Halifax refit banks on M Worldwide

Halifax is modernising its branch network with interiors by M Worldwide that will be extended to all 800 Halifax outlets.

The consultancy has presented retail interiors concepts, which the bank is reviewing, and work will start to emerge from mid-2002. A timeframe for the roll-out programme has not been decided.

The bank denies this is its second network overhaul in four years following retail interiors work by the then Retail Planning Associates in 1997 (DW 14 March 1997).

‘This isn’t about redesigning the network for the second time since 1997, it’s about moving with the times,’ a Halifax spokesman says.

Retail Planning Associates put in place a ‘branch of the future’ concept which saw Halifax positioning itself on the high street as a retail financial services organisation rather than a bank or a building society. The current project is an extension of that initiative, says the spokesman.

‘The whole marketplace has shifted and products and services have changed. We are building on what was already in place,’ the Halifax spokesman maintains.

Halifax wants to encourage people to use its branches ‘like a shop’. ‘We are taking what works elsewhere in retail and moving it into the financial services arena. We want to encourage people to come off the street and browse,’ he says.

A decision on the location of a prototype store in which to trial the concept has yet to be made.

M Worldwide was appointed in July following a three-way paid creative pitch against Knox and Northcross in March.

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