The shop, in the city’s central Hayes district, has been put together by design consultancy Inca and an in-house team and is “cleaner and more streamlined”, according to a Moss Bros spokeswoman. The company said it represents “the pinnacle” of a blueprint being rolled out more generally across the chain.
The flagship store stands in the listed David Morgan building. A major element of the project has been to restore the facade that formed the frontage of the eponymous department store, which closed in January 2005.
The shop’s interior is white and includes framed images taken from the retailer’s present advertising campaign, as well as stage and screen stars from the 1950s and 1960s.
The smaller 2,400 sq ft (223 sq m) ground floor is used to display the Moss Bros casualwear range and features a sweeping staircase that takes shoppers up to the 4,600 sq ft (427 sq m) first floor. This is used to showcase the retailer’s formalwear, shirts and accessory collections. At its centre is a Victorian jade green and violet stained glass atrium, an original feature. This has been used to highlight a mannequin catwalk.
For the retailer’s hire service, an ark-shaped wall has been built that is intended to create a more secluded feel within the store. The area is furnished with leather armchairs, wi-fi-enabled laptops and a plasma screen showing a selection of sports, music and news, all of which aims to raise the level of service on offer to shoppers.
Overall, the layout and design rationale of the store is to create a “relaxed” male shopping environment, according to the retailer, with an emphasis on brands and service, as well as ease of product selection for the “Moss man”.
Moss Bros chief executive Philip Mountford said: “We’re looking at two more 7,000 sq ft-plus stores in Exeter and Plymouth, which we will open by the end of this year.
“These are much bigger spaces than we have done before and our aim is that, in areas where we have established businesses, we will go for larger stores.” He added that he sees the potential to open “between eight and 10 stores” of this size in the next two years.
In addition to differing in appearance, the store carries the highest proportion of branded merchandise of any branch in the 120-strong Moss Bros chain. The shopfit for the project, which took about a year to complete, cost about£500,000.