Flagship shoeshop by Fern Green

Norwegian shoe manufacturer Ecco has opened a flagship store in London, as part of a global campaign to reposition the company to encompass a younger audience.

Fern Green Partnership designed the store, with input from the client’s in-house design team in Norway, which also created launch literature.

The flagship store, which opened in London’s Oxford Street last week, is the first of several planned for Europe’s major cities. These include Stockholm, Copenhagen and yet-to-be-determined cities in Germany and the US.

“[The stores] are intended to empower and reposition the brand. We have tended to appeal to the 45-year-old age market and want to broaden that to bring in people from their mid-20s upwards,” says Ecco European retail manager Tim Walley.

Fern Green partner David Fern adds: “Ecco has the reputation of being a comfortable and durable brand. These are opposing properties, like nature and technology. The idea is that nature creates softness and comfort, while technology leads to durability and ruggedness. So we used man-made materials such as vacuum-formed plastics together with natural materials such as maple.”

If the flagships are successful elements of their design will be incorporated into Ecco’s 200 standalone stores and 500 concessions across Europe. The design would also roll out to the standalone stores the client plans for the US.

All existing standalone stores are run as franchises with distribution company Shoon taking care of its 15 UK high street shops.

Walley says elements from its evolved store in the Trafford Centre shopping mall in Manchester, also designed by Fern Green, may also be rolled out to existing sites.

Further down the line, the new design is likely to be incorporated on to Ecco’s website, adds Walley.

Ecco has a predicted turnover of 200m this year and sells shoes in 32 countries.

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