The challenge that has always faced jewellers is shifting product that no one needs (or maybe even wants) In London’s Hatton Garden, spiritual home of the UK jewellery trade, Nicholas James has confronted this with a store possessing sufficient originality to drag shoppers in from the street in spite of massive competition.
This is high-end, own-brand jewellery and branded merchandise is almost entirely absent. The store design mirrors this with elements ranging from the sculptural mid-floor display cabinets topped with curved, clear glass, to the Primrose Hill sky graphic covering a free-standing wall that runs along a major proportion of the store’s perimeter.
Couple this with a bright, white, minimalist interior, a Harley Davidson motorcycle used as a prop, silver lighting that includes a spectacular Arco light and 1960s-style vision of the future furnishings, and you have something quite different.
Stand outside and the fascia is composed of two layers of glass at an angle to each other, intended to attract the gaze of passing shoppers and also allowing them to view the entire store from the street.
Owner Nick Fitch worked with Giddings Design on the project and although this store has been open for a while, it maintains its freshness. Many of Nicholas James’ immediate competitors look their age, but this is a store that pulls off the trick of seemingly perpetual relevance. It also does what all good jewellers should – takes small products and makes them important in a relatively large space.