Design showcase: Littlesmith's permanent TopShop concession

Jewellery start-up Littlesmith opened a pop-up store in TopShop via Appear Here – and saw such sales success that a permanent concession followed (Retail Design World 30 September 2016).

The new concession, in TopShop’s flagship Oxford Street store, has been designed by Aberrant Architecture. The brief called for a space that would celebrate the qualities of craft, and has resulted in the use of handmade tiles, innovative recycled materials and interactive displays.

Littlesmith’s unique selling point is that bespoke items are made in front of customers while they wait. This creates a natural retail theatre, with people stopping to watch. The work area of the concession is surrounded by elegant displays of finished products, while a clean and modern aesthetic seeks to frame the activities underway.

Materials have been chosen to further emphasise the concept of craftsmanship, and to highlight the gold, silver and rose gold used in brand’s signature products. Handmade jesmonite tiles  by dsigner Kate Gillies and solid maple and brass details are offset by raw perforated plywood and plastic made of recycled food packaging.

Plants feature heavily, both in purpose-built wooden planters and individual pots, to soften the overall impact of the materials and create a soothing environment within the busy flagship store. The small scale individual plants have been chosen to reflect the small, personal messages featured on Littlesmith products.

Maple display counters with angled tops surround a large workstation with plenty of storage space for the tools and materials needed to make Littlesmith’s products.

A squareprofile brass rail, shaped liked a giant version of a Littlesmith product, is positioned above the workstation to display more finished items.

A pegboard backdrop, made of heavy duty birchwood, allow for varied visual merchandising that is complemented by small interactive digital displays.

The entire concession is a modular construction that can be rearranged or moved as required.

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