Natural World picks Milton Keynes mall to test revamped shop design

Gift retailer The Natural World will unveil a revamped store at the MK Centre in Milton Keynes next month.

Designed by Camden design consultancy Soft Moss, the 1,600 sq ft (150 sq m) trial store will feature six product zones: Explore, Mind and Body, Traveller, The Earth, Nature, and Instruments.

Natural World sales director Tim Finch said the makeover is 'part of a whole exercise that we've been looking at in terms of the brand and gaining the recognition that we aspire to'.

The store design takes natural materials as its starting point, with merbau hardwood floors, a tongue-and-groove wooden ceiling and duck-egg blue walls. A curved screen at the entrance carries a brand statement, and the graphics package mixes text and natural landscapes.

The perimeter display system is based on slat walls disguised by teak veneer frames, with shelving in off-white finished oak. A pebble frieze decorates the base of the wall units.

Centre-floor equipment has been manufactured by Belgian supplier Ethnicraft from recycled teak furniture, and the window display uses merchandising trees with the store logo bonded to the glass.

Soft Moss has also revamped the retailer's identity, using a new font coupled with a graphic representation of an ammonite. This logo will be applied to all in-store branding, including PoS, packaging and seasonal promotions.

The redesign cost about£100,000, according to Soft Moss creative director Mark Brown. Commenting on the future, Finch said: 'We know we could comfortably trade from 100 markets in the UK - there are currently 31 stores - but we are looking at other channels at the moment.'

He added that the trial store format would be extended to Cambridge and Wimbledon early next year.