Rohan finds its way with Marking

Functional outdoor and travel clothing brand Rohan has appointed Marking Design to revamp its flagship store in London’s Covent Garden, as the brand seeks to appeal to a younger, more lifestyle-conscious audience.

Concepts created for the flagship will be rolled out across the company’s 22 UK stores. The consultancy starts work this week, following its appointment to the project two weeks ago.

Known for pioneering fabrics and performance clothing since its formation in 1975, Rohan is seeking to attract a broader age range of customers who view ‘travel as a state of mind’ rather than a means of getting from A to B, says Marking design managing director Giles Marking.

According to Rohan sales director Richard Utting, ‘younger’ is a misleading term. ‘We want to reduce the age of our target audience from around 51 to 40; we’re not a youth brand,’ he says.

According to Marking, the group was also briefed to highlight Rohan’s womenswear range more strongly, without it ‘losing its functional tag and becoming a fashion item’.

The flagship store is doubling in size after acquiring a neighbouring site and is scheduled to open in late summer.

Revamped interiors will be ‘very different’ to existing stores, says Marking. The group plans to introduce a range of natural, ‘honest’ materials, including oak and bamboo, to complement Rohan’s new direction.

‘The environment should be quality, contemporary and accessible, not threatening or elite,’ Marking explains.

Marking Design was appointed following a three-way, unpaid creative pitch. The consultancy undertook an audit of Rohan’s existing shops and rivals’ stores prior to the pitch.

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