One of the pleasures of shopping in the physical world is the joy of discovery. However it’s not often that you stumble upon a completely new concept store in central London, especially not a 1,500 sqm one.
Welcome to “The Shop at Bluebird” nestled in Floral Street, a stone’s throw from Covent Garden Piazza. Described by its creators Dalziel & Pow as a ‘playground of wonders’ it certainly creates a huge statement in an area rediscovering itself as a “jewel” in London’s retail crown.
If the name itself sounds familiar it’s no surprise as the Bluebird was an iconic destination on the King’s Road. The brand proposition is still as whimsical, expressive and free spirited as ever but relocated to this historic Carriage Hall, built around a spectacular open atrium, this is a re-incarnation for today’s customer.
We talk constantly about retail theatre and customer experience as the antidote to online migration and a clientele desperately trying to escape the drudge of retail monotony. The Bluebird beautifully delivers that dream into bricks ‘n’ mortar reality.
The concept also delivers an assortment for the modern world. This is no dull category killer, or purveyor of the same familiar fayre, but an ever changing proposition with exclusive brands and cherry-picked individual lines living together with dynamic change and brand surprises.
Delivering a sense of wonder and anticipation to wow experience-hungry customers, the space has been designed to gradually reveal its theatrical interior. After a deceptively understated shopfront, shoppers progress through trailing greenery along the ceiling, to the glass-topped atrium, encircled with three galleried floors. Flooded with natural light and paved with cobblestones, it evokes an open-air courtyard feel, bringing together the indoors and outdoors.
Art has always been a core part of The Shop at Bluebird and it is infused throughout the new space, including a wall of artworks on the first floor, whilst stairwell treatments pay homage to different artists on each level. Objets d’art similarly express the brand’s creative, eclectic spirit, combining found antique furniture with pieces rehomed from the King’s Road location.
Importantly as the customer moves through the store, each area continues to add an exciting sense of discovery to the store experience giving each shop-in-shop or department a unique treatment. The Bags and Jewellery shop-in-shop uses yellow zinc as a signature material, while Beauty and Fragrance is natural, earthy and soft with apothecary detailing and a living tree bursting through the ‘test and play’ table.
The design is respectful of the Grade II-listed architecture, offering a blend of heritage and modernity. Original features such as beautiful wooden beams and brickwork are laid open to admire, as well as the addition of equestrian details, and carriage wheel motifs in a nod to its former life as a coach house.
However the space is flexible and open to the need for perpetual change and dynamic attractions to satisfy and delight its loyal customer base. With a smart pulley system of suspended rails, the whole space is able to adapt for brand takeovers, fashion shows and other events.
To complete the total lifestyle experience, a restaurant and roof terrace will open on the store’s top floor in summer 2018, adding the essential food element.
The Bluebird is a surprise and will continue to surprise. It draws on the inspiration of a Liberty and the taste of an Anthropologie to create a unique experience, a distinct assortment and deliver an enthralling destination for loyal residents and anyone searching for something extraordinarily enjoyable.
Are you struggling to create a unique experience?
Does you assortment need refreshing to deliver surprise & delight?
How can store design deliver the capacity for change?
Visit the Store at Bluebird…Floral Street, London