Groups line up to breathe life into M&S concept

Marks & Spencer’s newly announced Lifestore home furnishing concept is to provide a raft of work for the design community, with Michael Nash Associates and Winkreative joining architect John Pawson on the six-figure design roster.

Marks & Spencer’s newly announced Lifestore home furnishing concept is to provide a raft of work for the design community, with Michael Nash Associates and Winkreative joining architect John Pawson on the six-figure design roster.

Pawson will design the first store, which opens in Gateshead next March. He will also create a fully furnished house that will feature within each of the outlets and act as an ‘inspirational aid’ for customers.

‘This is a gutsy, real house,’ says Pawson. ‘Customers can walk through and get a feel for a different way of living.’

Michael Nash Associates has been appointed to create graphic components, including bags, packaging, signage, banners and communications. The group also created the Lifestore logo – unveiled last week to coincide with the announcement of the concept’s name.

Elsewhere, Winkreative has been handed the catalogue brief, which an M&S spokeswoman says will play a crucial role in supporting store sales.

According to M&S home division executive director Vittorio Radice, the design challenge lies in moving away from traditional industry-driven offerings.

‘It’s all about getting customers to consider time spent in the house, not space; and rituals, not furnishings,’ he says. ‘We need to get them thinking about what they need to rest and relax, be it a cushion, a candle or a sofa.’

Pawson, Michael Nash and Winkreative were hired without a pitch on the basis of previous projects.

M&S is currently assessing an unnamed site in London for a second outlet. Future Lifestores will predominately, but not exclusively, be located in out-of-town complexes. The concept will also be incorporated into existing Marks & Spencer stores.

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