The jewellery retailer’s personalised ring-making service within Westfield London is a successful piece of theatre.

Personlisation continues to be one of the major themes for retail currently, as does the phenomenon of online retailers leaping the digital divide and becoming physical merchants.

Put these two trends together and one of the more interesting outcomes is the Vashi store in the Westfield London mall that opened last month.

Designed by London-based consultancy GP Studio, the ‘store’ is in fact a space that is semi-enclosed in the middle of the shopping centre’s designer zone, the Village, and replaces a Champagne bar that had been there since 2008.

Vashi offers shoppers the chance to sit alongside a jeweller and create a personalised ring, with its own setting, diamond and message.

The unusual part in all of this is the open-plan nature of the offer. Normally, diamonds and rings tend to be behind counters, but in this instance shoppers can look and touch the merchandise prior to purchase, while passers-by observe.

Its location in the middle of the public area of a mall also imparts a degree of theatre and is probably rather more interesting than watching people sitting and drinking Champagne.