BEAR have recently opened their newest coffee shop, designed by turnerbates, inside Jack Wills’ Soho flagship store – serving cocktails and coffee alongside Jack Wills’ iconic British fashion.

The hybrid of coffee shops and retail is not a new concept. Shopping centres, department stores and bookshops use food courts and in-store coffee bars as a way for hungry customers to take a break from shopping or find a cosy spot to relax.

Now, with online shopping becoming just as popular, if not more, than in-store shopping, shops are adapting by designing in-store experiences that can’t be imitated online and creating relationships with their customers – ‘the community experience that only a physical place can provide’[1].

The design of the space is essential to this ‘hybrid’ dynamic. With BEAR x Jack Wills, we created a design that echoes BEAR’s Midlands sites in Derby and Stone, but is adapted to complement the Jack Wills brand and space. Ultimately, the flagship store sells the Jack Wills ‘lifestyle’ through its in-store experience.

The design features a long communal table, a refurbished bar and a cosy basement for customers to relax after a hard day’s shopping.

Since the beginning we’ve worked closely with turnerbates and the guys at Jack Wills to ensure that our brand was protected and the space has been made to feel collaborative; the perfect representation of this exciting partnership. There are clear correlations between the audience, vision and core values of BEAR and Jack Wills and we’re so excited to be able to start exploring them!

Craig BuntingBEAR Co-Founder & Director

Our top picks of other ‘coffee-shopping’ examples being used by retailers:

  • Calling itself a ‘modern-day market’, Swedish lifestyle brand, Arket, is one of the few chains that has coffee shops in every one of its stores. Similar to BEAR x Jack Wills, the Arket café in Westfield, Stratford, stands at the front of a busy thoroughfare, so also acts as a tempting draw for passing shoppers.
  • As part of its offer, Coast Surf + Moto in Dorset has carefully paired the ‘instagrammable’ aesthetics of its coffee bar and shop to create an environment that locals want to come back to relax in, as well as shop.
Images P&Co
  • Perhaps borrowing from Arket (one of the latest brands in H&M’s portfolio) newly opened H&M HOME flagship store in Regent Street has collaborated with Swedish based café ‘It’s Pleat’ to add to its ‘next level customer experience’, which also includes a personalised florist and monogramming service.

Find out more about our work with BEAR x Jack Wills here

[1] ‘Are Retail Stores the New Community Centres?‘, City Lab, 2016

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