Womenswear chain Autonomy is aiming to shed its factory outlet, value brand image and expand into the high street for the first time with two stores, in Guildford and Bath.
The company currently has six factory outlets but no standalone high street presence. The new stores, designed by RDC Foley Cooke and RDC Futurestate to compete with the likes of Marks & Spencer and Next, are due to open in March. If successful, the format will roll out more widely, says RDC Foley Cooke director Michael Foley.
‘Autonomy had little brand equity so we are, in effect, creating an entire retail brand,’ says Foley.
RDC Futurestate created graphics for the store, based on its original identity for Autonomy’s outlets, designed a year ago, and RDC Foley Cooke created interiors.
Interiors will feature stone floors, high-level halo lighting, graphically co-ordinated clothing areas and clean, white finishes.
‘We have toned up the interiors from the outlets,’ says Foley.
The two groups operate independently but join forces under the trading association Retail Design Consortium on certain projects.