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And the prize for the most boring store interior in London's Oxford Street goes to...

Benetton Clothing Marks & Spencer Merchandising retail Store Layout Stores UK Retail

Christmas 2016 Boring Store Interiors

The most boring store interior designs in London this Christmas

We visited Oxford Street, Carnaby Street, and Regent Street on November 10th to view store preparations for Christmas.

Our general observations:

  1. Retailers are desperately trying to find ways to connect with the omnichannel audience. There are a number of ways stores seek to create interaction with customers through social media, online shopping and high street stores, with the main option being in-store signage displaying Snapchat and/or Twitter handles.
  2. Product densities vary hugely between stores.
  3. Music volumes vary from nothing to the very loud (often depending on the target demographic).

The top three most boring interiors are:

Topping our little list is Benetton, Oxford Circus

We were truly disappointed to enter this prime site retail store occupying one of the four corner stores in the middle of Oxford Streets, sharing location with H&M, Nike, and Tezens (yet to be opened).

This store is clearly suffering from under-investment and a lack of a creative merchandising manager. If their Christmas decorations are yet to arrive from Italy perhaps we will have to revisit the store towards Christmas.

At this rate, we think not.

Entrance to Benetton store Oxford Circus, Nov 2016.

In a close second place is M&S

Marks & Spencers earlier this week announced they were withdrawing clothing from 60 stores and closing 30 stores following a slump in results. The store we visited on Oxford Street was sparsely populated with among the lowest product densities of all the stores we visited. Shelves were stacked with their Christmas cracker assortment in between ranges of dull clothing.

The store is huge and its area could probably half without anyone noticing a lot. Having this space requires a lot of money in store interior rejuvenation and creative merchandising, both which seems to be lacking.

Something that strikes you immediately when you enter the store is the grocery-feel of the layout. Long straight isles with almost no end in sight. According to one of the store assistants, the shop stopped playing music a year ago which creates an eery feel to an already sterile interior. In fact, this store might have been located in a hospital with its plastic flooring and two-tone walls and lighting arrangements.

Interior of M&S Oxford Street, November 2016.

...and in third place, American Apparel

The brand has been under siege for a while and most of its central London stores are closing down (we visited two stores). It is no mean feat to be in closing down mode and still only coming third on our list, after Benetton and M&S.

Interior of American Apparel Oxford Street, November 2016.

Do you agree with our assessment? Apart from the many souvenir shops on Oxford Street these are our primary candidates. If you have been to a more boring shop, please leave a comment and we will have a look at your 'worst interior' suggestion asap.

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