May 15th, 2012
Cadw unveils new retail and visitor centre at Conwy Castle
This week sees the launch of our designs for the new 150 square metre retail and visitor centre at UNESCO World Heritage Site Conwy Castle in Wales. Cadw, the Welsh Government’s Historic Environment Service, asked us to develop a flexible new approach to retail and visitor centre site design for Cadw’s many and varied historic visitor attractions.
Our challenge? To create a set of high level design principles to be applied at Cadw’s properties, working alongside our long-time partner Datum Contracts International (http://www.datum-contracts.co.uk) who fit out and implement those designs.
The aim is to create shops and visitor centres that reflect the uniqueness of each of the historic properties, contribute to the visitor experience, increase sales and encourage return visits. This isn’t about creating a ‘cookie cutter’ approach for all the properties. It’s about getting some consistency and functionality in the way things are presented, but having enough flexibility to be sympathetic to each individual site. Visitors want to see each historical attraction reflected through the first or last part of their journey, so relevancy of the product and of the environment in which it is presented was a primary driver.
Our client Jayne Rowlands, Head of Visitor & Business Services at Cadw, said: “We manage and maintain a hugely diverse range of building types, none of which were originally designed with retail spaces. M Worlwide and Datum Contracts have created an incredibly flexible and cost-effective approach that can be adapted to different spaces, different periods and different styles of architecture.”
March 13th, 2012
Bath Visitor Information Centre completely transformed
This week sees the official relaunch of our work on a completely redesigned and refurbished Bath Visitor Information Centre, attended by UK Minister for Tourism & Heritage John Penrose. Operated by Bath Tourism Plus, the Centre is the second busiest of its kind in the UK, providing comprehensive visitor information on Bath, as well as offering accommodation bookings, ticket sales and a retail shop.
The new Centre is now a state-of-the-art destination for visitors to Bath, and also preserves a flavour of Bath’s heritage which is in line with the local council’s long term strategy and master plan for the city. The revamp also provides functional solutions to increase ticket and retail sales, improve visitor flow especially during peak times, and enhance the visitor experience.
David Martin, our Co-Managing Partner says: “We needed to apply a huge amount of inventiveness to make everything work for visitors, given the external listed building status, internal structural and layout limitations, the multi-functional nature of the site, and Bath Council’s master plan strategy, combined with limited budgets. We think we’ve struck the right balance between the practicalities of making sure the Centre stands the test of time, that it feels inviting and welcoming, and reflects the materials and finishes of a wider city strategy.”
January 23rd, 2012
Reinvigorating 10-11 convenience stores in Iceland
We’re currently developing the retail strategy, customer experience, store environment and some packaging for 10-11 convenience stores based in Iceland. We were appointed on the strength of our very successful 2004 work for the chain , which achieved a 20% increase in earnings before EBITDA one year post redesign.
10-11 dominates the convenience market in Iceland; its shops are open 24-7 and are central to people’s everyday shopping needs. The decision to reinvigorate the stores comes as a result of the sale of the chain by Arion Bank to Icelandic entrepreneur Árni Pétur Jónsson in 2011.
We’re reviewing everything to do with the retail strategy, customer experience and store environment in order to increase basket size and drive sales. This includes how to make the most of promotional offers in-store, advising on range development and offers such as “food to go”, packaging for specific products and the 10-11 bags and presentation of fresh food categories.
David Martin, our co-managing partner says: “While frequency and number of visits remains high, 10-11’s once edgy and energetic positioning has become less so in customers’ minds. This is a fantastic opportunity move our 2004 work forward to create the next generation 10-11 convenience store concept.”
Árni Pétur Jónsson, CEO at 10-11 says: “As 10-11 heads into a new era with new ownership, so too should our offer and environments. M Worldwide’s customer-centric approach is just the thing we need to stay firmly in the hearts and minds of our shoppers.”
The solution is due to be initially be trialled at a large store in Lagmuli in early 2012 with a view to rolling out the elements in other stores after that.
November 15th, 2011
TK Maxx shortlisted again – Oracle Retail Week Awards 2012
We’ve just heard fantastic news – our work for TK Maxx Gracechurch Street has been shortlisted by the Oracle Retail Week Awards 2012 as Store Design of the Year.
TK Maxx is bucking the tough times by continuing to grow and expand. The success of our retail design concept confirms that value retailers who operate a low cost model can exceed customer expectations in terms of shopping experience and store environment.
Results since the launch of Gracechurch Street have well exceeded expectations and the new design is now being rolled out to other city locations in the UK and Germany.
Recognising that many TK Maxx shoppers go into the stores two or three times a week to ‘find a bargain’, that the act of rummaging through the rails is an engaging and entertaining experience, and that there’s a constant stream of newness and freshness to its products, we developed a wide range of store principles around planning, shop front branding and windows, brand messaging, departmental fixtures, along with a new palette of lighting, materials and finishes. The result is a happy meeting of operational efficiency and flexibility that also creates more pauses for shoppers, more ways of presenting product.
Winners will be announced 15 March 2012 – watch this space!
October 3rd, 2011
Redesigning and implementing retail and visitor centre concepts for Welsh historic attractions
We’ve just been appointed, alongside shopfitting and fit out contractor Datum Contracts, by Cadw — the Welsh Government’s Historic Environment service — to develop a new approach to retail and visitor centre site design at Cadw’s historic visitor attractions. This will be initially trialled at Conwy Castle, North Wales. We’ll be creating a set of high level design principles that can be applied at Cadw’s many and varied historic properties across Wales, and Datum Contracts will fit out and implement those designs.
The pilot site is at the visitors’ centre at World Heritage Site Conwy Castle. A refurbished retail and visitor services space of 150 sq m (15,000 sq ft) will be officially unveiled in time for Easter 2012.
We’ll develop a design language which encompasses communications, visitor environment elements, lighting and a palette of colours and materials to reflect and portray Cadw’s ethos, as well as the rich and diverse history of Wales. Particular attention will be given to sourcing and specifying local materials with a strong Welsh provenance.
Elements from the overall design language will be used at each location to create a sympathetic and appropriate approach to new visitor centre interiors. This, together with the ability to change the proportions and scale of the various retail merchandise units, will allow each site to be designed to complement the historic period and character of each retail outlet, whether it is in an abbey, castle or more contemporary setting.
Our client Jayne Rowlands, Head of Visitor & Business Services at Cadw, says: “We look forward to M Worldwide and Datum Contracts delivering a solution that delights our visitors. Cadw has strived to achieve year-on-year growth in visitor numbers and the new retail interiors will support our strategy to enhance the overall visitor experience, whilst offering a recognisable and consistent retail identity at every site.”
August 1st, 2011
TK Maxx shortlisted for the Retail Week Interiors Awards
25 July 2011) We’re over the moon that our work for TK Maxx has been shortlisted by the Retail Week Interiors Awards for The UK Specialist Store Design of the Year (2,500 sq ft +).
TK Maxx embodies a new era of retail. Whilst name after name of high street stalwarts fall by the wayside – victims of their own inertia, lack of relevance and the Internet – TK Maxx continues to expand. Our design takes into consideration the dynamic TK Maxx business and operating model, its unique price positioning, known brand names and presents them using a new language of smaller boutiques. The flexibility of layout for features and fixtures means it can be easily adapted to other locations – with a kit of parts that really can get the most out of irregular multi-floored retail units.
The new concept confirms that value retailers who operate a low cost model can exceed customer expectations in terms of shopping experience and store environment.
Results since the launch of Gracechurch Street have well exceeded expectations. As testament to that success, the new design is now being rolled out to other city locations in the UK and Germany, including Solihull, Braunswerig and Bonn.
Alan Culverhouse, UK Vice President for TK Maxx confirms that “Since the launch of the new design of the Gracechurch Street store, the revenue and footfall have exceeded expectations.” He goes on to state that: “TK Maxx’ investment in design fees was recouped within the first week of launch.”
The new design also signifies the start of a new chapter for the retailer. Like the handful of successful retailers that have got the balance right in recessionary times, finding locations is harder and harder. Premium locations and high level shopping areas place great emphasis on an appropriate store mix. As the new design rolls out around the country and in other European cities, this new look has broadened opportunities for TK Maxx in terms of locations of stores.
Winners will be announced 29 September – fingers crossed!
July 27th, 2011
Redeveloping The Bath Visitor Information Centre
(19 July 2011) We’ve just won a 6-way pitch to fully redesign and refurbish The Bath Visitor Information Centre. We were asked to pitch following our very successful redevelopment of the Roman Baths main store which saw a 9% conversion rate increase of visitors to retail customers and a 12.8% increase in spend per visitor.
July 22nd, 2011
Redeveloping positioning and visual identity for London Graphic Centre
(London, 15 June 2011) We just won a four-way competitive pitch to redevelop London Graphic Centre’s positioning, messaging and visual identity.
London Graphic Centre is the leading supplier of graphic art material to professionals and students within the design and creative communities. Formed in 1973, the company currently sells an unparalleled choice products through three retail outlets, a state-of-the-art ecommerce website and mail order. All stores are managed by art and design graduates, who provide customers sound advice and guidance on products and usage.
May 19th, 2011
City Slicker Style
New TK Maxx store creates 95 new jobs
A brand new TK Maxx store is set to open its doors on Gracechurch Street, London EC3 in the heart of the City this October (2010) creating 95 new jobs. This new TK Maxx will feature over 14,000 sq ft of famous label fashion, shoes and accessories for men and women – all up to 60% of the RRP.
March 10th, 2010
Roman Baths Opens New Destination Store
This month saw the opening of the expanded and refurbished visitor shop at the Roman Baths in Bath – one of the country’s leading visitor attractions and the only major attraction managed by a local government authority (Bath & North East Somerset Council).