “a complete change in thinking and corporate culture”, developed by Retail Planning Associates. If successful the concept will roll out to all 900 sites.

The branch interior focuses on providing space and customer service. A client spokesman says the comparison of Halifax branches to retail outlets was core to the project, and to the appointment of RPA.

The move follows the Halifax’s transition from building society to bank last year.

The format has been installed in London in the High Street Kensington branch, and will be implemented at outlets in Cardiff, Portsmouth, Leeds and Sheffield over the next year. It is likely to be trialed for between one year and 18 months before a full roll-out is confirmed.

Large browsing areas and an informal lounge are included in the Kensington branch, along with multimedia kiosks developed by Tui, and point-of-sale and merchandising material by TGA Chapman. Lighting is by DPA. Dedicated PC terminals linked to the Halifax website are being considered for later openings, says the spokesman.

The customer enquiry desk has been moved to the rear of the store so customers do not feel they are “reporting in” when they arrive. Wooden floors and bright armchairs are included to give the branch an informal, rather than institutional, feel.

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