For family-owned Dixons Department Store (Whitehaven, England), unused square footage within the Dunmail Park Shopping Centre in Workington, England, meant tapping into a key offering for its customers. “[They’re] looking for an exciting experience when they go shopping,” says Marie Dixon of Carnforth, England-based parent company J. Dixon & Son Ltd., which owns and operates the two-level shopping mall and has been in the retail business since 1882. “Retailers want to increase dwell time in stores and therefore increase spend-per-customer … [food and beverage] is an important tool in achieving this.”
With the help of retail design agency Je+1 (Birmingham, England), Dixons opened The Terrace Café, a more than 5000-square-foot eatery that’s near the retailer’s homeware-focused store and overlooks the buzzy center. It features a modern and airy design with a neutral palette, a mix of textures and plenty of plants.
“With the ever-growing popularity of the biophilic [design] trend, we wanted to bring the outside in,” says Charlie Davies, Designer at Je+1. Greenery pops against light oak, white-washed wood accents and marble tabletops, while upholstered seating – banquettes, dining chairs and low-slung arm chairs in bright cobalt – adds softness. For extra texture, a white, brick-like wallcovering lines a side wall and was continued out onto the café’s terrace area, exuding a sense of authenticity and permanence.
As retailers are looking for ways to turn their stores into destinations – places where consumers will want to shop, sit and stay awhile (and perhaps snap and share a ’gram) – incorporating food and beverage is becoming the norm. And they’re doing it with a design approach that elevates their brand and appeals to both new and existing customers.
“The open design in muted shades gives the space a contemporary feel without alienating our more traditional customers,” Dixon says. “We were looking for a timeless feel to the space.”