RNLI casts off with new retail look

First Partnership has created a new retail identity for The Royal National Lifeboat Institution, which is being rolled out across the charity’s 118-outlet estate from June.

The identity will be unveiled at the RNLI’s lifeboat station at the newly restored Southend pier. It will be carried across the remaining stores from June 2002 if the trial proves successful.

The Southend prototype is aligned to the lifeboat station to create an all-in-one visitor attraction. The RNLI also has retail outlets in museums and high street locations across the country.

First Partnership director Jonathan Blakeney says, “Retailing generates a large part of RNLI’s revenue, so it wanted a more co-ordinated approach. The idea is to integrate retailing with lifeboat stations, creating visitor attractions where people can access information, via Internet terminals, on things like local operations and volunteer profiles. People can also watch operations from viewing galleries.

“We have looked at signage, interior and exterior graphics and the full store design. We want to reflect the qualities of the RNLI and the locations they are in. We have used the colour palette of the RNLI logo,” he adds.

RNLI retail managing director Jayne George says the original site at Southend was purely functional, with little design input.

“But the replacement store had to incorporate the commercial imperatives of modern retail design, while fulfilling a broader function as part of a popular retail tourist attraction,” she says.

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