Next has unveiled the latest development of its pioneering Fashion, Home and Garden format – the first in its estate to be built entirely from the ground up and to feature the retailer’s new Womenswear department concept.
Shaking up the tired big-box format, the concept designed by Dalziel and Pow unites Next’s full fashion offer (Men’s, Women’s and Children’s) with an expanded Homewares department, a Costa-operated café and garden centre. Its distinctive approach to VM sees the home and gardening ranges displayed in cross-category, themed room-sets, following the ‘Get the Look’ edits found in its Fashion department. The new store in Hedge End continues this lifestyle-led merchandising strategy, providing the casual DIY or gardening enthusiast with inspiration and guidance.
Unlike any previous opening to date, the Hedge End site gave Next an exciting opportunity to create a complete template for future Home and Garden stores, building out of the ground. As a result, it’s the strongest realisation of the concept to date and among the largest in the retailer’s UK estate at over 50,000sqft. The architectural design developed in association with Stanton Williams Architects breaks from the generic ‘shed’ structures usually associated with out-of-town retailers. Clad in natural limestone, the building has a premium, contemporary aesthetic and distinctive, ownable architectural identity.
Spanning three floors and an internal mezzanine level, the Hedge End store features include a new Womenswear concept spanning 10,600sqft – the brand’s strongest and most compelling to date. The Women’s Shoes and Accessories department features a bespoke ceiling installation of suspended acrylic rods, making an impressive focal point. A dramatic digital screen flanking the escalators between Men’s and Home aids navigation.
The overall impression is one of accessible luxury, with a commitment to quality rare in this type of location from a mainstream brand. A retail beacon for Hedge End, Southampton, the experience could easily compete on the global stage in a prime location. This concept previews a number of stores of this scale and quality in the coming months.