Swedish retailer Happy Socks has opened its first standalone UK store in Covent Garden, using bold store design to make an impact.

For those who thought standalone shops selling socks were a thing of the past (readers of a certain age may recall Sock Shop, which seemed to have an outlet on every metropolitan corner in the 1980s), think again.

Swedish brand Happy Socks has been a part of the hosiery offer of department stores for some years, but its first dedicated UK store opened in Covent Garden just before Christmas.

In essence, this is a white box to which perimeter graphics have been added in the shape of large black dots to draw the eye through the space to the back of the store. Closer to the entrance a waist-high shelf is supported by a ship’s rigging-like affair, creating the impression of a makeshift display but which is in fact permanent. All of this makes for an interesting backdrop to the brightly coloured stock.

It seems unlikely that there will be expansion on the scale of Sock Shop however. This is a measured step onto the high street.