Loaf at your Leisure: Disruptive Relaxation

Loaf, in a purely traditional definition, is a retailer of sofas, beds and furniture. However in the context of the traditional way of doing business it is a disruptor of the highest order bringing new ideas, imagination and inspiration to the table of home retailing.

 

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To begin, Loaf is not just a clever name with its implication of relaxation in the modern media world, or its application to product names and its staff of “Loafers,” but is a summary of a state of … Continue reading

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.

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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 … Continue reading

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.

 

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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 … Continue reading

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.

 

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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 … Continue reading

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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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 … Continue reading

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.

 

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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, … Continue reading

Centrifugal Celebration: Dyson’s Hair-Raising Experience

To call the new Dyson experience on Oxford Street a museum would be to relegate its content to the realms on history whereas this celebration of centrifugal forces is a testament to the extraordinary inventions of the future.

 

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This world-renowned company has of course cut its technological teeth on sucking seamlessly and extraordinarily efficiently every unwanted speck of dust and grain of dirt from the floors and hidden places of a million homes. Its super-suction cleverly combined with simple and sexy silhouettes has … Continue reading

Highly Decorated: Orla Kiely Home for Heroes

Whether you know the name, the un-missable, unmistakable signature leaf pattern of Orla Kiely runs rampantly through most people’s lives like a real life creeper casting its colours and shapes on everything from stationery to lamp shades, from linen to laptop cases. The pattern evokes in its simplicity the sunny retro days of seventies consumerism and way beyond the distant days when we never knowingly had it so good.

 

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This unique trademark from the textile trellis literally has a home in London’s Covent … Continue reading

Personally Speaking: Anthropology for the People

By name and now by nature, Anthropology is a retailer for the people. There may be more commercially obvious operators who adorn their assortment with monograms and a monotony of namesakes but Anthropology is carefully personalising its parchment, customising its cushions whilst maintaining its decidedly desirable approach to product design and display.

 

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It’s beautifully created store adventures have occasionally focused on quirky categories displayed with boldness amidst the subtlety and seduction. From door knobs to decorations, personalised purses to monogrammed mugs these areas … Continue reading