100 Charing Cross Rd, London, WC2H 0JG
Bureau de Change Architects, London
Online furniture brand Made.com shows its commitment to more holistic, multichannel retailing, with the opening of its biggest and best flagship; an 8,500 sq ft ‘online’ showroom on the site of the old Blackwells store in Soho’s Charing Cross Road.
The store has a host of digital and design features, which just goes to show how online brands are actually leading the way in developing innovative hybrid retail formats.
This is something of a U turn, since Made.com’s business model explicitly shuns physical retail with its expensive overheads!
Nevertheless, as supporters of real stores, we are always delighted to see great new examples of ‘click to brick’ retailing.
Founded in 2010 by CEO Ning Li, Made has seen a 63% rise in sales over 2014, with 24% international sales across France, Italy and the Netherlands.
Made.com offers high quality, designer furniture at low prices by grouping orders and cutting out the middlemen, so connecting the customer to the designer.
The Soho store is Made’s third showroom (Leeds, Notting Hill and a ‘working showroom’ at the Tannery Old Street)
Design is by Bureau de Change Architects; a young agency with a background at Foster & Partners and Heatherwick Studio.
The Heatherwick influence can be seen in the window installation; a giant pin art sculpture of 40,00 plastic tubes, formed into ‘pinpressions’ of iconic Made products.
The store manages to display the full Made range by combining physical displays with full scale digital projections and a striking sample wall with 600 product lines. Each product offers a stylish postcard and fabric sample.
There’s also a portable Cloud Tag tablet wishlist generator, powered by RFID point of sale.