02/06/2008

Kinnersley Kent Design

A Vision for Change

Kinnersley Kent understands better than most the role of design in creating consumer experiences, as ten awards in the last four years for design creativity and commercial effectiveness attest.

The London-based firm delivers creative and commercial interior and graphic design services for large scale retail and leisure developments and independent operators in the UK, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. The agency’s work spans master planning, interiors, corporate identity and packaging design to naming and brand architecture, and specialist materials advice.

“Aesthetics are not enough to win awards in retail and leisure,” says Glenn Kinnersley, one of the firm’s founders. “You have to deliver tangible results: increased consumer spend, higher footfall figures, exceptional brand awareness. We do this by understanding the commercial benefits that creative design should bring.”

Take House of Fraser. Kinnersley Kent has worked extensively across its portfolio of stores, including the recent redesign of the flagship store on London's Oxford Street. John King, Chief Executive of House of Fraser, explains:

“This is one of five stores that Kinnersley Kent is currently working on, including refurbishing the iconic Frasers store in Glasgow, new builds in High Wycombe and Bristol, alongside the flagship anchor store in the prestigious White City development in London.

The scope of the projects means Kinnersley Kent work across all departments and food concepts, such as Café Zest, which has captivated our stores' customers with superb food served in a relaxed interior environment.”

Paul McElroy, the partner at Kinnersley Kent responsible for House of Fraser, takes up the story: “We are driving House of Fraser’s vision of becoming the UK and Ireland’s number one premium department store. It is an exciting period of significant change and investment in all aspects of their business.”

“Working in partnership with the Executive Team, we aim to provide the very best retail experience in every location, by listening and reacting to local needs, and delivering inspirational environments with real theatre.”

The completion of the 200,000 sq ft store in Belfast’s Victoria Square is indicative. Everything about it, from the curved façade and new concepts for women’s, men’s and home, through to a champagne bar and chic out-of-hours restaurant, ensures it brings excitement to the city’s vibrant retail scene.

National Treasure

Last year, Kinnersley Kent netted the commission to re-design the famous ground and lower ground food halls at Fortnum’s flagship in London’s Piccadilly.

Responsible for the overall concept design for the Piccadilly building, as well as the master planning and design of the food halls, the interiors lead the way in food tourism.

“The challenge was to preserve the tradition of the food halls, whilst giving them a modern facelift,” says Kinnersley.

The fresh food hall on the lower ground floor has a more contemporary feel, yet feels like a luxurious pantry below the grand stateroom which is the ground floor food hall. Here, iconic features such as the red carpet, chandeliers and bespoke wooden carvings are retained, while new bespoke furniture such as the stunning carved coffee counters have been introduced, enabling Fortnum’s to relish in its status as a national treasure.

Beverley Aspinall, Fortnum & Mason Managing Director, comments: “We’re delighted with the newly refurbished store. Kinnersley Kent has made a huge contribution to a new era at Fortnum & Mason, and I’m quite sure the new halls will stand the test of a further 300 years at 181 Piccadilly.”

The Fortnum’s story continues with Kinnersley Kent now being retained to create concession stores in Japan, as well as to design the duty free experience at London Heathrow’s new Terminal 5.

Overseas expansion

Creating inspiring retail and leisure environments has been behind the company’s work for some of the world’s biggest brand names, such as Mercedes Benz, niche retailers like perfumery Roja Dove and developers including Westfield.

Kinnersley Kent’s reputation has steadily increased both in Europe, Asia and the Middle East through its award-winning approach.

Bateel is a world-class brand in the premium confectionery market with stores in nearly every capital in the GCC region. To grow the brand beyond the region, Kinnersley Kent was chosen to create the flagship store, located in Bond Street, London.

The store experience conveys authentic Arabic hospitality, set in luxury and modern surroundings, while at the same time allows consumers to appreciate its gourmet confectionery and striking product range. Kinnersley Kent has also redesigned the luxury packaging to reflect the new, evolved brand.

So successful is the formula that Kinnersley Kent is now exporting the design back to the Gulf. In addition, it has developed a new café concept for Bateel, the first of which opened at Burj Dubai in August 2007. A further 30 cafes are planned for 2008.

Comments co-founder Mick Kent: “We are receiving a lot of interest from the GCC, Europe and key Asian markets such as India and Korea. It’s highly likely that we will open an office in Dubai, so that we have people on the ground.”

Innovation and expansion is very much in Kinnersley Kent’s thinking. In the UK, it is assessing the opportunities of acquiring a comparable size design firm to complement its own skills and expertise. It has also enhanced its Material Library by introducing commercially viable sustainable materials and processes.

Concludes Mick Kent: “We are an ‘ideas lab’ in the truest sense. We want to share our experience and creativity with our clients. When you work with clients who are passionate about design in their business, it is very exciting. As we expand, the challenge is to find partners who feel the same, and want to share in our vision.”

www.kkd.co.uk

For further information, please contact:
Lindie Champion, Head of Marketing
e. lindie@kkd.co.uk
t. +44 (0) 20 7691 3131