Universal approach by Selfridges Manchester

Universal Design Studio has overhauled the youth-oriented Spirit floor at Selfridges’ Exchange Square store in Manchester.

The 2044m2 space, which was unveiled on Saturday, takes its cues from nightclub design in a bid to create a less formal and familiar environment for its customers.

‘People in that age bracket [16- to-25 year olds] don’t spend much time in boutique shops; they go to nightclubs,’ says Universal Design Studio director Jonathan Clarke.

‘We wanted to bring in a bit of the environment that they are used to and make it a destination, a place where people can hang out and do things,’ he says.

A lighting feature comprised of horizontally hung batons undulates through the space ‘like a curved spine’, according to Clarke, and plays a significant part in enticing shoppers ‘up the escalator and into the space’.

The floor also boasts a ‘chill-out area’ and zones where shoppers can customise clothes and buy drinks, sweets and magazines. Concession owners have also redesigned their areas in-store to match the new look.

Paul Johnston, senior project manager at Selfridges says, ‘Universal and Selfridges worked closely together to develop a proposal for review by the board.’

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