Design showcase: Schuh's new concept arrives in capital

Footwear brand Schuh has rolled out its twentyTWENTY store concept, designed by Briggs Hillier, to its Oxford Circus store in London.

The store format was launched last year in Livingston, and has since been extended to branches in Bristol and Manchester. This represents the first example of the format in London, in one of the busiest shopping locations in Europe.

The store employs a 'digital and experience first' concept that also seeks to provide a practical and dynamic retail environment.

The layout of the  refurbished store has been changed significantly from its previous format. It previously traded across two floors, but now operates from an enlarged ground floor space only.
Fluid and flexible spaces have been created to allow the store to meet changing demands, with ceiling heights raised and perimeter walls pushed back, to optimise space. Meanwhile, more stockroom space has been created at basement level, with a vertical conveyor to increase the speed of service.

On-trend sportswear collections are located centre stage at the front of the store, where they are merchandised by brand, rather than by more conventional product categories.

A series of illuminated arches has been installed as part of the concept, designed to create a sense of horizontal fluidity to the large interior and designating brand spaces.

The store features a bespoke merchandising system that extends between the arches, using mobile, modular components to further increase flexibility. Multi-functional plinths can be used as products displays, mirrors, window units, or kiosk payment stations.

A 'hero cube' fixture is positioned at the front of the store. It has been conceived as a walk-through, interactive unit that is ready for brand takeovers and activations, or for in-store events. A central column with seating around the base will display works by local artists, following different themes through the year.

A large digital screen to the rear of the store acts as an in-store anchor, drawing attention to its content. It is supported by a number of smaller screens positioned around the perimeter of the store. The screens show a range of content from fashion influencers, along with branded creative from Schuh.

Launched in 1981, Schuh opened its first store in the North Bridge Arcade in Edinburgh. Its mission was “To provide individual high-fashion footwear, sold in a unique and exciting retail environment”.

The company now has more than 100 stores. It stocks shoes from a range of popular brands including Adidas, Converse, Fred Perry and New Balance.

The store at Oxford Circus opened on 28 February, with the new concept being rolled to new sites as they open. A new Schuh Kids store, also developed by Briggs Hillier, will open in Livingston at the end of this month (March 2020).

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