Curious Group in frame for Artstore

Glasgow multidisciplinary consultancy Curious Group is to overhaul the design of Artstore, which claims to be Scotland’s largest single arts and crafts retailer.

The work forms part of a larger business development plan by Artstore, which will see additional shops opening in major UK cities over the next five years.

The £350 000 redesign is set for completion in July 2005 and will increase the Glasgow store’s floor space by 93m2 to 232m2. Curious Group’s remit spans interior design, architecture and graphic design, as well as staff uniforms and an 18-month marketing campaign.

‘We have outgrown our space enormously over the past five years,’ says Artstore owner Michael Kilmurry. ‘We are looking at a design that will reflect our business for the next ten years, appealing to the passing public as well as to artists.’

Curious Group was appointed by Kilmurry following a three-way pitch at the end of 2004. Its design scheme will contrast ‘precisely finished’ materials with a stripped down ‘shop-shell’ of bare walls and ceilings. A polished concrete floor may feature painted signage and product information.

Kilmurry has also gained planning permission for a ‘radical’ shop front. ‘[It] is one of our main forms of advertising,’ he says. ‘I am hoping for a shop front of high distinction; possibly a curved, stainless steel form that extends two feet from the front of the building.’

Kilmurry plans to open a further four Artstore outlets over the next five years, concentrating on high density conurbations, such as Edinburgh, Manchester and Birmingham, that will provide turnover of at least £2m.

‘I hope the [Glasgow store] design will set new standards for arts and crafts retailing, because the sector has been very poor indeed,’ says Kilmurry.

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