Noble Associates merges with FI5 graphics group

Fourteen-strong interiors and architecture group Noble Associates is to merge with four-strong graphics and multimedia consultancy F15 at the end of this month.

The two groups have already worked together on a number of projects for menswear retailer Woodhouse. These include creating a new discount store format, evolving its standard store design and positioning new sub-brands.

After the merger the consultancies will continue to work as individual companies under a new, as yet unnamed, holding company owned by directors from the two groups. Noble Associates principal Graeme Noble and FI5 creative director John Bell will hold more than 50 per cent of the shares, with the remainder held by three Noble Associates directors.

“[Under the arrangement] we will be able to offer a one-stop-shop to clients. F15 will get access to Noble Associate’s clients, particularly in retail and architecture, and Noble will benefit from our contacts and expertise,” says Bell. F15 will also benefit from Noble’s four-strong Bulgarian office.

Bell says that, post-merger, the groups will pay each other for their input. This would see Noble paying F15 for work on a Noble-originated project and vice versa.

The two groups are currently working on Woodhouse’s standard store design, developing the graphics and integrating multi-media into the retail space. The new format goes live in a new flagship store to open in London’s St Christopher Place on 23 April.

Meanwhile, the groups are working with the client on a programme of diversification. This begins with the launch of an own-label spring/summer range this year which the groups will name and brand. The range will include a number of lines, including fashion and casual outdoor wear.

A new discount concept has just gone live in Cheshire Oaks, Cheshire, and a second will open in Bridgend, South Wales, on 21 May. Bell says the concept is based on Woodhouse’s existing store design. Originally by Noble with input from Rodney Fitch, the format has been evolved to be brighter and more energetic and is built from cheaper materials.

Noble Associates and architect Russell Knowles have just been appointed to design the building for the newly formed film company Film 4 in west London.

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