My Favourite Retail Environment: All Saints Before you enter the shop, All Saints have set their tone. Headless mannequins hang on chains, enclosed by dark grey walls; the window display at the front of the shop is bleak yet the simple nature portrays the beauty of the garments. The surrounding windows are tinted, therefore you can see out but not in; this gives the shop an exclusive feeling, contributing to the individual style of the clothes and the high price tags.
The building is the main feature of All Saints which sets it apart from other high street shops; it’s a converted bank, however it’s been renovated to look and feel like a church, this view is gained from entry as you step through the huge wooden doors. The ceilings are high, the arches, pillars and cornices are incredible, the tiled floor is amazing, and the centre of the store has a beautiful round ceiling mural with a balcony surrounding and a trio of gold, goblet type ornaments.
The shop is very gothic in style and having every wall painted a dark grey colour contributes the styling of the clothes and the mood the shop puts you in; it’s like a fantasy world where the Victorian era meets modern Soho or downtown New York. Lighting in the store consists of spotlights on the ceiling pointing down at each fixture or display of clothing; this provides great contrast to the blandness of the colours and also highlights the garments beauty.
The spotlights also contribute to the exclusive, almost celebrity feeling as they transform the store into a kind of set, depicting a story, as would be done in a movie. There is a hanging cruciform, created from very bright, stark naked bulbs. This creates a very artistic and creative view and a rock ‘n’ roll feel within the store, allowing the consumer to really understand the innovative and conceptual brand they are purchasing from.
The theme of crosses is continued throughout the store and also features on the giant iron crest outside the store. The fixtures on the wall are created to be in the shape of a cross and the ends of each arm have a small cross logo. The fixtures are like scaffolding and the display cabinets are giant old wooden tables or big heavy draws and cupboards with huge locks and chains. The displays are incredible with huge butcher style hooks, warehouse style chains and metal, old head neck dummies ripping at the seams and skull candles.
The store has depressive modern music playing in a relaxed manner, contributing to the contemporary feel and making the shopping experience more pleasant. There is no ‘perfumed’ smell to the store; yet it has a kind of musk which smells like old vs new. All Saints’ staff is incredibly attentive and great at selling in a non-pushy manner. Overall the store is very open plan; the distressed feel and glamour meets grunge cool is inspiring and that is what makes ‘All Saints’ my favourite retail environment.