Whiteleys shopping centre in west London has appointed temporary retailer and consultancy Pop Store to work on wayfinding, marketing and interiors projects, as it seeks to reposition itself as a historic, yet edgy retail destination.
Pop Store will revamp wayfinding, decorate interiors, consult on marketing and design a new pop-up shop zone. Pop Store was approached directly by Whiteleys’ management company Jones Lang LaSalle associate director Ellen Lewis to work on the centre’s ’creative direction’, on the strength of her previous working relationship with the retail consultancy.
Lewis says, ’Our research found that customers wanted Whiteleys to be more fashion boutique-oriented, and pop-up stores are now becoming a norm in retail environments.’ Pop Store is designing and running four empty units on the first floor which will open later this month, with the possibility of taking over two more, says co-founder Brian MacShane.
Bower of Bliss, selling jewellery and ceramics, will feature a facade that looks like a rock face. Entering the cave-like door, visitors will find themselves in a ’forest’, with a photographic panorama of trees and sky on the walls and ceiling. Neighbouring fashion and jewellery shop Pop
Store’s design is ’inspired by Eastern European factories,’ says MacShane, and will feature breeze-block walls, shipping crates and a red
Fashion pop-up Junk Food will be decorated to resemble an ’American sweet store meets mid-west garage’, according to MacShane, and will feature an allotment shed and recycled vintage enamel lights. Transit Lounge will change its tenant and design frequently. The first tenant is Frost French, which is working with Pop Store to create a ’circus tent’ look.
The stores are due to close in December, but Lewis says that if sales go well, they could become permanent fixtures. Along with Lewis, MacShane is leading the creative vision for Whiteleys, which Lewis says is having to respond both to the recession and the opening of nearby shopping centre Westfield London. Pop Store is using archived marketing campaigns stretching back through Whiteleys’ 100-year-old history, which will be hung in gilt frames, to decorate the shopping centre.
Pop Store will also work with Lewis and graphics consultancy Mackerel Design on wayfinding. ’The centre’s in-house-designed wayfinding is not working well, so Pop Store will work on this, and Mackerel will be designing the look and feel,’ says Lewis. Lewis appointed Mackerel last year without a pitch, having previously worked with the consultancy. The group is creating a print and outdoor advertising campaign that will aunch at the same time as the pop-up stores, on 25 March, promoting them as well as the building’s history, and its current retail and leisure offering.