The National Trust is attempting to do away with its crusty image by opening a chain of high street shops branded separately by First Partnership.
The consultancy has come up with a trading name, identity and retail format for the proposed chain. A new range of branded homeware and gift products and their packaging is being developed in-house by National Trust Enterprises, aimed at a new audience of younger consumers.
The store interiors will feature the National Trust range of paints, used in a contemporary way. A painted relief on the walls will reflect the diversity of the properties and land that the trust owns, says First Partnership director Jonathan Blakeney.
The group commissioned market research, which discovered that the trust is viewed positively. “Most people think the trust are really good guys, but it has the perception of being stuffy and crusty,” Blakeney says.
To get away from its county town associations, National Trust Enterprises is currently looking for its first retail site on an urban high street or shopping mall.
The National Trust is about to launch the prototype for its new food offer, linking the catering experience with the heritage of a property. Menu boards, point-of- sale material and table menus designed by Agenda Design Associates will be trialed at the Polesden Lacey site near Guildford.