Furniture chain Sofa Workshop is expected to give the green light to a Conran Design Group shop format for roll-out next week, in a bid to extol the brand’s ‘craftsmanship’.
The group has designed a prototype store that opened last week in Wilmslow, Cheshire, says CDG interior designer Philippa McFadden. A client meeting is scheduled for next week and McFadden is confident the decision will be taken to extend the design throughout Sofa Workshop’s 25 stores.
The company has plans for 70 new stores in the next five years, which McFadden suggests are likely to follow the new format.
According to Sofa Workshop category manager Rachel Hulbert, the brand’s aim was to reflect the ‘interactive nature of the shopping experience with us’, creating an environment that is ‘relaxed and unimposing while feeling modern, stylish and fun’.
The brief was motivated by the lack of differentiation among furniture stores on the high street, explains Mc- Fadden.
The concept emphasises the ‘workshop ethic’, she adds, with a natural look featuring timber-framed room sets and a ‘lean-in bar’ where customers can plan their sofa designs with shop staff.
The bar-style design for the service area (pictured below) was considered more approachable than desk-type tables, which became ‘too much of a barrier’ between customers and staff.