The new Concept Fashion Store in Lochristi sits on a piece of land where flowers and plants were cultivated for 100 years. This setting inspired the interior of the shop, designed by King George. The Belgian branding agency had already whipped up the spaces for four previous iterations of the Store, in other cities, which contain such brands as Ben Sherman, Diesel and Scotch&Soda.
In this shop, the agency stayed true to the area’s history as a horticultural centre, and employed a local specialist in greenhouses to build the black “conservatories” that house the accessories; and used corrugated metal – like those seen in storage sheds – to enclose the change rooms. They also inserted an eight-metre-tall vertical garden, encased in a glass vestibule furnished with a yellow bench for quiet contemplation; and brought plants directly into the merchandising areas, where they feather down from light fixtures. In the main central corridor, three tree trunks burst with strips of reclaimed wood in an array of colours.
But the main thrust of the store is something that King George refers to as Retail 3.0 – the idea that in order to lure customers into shops in the era of online shopping you have to create an environment where they’d want to hang out. A sort of modern take on London’s Liberty, this store includes a bar that is furnished with Hay pieces and has a state-of-the-art barista machine. Its lights, sounds and smells were carefully considered to devise a one-of-a-kind shopping experience.