Rising costs combined with reduced consumer spending ensures that competition within the value fashion sector is intense. Successful brands strive to differentiate, offering value and fashion combined with a memorable store and brand experience. Primark’s latest flagship in Oxford Street combines these values, building on a strong position and pushing forward.
Located at the Tottenham Court Road end of Oxford Street, Primark’s new store bookends the retail hub of London’s West End, along with its Marble Arch older sister. It is comprised of three buildings, mixing historic with contemporary façades, spread over four floors and 82,400 sqft. The store retains the flavour of its predecessors – Berlin, Edinburgh, Stratford – with a common DNA, whilst combining the buildings’ heritage with a digital fashion experience. The brand speaks with a new level of personality through tone of voice, local narrative and communications.
Each entrance to the store creates a different atmosphere. The main Oxford Street entrance arrives in the atrium with a digital lift wall, which focuses on high level vistas of VM and digital display. Another features a recreated ‘tube carriage’ display wall that promotes different looks, combining digital display with key product lines. By contrast, arriving via Tottenham Court Road presents a distinct destination within the store – a darker, theatrical space, with pops of colour to highlight a pace of fashion that is now synonymous with Primark.
Departments retain the look and feel of previous stores, but offer greater experience and depth through architecture, fixturing and graphic communication. Cash desks have been located within heritage areas of the building. Care has been taken to reveal these and make them relevant to a contemporary retail environment. Department specific frame walls line the escalators, and merchandise is merged with VM, and graphic and digital communication, to ensure the shopping experience is as lively in the atrium as it is on the shop floor.
Digital integration is a key element to this store. We were commissioned to create Primark’s first ever series of brand films, which showcase the attitude of the brand using the key values of ‘Fashion, Value, Fun, Expressive and Eclectic’. These films, along with seasonal campaigns, are played on a giant lift wall, made up of nearly three million LEDs. We created a series of animated navigation that works with the films and helps customers navigate the store.
The iconic illustrated Primark map has taken on a new life in an animated form and is used, in its day- and night-time versions, on the lift wall and tube train screens throughout the store. Seasonal imagery is projected onto brick arches on the ground floor. The cash desks on the first and second floors feature a huge Primark logo, extending the width of seven windows, in keeping with the corporate palette, but tweaked to convey the personality of the respective departments.
The store introduces a whole new family of navigation. Bold, confident typography, combined with use of exposed LEDs and supersize neon creates an edgy, more contemporary take on the brand palette. The navigation is clear – Accessories, Lingerie and Shoes all have bespoke signage to reflect their character and personality.
Oxford Street is the best Primark store to date and the brand’s method of ‘continuous development’ will ensure the best is yet to come. Together with Primark we conduct continuous research, ravelling to major cities around the world to review and challenge an evolving market with a fresh and relevent approach.
Designed by Dalziel and Pow