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VM choice: A flower shower at Oasis

Oasis is bedecked with florals at present, showcasing a new collection of pretty floral merchandise printed with 11 prints selected from the V&A archive. Not only are the prints lovely, but so are the flagship store’s windows in the Argyll Street  flagship store.

The theme is flowers but, in a novel twist, both merchandise and mannequins are showcased in shower cubicles. Each has a very on-trend, copper-finished, rain-shower shower-head and cubicle frame.

With a busy backdrop of V&A floral-print style tiles, created from blown-up versions of the selected prints, the white mannequins stand out well, their selected outfits hung from the shower door cubicles, also covered in tile-style prints and the V&A logo. 

The right-hand window is similarly structured, and both feature pairs of the printed flip-flops by Gandy that match the collection, together with a rolled up towel featuring the Oasis logo. This is a very neat way of reintroducing the brand name at eye level, particularly in this fairly narrow street, rather than assuming that the customer will make the effort to look up at the fascia above the windows.

Rob and Paul Gandy founded their Gandy’s Foundation, ‘Orphans for Orphans’ project some years after their parents were killed in Sri Lanka during the 2004 tsunami. Using profits from their brand they have funded an orphanage in Sri Lanka for three years, and are now opening an orphanage for underprivileged and orphaned children in India, using 100% of any donations to achieve this aim. 

The thongs, displayed on white-painted wooden shower decking, are made in China in an ethically monitored production process, with distribution by ship rather than air to reduce carbon footprint.

The joy of these windows is that the merchandise can easily be swapped around to provide a slightly different look, depending on the weather and merchandise levels.

Notice the attention to VM detail too: each shower tray has drainage channels and a copper plughole.

Outside the entrance, a standard box tree in a floral-printed container stands guard.

In-store, the display facing the entrance showcases the mix-and-match collection on dressed mannequins and a pile of floral-print suitcases, the top one filled with the Gandy brothers’ new book: ‘Tsumami kids: our journey from survival to success’. In the background, a globe maps the prints as being in Africa, Asia, and Greenland. 

I’ve long admired the mannequins that Oasis uses, with their fun and fashionable grown-on shoes. This neatly solves the problem of endlessly destroying shoe and sock merchandise to dress mannequins that have a pin projecting from the sole of the foot into the base plate. And it looks so much better than leaving feet bare and undressed. It also simplifies VM, particularly for the regional stores, making dressing quicker. Such fun heel shapes too!

To the right of the in-store display is a floral print tile-covered box with a push button. Following the instructions produces a short paragraph about the Oasis design team’s process by a team member, appropriately named Daisy. I do like the knowing humour of the subtitle: (you know you want to), as it suggests that Oasis knows their customer well. Effectively, it is phrased with a smile. 

To the right of the central display, adjacent to the staircase, is the main in-store merchandise collection, displayed on a copper-finished stand topped with a glass shelf featuring in POS material. 

Altogether this is a lovely example of concise, well though out VM supporting a very pretty collection, drawing on British heritage and supporting a charity. Not so many VM projects tick every box so effectively and look so good as well.