There’s been a Timberland outpost on London’s Regent Street for more than seven years, making it one of the longer-term retailers on this high-profile shopping thoroughfare. Sean McCorry, senior EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) store lead at the Stratham, N.H.-based brand, says that it was time for a change: “We felt, and had felt for a while, that the store was no longer representative of the brand.”
The Regent Street store had too heavy an emphasis on “the great outdoors,” and that image needed to be softened to align the brand with its urban location.
Timberland’s Regent Street store was its first “marketplace concept store,” according to Bevan Bloemendaal, vp global environments and creative services, Timberland. While this store has long been a flagship for the brand, the 3229-square-foot location was due for a makeover. So, McCorry and Bloemendaal tapped London-based design consultancy Dalziel and Pow for the job.
“We had previously partnered with Dalziel and Pow on retail projects and collaborated on concepts that would articulate our industrial and craftsmanship heritage in a fresh way that would ensure head-to-toe product storytelling throughout the environment,” Bloemendaal says.
McCorry adds, “We have a number of principles that we [reference] in the store: authenticity, emotion and, obviously, style. These were the key points that we wanted to come out of the brief.”
All of this meant a repositioning of the brand for the Regent Street shoppers, according to Elise Holmes, design team leader at Dalziel and Pow, “It was about taking Timberland from an outdoor brand to an outdoor lifestyle brand. There would be less emphasis on the technical, although that would still be included in the store design, and a shift toward the softer side in a move to make it more contemporary than it has been.”
In the renovated shop, this translated to making windows more open, offering passersby a view deep into the store’s interior, while displays now focus on appealing to female customers (Timberland remains a predominantly male-oriented brand). While still part of the overarching design, incorporating more femininity was accomplished, McCorry explains, by using lighter woods and metals on the women’s floor, and by adding [extra] seating. More sales associates are on-call here, with the main goal of increasing dwell-time.
Other features include a laser machine that enables shoppers to “tattoo” the boots they buy and a brand timeline display using neon lights as dates, set against a brick wall at the back of the ground floor. A heavy reliance on timber as the fundamental element for the interior has been supplanted by a greater use of metal, glass and brick.
“We’re a tactile lifestyle brand and we want to be known for our apparel and accessories, as well as our boots,” Bloemendaal says. “We should’ve done this earlier.”
Maybe so, but for shoppers on Regent Street, the new look surely has been worth the wait.
Timberland, Stratham, N.H.
Dalziel and Pow, London
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Bluegroup Retail, London
Photography: Andy Townsend, London