The White Company: Living life in the Soft Lane!

There surely cannot be a better example of why online retailing will never replace the physical store than The White Company. The recent opening of the extension of Westfield London sees the latest incarnation of the home retailer, now lifestyle retailer, inviting the customer to literally dive into the sumptuous textures and fabrics that make-up its assortment.   If this is your brand taste then there is nothing to compare, however for any retailer of physical stores, and online as well, there is much to admire in its strategy, assortment development, customer service and its store experience. The White Company…

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MADE+ in Heaven: Delivered to your Door!

So, imagine a furniture concept that throws out the baggage of the traditional way of doing things, and re-invents the whole process from the perspective of the customer and the designer. More or less, you have Made.com Made is born from a passion for modern, beautiful furniture and the frustration of buying it the old-fashioned way. And with necessity being the mother of invention it was real life experience that bore forth the mother of modern retailers.   Let’s take the design side of things. Made is a conduit for both internal and external designers who fit the profile with…

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Everything’s Coming Up Roses: Cath’s Cornucopia

As part of VM-unleashed’s 10th anniversary year we take a look back at some retail milestones from the last decade and explain why each store’s message is as relevant for us today as it was then. Cath Kidston flagship store, Piccadilly London “Amongst the proud pillars of Piccadilly a little floral femininity has broken through the winter weather. Cath Kidston’s first flagship is a bright beacon of colour inviting the passer-by to explore a world of nostalgic designs, a celebration of classic kitsch, a veritable house of horticultural hype. Famous for its floral designs Cath Kidston lets its product do…

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House of Hackney: passionate people producing amazing experiences

To step from Shoreditch High Street into the House of Hackney is a journey into such a wonderful world of sumptuous colour and texture that a visit to Narnia itself would be no more astounding. And that is not to sleight Shoreditch but to extoll the voluptuous virtues of this home emporium that it so appropriately houses.   House of Hackney is a print-based lifestyle brand, founded in London in 2010 as an interiors label by husband and wife team Javvy M Royle and Frieda Gormley. Its origins unsurprisingly are in Hackney but it has now serenely settled both its…

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Pop-Up for Tea: Tasteful Treats from Wedgwood

A mere meander from the horticultural highlights of the Chelsea flower show is a marriage made in heritage heaven between Wedgwood and John Lewis.   Just a few steps into the foyer of Peter Jones in Sloane Square is a land of serene ceramics and tasteful elegance, a month-long pop-up experience that turns tasteful into tasty as the setting for the Wedgwood Conservatory Cafe, a place of tranquil relaxation and quiet indulgence. The Wedgwood world is emblazoned in powder blue, provided on this occasion by graphic walls, plinths and packaging, the backdrop for six Wanderlust tea designs in yellows, reds,…

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Sitting Pretty: John Lewis gets Materialistic

Sitting Pretty on the crest of the omni-channel retail wave John Lewis continues to be a master at combining the strengths of the past with the opportunities of the future.   Sometimes exemplified on a substantial scale as in the mammoth overhaul of its operational structure for cross-channel availability and delivery, sometimes seen through delicate detailing as in its stunningly simple wireless headphone windows, it seems this most traditional of brands always has a new idea or two up its crisply creased sleeves.   A fine and innovative example of this forward thinking phenomena are the new seated focal points…

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Home Cooking: IKEA’s Eating Evolution

It is not many yellow and blue moons ago that the food proposition at IKEA revolved around the manifestation of meatballs, supported stoically by sausages in rolls and competitively priced ice-cream cones with a choice of 3 syrups.   Whilst these destination delights are fully preserved for both loyal patrons and new generations to discover, the market leading home retailer is evolving the variety of its culinary concepts to satisfy the voracious appetites of its customers’ demands whilst growing the already healthy size of its own profit waistbands. Food concept expansion is running hand-in-hand with the wider evolution of physical…

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Changing Habitat: Survival of the Stylish

Since 1964 Habitat has been adorning the houses and apartments of design-minded Europeans consistently stylish in an ever changing world of taste whilst weathering its own personal storms as it passed from its visionary founder Sir Terence Conran through several corporate reincarnations until settling recently in the Sainsbury’s stable.   And so to Nine Elms in the increasingly attractive and desirable district of Vauxhall, where Habitat emerges as part of a brand new 9000sqm superstore, with its own shop-in-shop, as literally a shining light, a burst of colour and creativity amongst the aisles and gondolas of greens and groceries. Amongst…

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