Monsoon and Accessorize share a unit in Wimbledon that puts the customer at her ease and hits the contemporary fashion mid-market.
Occasionally, stores become known for something and even if they change, the image has a habit of persisting.
Monsoon and Accessorize, two separate retail brands from the same group and frequently found sharing a unit, is a case in point. Monsoon is about hippies, long flowing printed dresses and languid summer days. Accessorize perhaps attempts to reinforce this with the appropriate beads, bangles and hair grips.
Yet this is quite some distance from the 2014 reality. Prints may still be to the fore, but this is a contemporary mid-market fashion retailer. In part, however, the somewhat prejudiced traditional view of Monsoon Accessorize is not helped by the fact that in many of its stores the sheer density of the merchandising is such that it can feel like a bazaar.
Not so in the newly opened store in Wimbledon’s Centre Court shopping centre, whose 4,200 sq ft space plays host to both brands, housed in two semi-discrete rooms. With a design by London consultancy Dalziel and Pow, the first thing that shoppers familiar with the retailer’s offer will notice is the sense of space.
The distance between the mid-shop units and the consequent improved circulation space is almost completely different from the interior of other branches.
This is coupled with large numbers of mannequin groupings around the floor and a clutter-free cash desk.
This interior is not about overfilling. Instead it is concerned with putting the customer at her ease.
A second store has opened, in Brighton, following this template and more are planned. If Monsoon Accessorize can keep the faith with this new look, it will go a long way towards repositioning its image.