Virgile & Stone is designing interiors for home furnishings and accessories retailer Heal’s flagship North of England store, which is scheduled to open its doors in Manchester this month.
The 1765m2 shop, Heal’s fifth outlet and its first outside of the South East, opens on 24 July in Manchester’s Shambles redevelopment. Its launch comes as Heal’s seeks to extend its national reach, after what it describes as saturation in its South East heartland.
Heal’s chief executive Colin Pilgrim says, ‘Current evidence tells us that we have “done” the South East, which means opportunities there are limited. It’s time to look elsewhere.’
The group hopes to eventually have between ten and 12 outlets nationwide and is also evaluating sites in Glasgow and Leeds.
Interiors of the Manchester store will, according to a Virgile & Stone spokesman, ‘evolve and update’ the existing Heal’s concept. Heal’s traditional use of pale wood and tiles will make way for more ‘of the moment’ darker materials like oak, he says.
Virgile & Stone was hired on the basis of previous work for Heal’s on three London outlets.