Next unveiled the upsized and revamped store at Bluewater, Europe’s leading retail and leisure destination on 21 October 2015. The store has been in development for the past 10 months and has extended by 7,000sq ft to 44,226sq ft, bringing with it new ranges and product.
A key feature of the design, which has been developed in-house by Next in conjunction with Bluewater’s retail design and delivery team, is the use of natural light. The southern elevation of the store contains a new section of full-height structural glazing, the first time the external fabric of Bluewater has been changed in this way. The glass floods light into both levels of the store, as well as providing views of Bluewater’s chalk cliffs. Complementing the glass panel are two large skylights, adding to the sense of light and space.
This upsize allowed Next to completely reconfigure the store, significantly increasing the sales area. In addition to new fixtures and fittings throughout, the store has revamped shoe rooms, a lingerie room and a petite offering on womenswear. Lipsy has also relocated to become a store-within-a-store, with its own entrance on the upper Thames Walk.
Next’s decision to upsize follows a consistently strong performance by the brand at Bluewater.
Commenting on the new store, a spokesperson at Next, said: “We are very excited to be opening this extra space. It has been a long time since we had the store fully open and our customers have been very patient. The kids and home departments are even better than before and we have created in excess of 98 new jobs.”
Russell Loveland, portfolio director at Land Securities, co-owner and manager of Bluewater, said: “We are delighted to have worked closely with Next on this upsize, creating an exciting, refreshing and light new store. This new store is consistent with our strategy of ensuring Bluewater offers not only the very best mix of leading UK and international brands, but unique concepts.”
Next is the latest in a series of brands to invest in their stores at Bluewater, and follows redesigns by brands including Fraser Hart, Goldsmiths, The Body Shop and Hollister. In addition, Aveda, Kiko, STA Travel and Virgin Media have all opened new stores at Bluewater in the last three months.