Virgin Holidays aims to inspire and engage customers with new concept store

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Virgin Holidays has overhauled its approach to travel retail, launching first concept store that is designed to inspire and engage consumers at the heart of the model. The new concept store is designed to create a landscape of interaction, giving the customers opportunities to explore new destinations, discover new experiences and shop for holidays in a relaxing environment.

EDITORIAL USE ONLY Virgin Holidays open the first of its new range of retail concept stores in Bluewater Shopping Centre, Kent. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday September 17, 2015. Photo credit should read: John Phillips/PA Wire

Virgin Holidays open the first of its new range of retail concept stores in Bluewater (Photo credit should read: John Phillips/PA Wire)

The first store, located at Bluewater, includes innovative features and will evokes consumer’s senses as soon as they step inside the store with holiday scents and tastes of the world’s best holidays. A dedicated ‘concierge’ who will meet customers and show them through five distinct feature areas, including:

  1. Taste your holiday:  taking center stage within the store will be a themed ‘island bar’ where customers can stop by for a drink, or relax in casual lounge style seating
  2. Experience:  the store features Google Cardboard sets – a platform to encourage development of virtual reality – to really bring holidays to life
  3. Discover:  a huge world map stretches across one wall, complemented with ‘viewfinders’ over Virgin Holidays destinations.  Consumers will be encouraged to ‘Take a Peak’ through the viewfinders to see video content from the location
  4. Kids:  a dedicated kids area, is designed to keep the little ones entertained including a Disney dressing up box, Disney Magic Mirror and Disney films
  5. Fly in style: for those who want a taste of real luxury, a fully functional Virgin Atlantic Upper Class chair

Interactive content designed specifically for the store includes a buzzy street scene in Havana, a heavenly beach panorama in Antigua and a show reel of the top 10 city breaks including insider travel tips.

Lee Haslett, director of sales at Virgin Holidays, said:  “At Virgin Holidays we like to do things differently, so while most stores are designed to sell, sell, sell – that isn’t the top of our agenda.  We want to provide a retail space that is designed to inspire consumers through immersive experiences.  You’d be very welcome to drop by for a drink and marvel at the world around you through some of the very best ground breaking technology.”

The revamp, designed by Your Studio, will feature in Virgin Holidays stand-alone store in Bluewater, with additional employees being recruited in order to ensure customers can enjoy an immersive and improved experience.

Robert Goodman, Bluewater’s general manager, said: “Virgin Holidays is another great addition to Bluewater’s line-up of leading brands.  Their pioneering retail concept is also a great fit with our philosophy of creating statement stores that focus on delivering a unique experience.  We are confident the ground breaking new store will inspire our guests.”