You have to hand it to Next. The Next Home format is still a fledgling offshoot of its parent, but it has already morphed into something considerably different from the first store that opened in Lakeside.

This branch, on London’s Tottenham Court Road, is the second of its kind and opened last year.

And Next has not sat on its haunches hoping that things in the homewares market will improve. Instead, it has just completed a root and branch remerchandising of the store and incorporated some of the lessons learned along the way in Trafford Centre’s Barton Square outlet.

If you’d asked a couple of years back whether Next would be selling top-end looking fitted kitchens, you’d probably have been greeted with blank and uncomprehending stares. Head into the basement of this store, however, and it’s possible to equip bathroom, kitchen and bedroom without pausing for breath.

All of which has to be coupled with the fact that the visual merchandising in this store is at least as good as all of the older and more established players to be found in this part of central London. Roomsets are now such a retail commonplace that it’s easy to almost overlook them, but Next Home runs no such risks with a series of merchandise vignettes that command shoppers’ gaze.

This updated store serves as an example of how commercial mid-market interiors can be every bit as good as their more expensive counterparts and why ticket price is little indication of what to expect of a retail environment.

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