BonmarchÃ©, the 290-strong fashion chain aimed at older women, this week becomes the latest value retailer to upgrade its interiors format with a 260m2 store in Crewe, opening this Friday designed by Four IV.
The group has updated BonmarchÃ©’s identity, introducing a bolder, brighter facia, and modernised its merchandising system, with more thematic areas focusing on highly presentable lines like swimwear and lingerie.
Greater product density is concentrated on the perimeter, while the central areas are more ‘flexible’ and conducive to customer flow, Four IV managing director Chris Dewar Dixon says.
Lifestyle graphics, which will change every season, depict aspirational but ‘non-intimidating’ models, as the brand seeks to consolidate its core over-45 audience and appeal to new consumers. These images offset the ‘calm’ and ‘neutral’ interiors scheme.
Two circular ‘feature tables’ are central to the format, providing a ‘change in pace’, says Dewar Dixon. There is also a ‘ceiling treatment’ illuminating this area from above and a mannequin presentation in the middle of the display.
Around 15 BonmarchÃ© stores are understood to have been earmarked by brand owner Peacock Group for roll-out of the concept by the end of this year. Dewar Dixon expects implementation of the design to be a ‘fast track’ process in both new stores and those being ‘retro-fitted’.
Across the value sector, retailers now regard design as a way to build margins and retain differentiation in an increasingly competitive market. Peacock Group has been investing significantly in its other retail brand, the 382-strong Peacocks chain.