Let’s Get Tropical!

Tropical is by no means a new trend in interiors, but it’s certainly picking up pace this season and is definitely one of the key looks for Summer 2019.

Think lush tropical greenery and palm trees with colonial rattan and then add splashes of colour with vibrant cockatoos and mix it with gold pineapples and insects for a real dazzle of sunshine.

Fruity, tropical prints are all over the Spring/Summer catwalks this year and it hasn’t taken long for the trend to be picked up in interiors. Everything from palm leaves, pineapples to exotic flowers and flamingo’s are serving a reflection of the unsettled storm-to-sunshine weather we have been having.

So visit the local shopping malls and local stores for some Summer inspiration. It will be far more exciting than browsing on-line! Keep out High Street and stores open for business.

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Afternoon Tea is so English!

Afternoon tea is a long-standing British tradition and a must-try on any visit to London. From themed meals to traditional styles, this ceremonious event is steeped in history and can be enjoyed at some of London’s top hotels, restaurants and department stores, all offering their individual take on this quintessentially British occasion.

It all started in the 1800’s when Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford who, at the time was a close friend of Queen Victoria and a prominent figure within London society complained of “having that sinking feeling” during the late afternoon.

She wanted something small to satisfy her hunger, nothing too large just something to see her through till dinner time.

From this want, the afternoon tea ritual was born. However, it was traditionally only a small bite of something, not the big celebration it is now.

This tradition has reached the retail stores in Britain, none more so than Fortnum & Mason in Piccadilly. Their window concepts are superbly styled beautifully which is synonymous with this fine English store.

Now we see the VM concept of Afternoon Tea in many stores from Home to Fashion to Food.

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Boots in Covent Garden

Boots has opened a concept store featuring a beauty hall with its own YouTube studio as part of one of the biggest makeovers in the retailer’s 170-year history.

The health and beauty chain’s new outlet, in Covent Garden, central London is the first of a string of revamped shops to be rolled out.

The white marble-tiled beauty hall hosts more than 300 beauty Brands. It is set to be the most sustainable store with environmentally friendly toiletries.

There is a Beauty Kitchen refill station, so you can get a top-up of your face cleansers, shampoos, hand & body wash without contributing to the country’s single use plastic waste problem.

There is also a greater selection of vegan friendly products together with a Rehydration Point where customers can refill their water bottles for free. Not forgetting the introduction of unbleached brown bags at the checkout.

The 28,524 sq ft store is on a site where a Marks & Spencer outlet closed last due to soaring business rates, in a prime central London location where footfall is driven by high tourist numbers as well as local workers.

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Scale new heights with ladders!

As we know, retail is going through a tough period in certain parts of the world, particularly here in the UK. This has such a knock-on effect with budgets for the Visual Merchandising Departments budgets. The days have gone when you could spend a small fortune on bespoke props. Now we have to cut back and upcycle what we can, while retail rides this bump in the road.

Even the simplest of props such as a pair of ladders can create theatre in your windows and make the customer look and stare. It creating something quirky, different and eye catching.

Give your customer something to remember your window as they walk past. The use of ladders is fun, quirky and very inexpensive.

As you can see from the photographs, ladders have such a variety of uses from displays homewares, low to high end fashion even through to jewellery.  These ladders can be seen at the most iconic department stores, fashion houses through to your independent gift shops.

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