When Topshop opens in Knightsbridge later this week, it will be interesting to see what Arcadia’s in-house design team come up with — and whether they will end up in, say, Scunthorpe.
Topshop opens in Knightsbridge later this week. And doubtless its arrival will be greeted by many column inches celebrating the fact that the posh people who frequent the area will be able to buy themselves a slice of the fashion zeitgeist, as well as the designer togs found in almost every other shop in the area.
It will certainly be one of the lower-priced propositions in this select London neighbourhood and it’s a far bet that the same crowd buying Baleciaga, Prada and Missoni will be those beating a path to this purveyor of relatively inexpensive style.. There will of course be plenty of shoppers from beyond Knightsbridge who will also choose to visit the store, but the retailer’s classless call should ensure that it is a hit with locals as well as out-of-towners.
The really interesting bit about it however will be what it actually looks like (of which more on opening day). The reason for this is that in this instance, according to Arcadia’s press office, Sir Philip Green and helpers have opted to create the interior of this store themselves, without recourse to an external consultancy.
This is an interesting development, bearing in mind that both the New York store and the Topman makeover at Oxford Circus were the work of bought-in consultants and they looked strong from an interior perspective. The question is will what will be on display in Knightsbridge be much different from recent large-scale openings, or are about to see the familiar ‘evolution, not revolution’ mantra enacted.
The chances are good, bearing in mind the depth of talent that has been recruited at Arcadia, including a senior person from the consultancy that worked on the New York store, that if it is evolution, it will be a considerable leap forward.
Which leads to Scunthorpe.
Nothing wrong with the place, and it is used merely as an example of a provincial metropolis, but you have to wonder how Topshop Scunthorpe will measure up to Knightsbridge.
The clever bit in any new storefit is how portable the elements that matter prove to be and whether they will end up in, say, a Scunthorpe. Maybe it’s worth heading up to Lincolnshire in a few months to see how London is setting the agenda in some of the fashion empire’s less well-known outposts.