121-141 Westbourne Terrace London, W2 6JR
Fitch is one of the best known retail design consultancies around. The original company was founded in 1972 by Rodney Fitch, who coined the phrase “Shopping is the purpose of life”, putting the shopper at the heart of everything he did.
Today Fitch offers a broad range of services from brand planning and strategy to packaging, graphic design and naming, but the consultancy is best-known for retail interior design.
Their design for home appliances retailer Pirch is a beautiful store with vignettes galore, but Fitch’s concept demonstrates how retail design is so much more than great layout and materials. This concept is all about the store experience, and customers can enjoy their journey in a variety of ways. During opening hours, chefs, baristas and lifestyle experts are on hand to guide and serve. Customers are invited to test and try any of the appliances even cooking their own meals, so they can see that everything really works and feels as they’d want it to. They can even book a cookery class, or come out of hours to test the steam room, sauna and numerous showers. It is a space where customers can enjoy both the dream and also the reality of the brand, and where these become one.
Their global concept for Lego is one of their most iconic projects. Whilst the level of merchandise was reduced by a quarter, they created an area for kids to play; demonstrating ‘test and play’ at its most literal level, with a project that has seen great commercial results.
Again with Asian Paints, Fitch’s focus was not on the paint but on how we as consumers see and experience colour, with different lighting and in different spaces. It’s a playful space, engaging an audience, giving them confidence to use colour in their interior decor. The flagship Colour Stores Fitch created don’t even sell paint, this is left to the brand’s network of 50,000 paint shops, for whom a tiered retail concept was created. This was a bold move by the consultancy, as when this concept launched, showrooming was in its infancy, but it has stood them in good stead, as they continue to work with the brand many years on.
Working with clients including H&M, Dell, M&M, Adidas and B&Q, Fitch has been owned by WPP since 2004. The consultancy now has 14 offices worldwide, though its HQ and spiritual home will always remain for most of us in the UK. The engaging Tim Greenhalgh is the group’s Chairman and Chief Creative Officer, who is based in the UK, but can be heard sharing his passion for retail at events all around the world.