Lumsden at Small Back Room works on British Museum shops

Retail interior specialist Lumsden at Small Back Room is redesigning all the retail stores in the British Museum, London WC1.

The consultancy was appointed by the British Museum Company, the museum’s commercial arm, following a four-way competitive pitch in February, according to Lumsden at Small Back Room creative director Callum Lumsden.

Lumsden at Small Back Room has been tasked with redesigning four retail shops within the museum – two in the Great Court and two elsewhere – with the aim, says Lumsden, of ‘making them more concise in terms of products offered’.

As well as designing the four stores and their individual branding, Lumsden at Small Back Room will create five standalone kiosks in prime locations near to destination objects and galleries.

The British Museum’s current stores were opened in 2000 as part of the Great Court development designed by architect Foster & Partners.

Last September, the BMC commissioned a firm of retail consultants to look at the museum’s retail offer. Its findings recommended radical changes to the existing offer and layout of the stores.

Roderick Buchanan, BMC retail buying and sales director, says, ‘Following a review of the museum’s retail offer, it became clear that fundamental changes were needed in the layout, navigation and location of our stores.

‘We wanted to ensure visitors have a greater and more pleasurable experience while shopping for gifts, research books, artworks or souvenirs.’

Lumsden at Small Back Room is looking at the family store, the bookstore, the collectibles store and the culture store as part of the year-long contract.

The first stores to open – in September – will be the family store in the Great Court and the bookstore, which will be next to the Assyrian Sculpture Gallery.

The collectibles store in the Great Court will open in October, and the culture store will open in March 2010. Lumsden says the last will be the ‘biggest challenge’, as it will sit in the 19th-century Grenville Library, which he describes as ‘a fantastic space, into which we’ll be dropping something really high-end’.

British Museum retail revamp timetable

Family store – to open in September in the Great Court

Bookstore – to open in September next to the Assyrian Sculpture Gallery

Collectibles store – to open in October in the Great Court

Culture store – to open in March 2010 in the Grenville Library

Five standalone kiosks

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