The upscale men’s shoe manufacturer Joseph Cheany lets customers walk a mile in their shoes with their London flagship store.
Storytelling is one of the current flavours of the month in store design and many retailers have attempted to create merchandise tales that will relate to their offer. But few have managed to achieve this with quite such aplomb as Joseph Cheaney, the upscale men’s shoe manufacturer and retailer that has just opened a flagship store on London’s Jermyn Street.
Stand outside this one and the feeling is of tradition. A selection of men’s shoes are set in an open-fronted white box with white Anglepoise lights, acting as props and light source, behind them. The focus is entirely on the shiny shoes, although above the display it is possible to stare straight into the shop.
Once inside, the real storytelling begins. On the right-hand side there is a wall panel of wooden lasts of the kind that used to be cleared out and burnt, according to a member of staff. To the right, it’s a white pin-board covered with shoes displayed at different angles.
In the mid-shop, rather than showing off more highly polished footwear a display cabinet contains a scale architect’s model of the factory in Northampton where Cheaney shoes are made.
On a shelf beneath this there are rolls of leather waiting to be turned into shoes and in a glass case beyond this there are a few examples of the finished product.
This is a beguilingly simple layout, created by consultancy Checkland Kindleysides, but what it does do is get across the message that everything that is on view is the product of a British shoemaker and is made in Britain. It’s a simple story, but sometimes deconstructing the process by which something appears in a shop is an effective way of engaging the shopper.