British luxury department store Harvey Nichols has unveiled a new look for the store in Birmingham, set to be the blueprint for all future stores around the country. Set in The Mailbox space in Britain’s second largest city, the new look Harvey Nichols store has undergone a major revamp with a complete new concept and redesign hitting the store.
“The brief was to create a store that would respond to today’s customer expectations and provide a stage to display the best edit of product in an environment that was innovative, evolutionary and offered our customers an unrivalled luxury experience,” said Shadi Halliwell, group marketing and creative director at Harvey Nichols. The concept of the store is based around “controlled disruption,” particularly focussing on an eclectic store layout. This includes contrasting rough and smooth surfaces, quirky pieces of furniture as well as varying materials to make up the look of the space. The 45,000 sq-ft area is now twice the size of the original Harvey Nichols store at The Mailbox, which was originally opened in 2001. Now the store has collaborated with London-based retail design specialist Virgile + Partners, whose client list includes Burberry, John Lewis, Harrods Luxury Rooms and Heal’s, in order to create and carry out the concept. “The design approach aimed to break rules and challenge the predictable imagery and established principles that define luxury shopping environments, replacing them with a new visual vocabulary – more experimental, unconventional and creative – where style and technology work together seamlessly,” said Carlos Virgile, director of Virgile + Partners.
The new look is certainly an exciting step for the store, which has introduced 5-metre ceilings, semi-transparent polycarbonate panels and soft white marble pathways, as well as a complete overhaul and restructuring of the various different sections of the shop floor. “This is our first footprint of a grand vision of the future. We have innovated across the whole of the shop floor without losing the traditional service elements that people love about the luxury market. The welcome is worthy of a five-star hotel and there is a reason for that. Customers have told us they love going into hotels, getting rid of everything as they walk in and having it all taken care of. We have valet parking downstairs and a concierge as you come in so you can drop your bag or briefcase off and your coat and walk around without the burden of the day,“ said Halliwell.