Fortnum’s unveils £24m refurbishment

Fortnum & Mason will unveil the ground and third floors of its London store over the next few weeks, plus three David Collins-designed restaurants. Half the ground floor food hall will open in mid-September, designed by Kinnersley Kent.

In October the third floor opens, designed by HMKM,selling men’s accessories, luggage, games and stationery. David Collins’ St James restaurant will open on 29 October, completing the store’s £24m refurbishment. The end of the renovation coincides with the store’s 300th birthday.

Fortnum & Mason briefed its four interior design groups (including master planner Jestico & Wiles), to ‘retain the iconic design elements of the store, such as chandeliers and red carpet, so that it is still recognisable as Fortnum’s.’

They were asked to ‘reinterpret the Georgian elements of design… retain the store’s slightly whimsical nature… and retain the sense of grandeur, but appeal to all types of customers’.

HMKM was responsible for designing all the non-food areas. Consultancy director of architecture Peter Moore says, ‘We had a much lower budget than the food areas. We responded by creating very simple, highly finessed furniture.’

Kinnersley Kent, charged with designing the food halls, produced lavish gondolas using black marble, terracotta, blue tile and stone. Fortnum & Mason is keen to improve its dismal footfall figures for the areas beyond the food hall. Jestico & Wiles responded by cutting an atrium through the centre of the shop.

Fortnum’s managing director Beverley Aspinall says, ‘We are particularly pleased with the footfall on the first floor. The lower ground is working well with the ground floor, and the staircase has been heavily used to access the lower ground.’

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