Upmarket womenswear retailer Toast is to open its first stand-alone store tomorrow, designed by retail specialist Din Associates. It is also planning to open additional dedicated shops and is examining other potential sites.
The 130m2 outlet in Harrogate takes the Toast brand beyond mail order and concession stores for the first time since it was formed seven years ago.
According to Din Associates co-founder John Harvey, the move allows the company to explore its ‘brand characteristics’ more fully than the concessions units have permitted.
‘[Founders] Jamie and Jessica Seaton wanted an organic growth of the on-line and catalogue brand in their first built environment,’ explains Harvey.
The interiors feature an ‘eclectic’ mix of natural materials displayed alongside antiques and contemporary objects, he adds. These include vacuum-packed straw bails and an untreated oak timber wall. The building’s original tongue-and-groove wall has also been restored and retained for the store.
Harvey says that the company is looking to open stores in upmarket high street locations rather than shopping malls. ‘It depends on getting the right sites in the right locations,’ adds Seaton.
Din Associates was appointed to the project two months ago on the basis of its two-year relationship with Toast. The consultancy has previously designed concession spaces in Selfridges and Harvey Nichols for the company.