Retail design consultancy Dalziel & Pow is remaining tight-lipped following its win of a £40m store revamp for fashion retailer Next this week.
The consultancy is expected to undertake an overhaul of the chain’s high street estate, which Next chief executive Simon Wolfson has admitted is in need of more ‘excitement’. In the five months to Christmas, Next stores saw a fall of 6.9 per cent in underlying revenues.
Eleven out of 450 stores have been redesigned to some extent. Last spring, Next began the trial of an in-house format designed at its Oxford Circus store in London in a bid to buoy sales amid difficult trading conditions and tough competition (DW 30 March 2006). However, earlier this month Wolfson reportedly said the shop fit can be improved. Much of the estate is languishing with dated interiors, particularly the smaller outlets.
A Next spokeswoman declined to comment on the reported appointment of Dalziel & Pow, saying that details of the refit programme should not have been made public. However, last autumn the company was on the search for a list of retail design consultancies for research purposes, according to a spokeswoman at the time. (DW 5 October 2006)
Dalziel & Pow creative director David Dalziel was away on business and the group declined to make anyone else available for comment.
Separately, the consultancy is also creating a ‘benchmark’ design for value fashion retailer Primark’s forthcoming Oxford Street flagship store, opening this March.
The two-floor, 6500m2 outlet is housed in the former Allders and C&A building near Marble Arch and will retail men’s, women’s, kids’ and home products. With an exterior stretching across one full block of Oxford Street, it is the most prominent location yet for a Primark store, Dalziel told Design Week last week, prior to news of the Next appointment.
Although the store will not exhibit an entirely new concept, all the departments will receive a new treatment under the scheme, according to Dalziel.
‘It is a bit of a benchmark for Primark and will definitely offer more [in design terms] than you would expect from a value retailer of that scale,’ he says.
A key challenge was to incorporate into the interior design 60 cash tills, which the retailer is installing in an attempt to reduce queuing congestion.
‘It was a challenge to squeeze them all in and it not to look like a big cash desk. We need to make the store more efficient and tidier, as high footfall has created queue issues in the past,’ adds Dalziel.
Dalziel & Pow has a long-standing relationship with Primark, dating back 15 years. It will create all store elements, including packaging, labelling and signage for the Oxford Street shop. Last year, the consultancy also redesigned Primark’s corporate identity.
• Operates more than 450 stores nationwide and more than 100 franchises overseas
• Many smaller outlets felt to be outdated in design terms
• Reportedly planning £40m refit programme with Dalziel & Pow
• Founded in 1982 as high street fashion retailer, but launched catalogue retailing and introduced homeware products in 1988