And central to this type of retailing is a store that helps to foster this sense.
Joules is a clothing retailer that ticks all the lifestyle boxes with its flagship store in Cheltenham, which seeks to promote an essentially British outlook with its merchandise and store fit-out. Shoppers are taken though a series of themed vignettes with rooms on the ground floor labelled “A Laundry Room”, “Kitchen”, “Dining Room” and “Bathroom”. Head upstairs and you arrive in “The Shed”, “The Snug Room” and “The Sports Room”, which is probably a reversal of the order you might find in most British homes, but the point is made – the first floor is for men and ground is for women.
Whatever names are given to the shop’s various areas, it is the visual merchandising that makes this an interesting retail space. Ground floor details such as the grey painted pitchforks and spades used to take the eye to the perimeter are testimony to the visual sense of Joules creative director Chloe Ward. And the use of white dummy pigeons, perched above the clothing, help to ensure shoppers remains engaged.
This is a store that manages to combine the virtues of tradition and quirkiness, and that Joules claims is performing well in spite of the economic backdrop.