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Commercial create stunning French Connection flagship store

16th February 2024 | News, Retail Reimagined

Retail reimagined 

Turning a vision into reality in just two weeks

Commercial’s business transformation experts have created a “flagship store to be proud of”, according to the bosses of fashion retail giants French Connection.

The new 1,700 square foot store in Manchester’s Arndale Centre opened on December 1, in time for the busy run up to Christmas.

That was possible thanks to the work of the Commercial team, who turned their stunning vision into a living reality during a remarkable two-week turnaround.

“The Commercial team were fantastic,” said Mike Halliday, regional manager for French Connection. “We now have a new flagship store to be proud of.”

A proven track record

French Connection first engaged with Commercial to transform their UK head office in London, a project, which like the Manchester store, was handed over on time and on budget.

Following that success, French Connection approached Commercial with an ambitious five-year project which could see their retail empire swell from 30 to 50 outlets.

How quickly that goes ahead depends on how the sparkling new store, at the MacarthurGlen-owned Arndale centre, performs.

The perfect finish

Patrick Stennett from Commercial, said: “The design of this project was far more complex than any project we have completed.

“MacarthurGlen outlets leave no stone unturned in relation to their requirements for any retail brand taking occupancy. French Connection supplied detailed designs of both the shop front and inside areas.

“These were backed-up by striking visuals and finishes to clearly define the look and feel of the store.

“French Connection align the look and feel of their stores incredibly closely to their brand values, which increased the challenge.

“Every fine detail, including numerous finish samples were checked, changed and re-submitted before sign-off in order to create the best finish and perfect customer experience.”

The result is a new-look statement shop, with clean lines and soft-textured walls, with planting adding a touch of nature.


An immersive experience

Commercial’s smart technology experts were brought in to provide cutting-edge display screens throughout the store, further enhancing the customer experience.

Once the designs and plans were approved, Commercial moved onto the site in mid-November to turn the plans into reality within a fortnight.

Patrick added: “The brief was to create an immersive experience for customers. A space that allowed shoppers to circulate easily and where staff could interact one-to-one with customers as and when required.

“It’s definitely not just about buying clothes and accessories, but more about enjoying the whole shopping experience. A true destination store that customers want to visit.”