The Valley Group

Walk with us: London Retail Insight Report

May 1, 2024

← Walk with us: London Retail Insight Report


Taking influence from outside of your sector can spark fresh ideas, formulating some of the most unique and exciting retail experiences. Fun was the flavour of the day on our latest Retail Walk in London, where brands are bringing playful ideas to customers in new ways, driving a big response both online and in phsyical spaces.

In this report we learn the power of nostalgia at Anya’s Summer Shop, how Arc’teryx are really taking care of their customers and products in store, and how Assouline are using colour inspired cocktails to create unique, luxury experiences for cutomers in-store.

McDonald’s launched an immersive pop-up experience at Outernet, London to celebrate the makeover of their iconic burgers in a truly multi sensory fashion. The ASMR experience was playful and memorable with giant buns emitting the irresistible aroma of freshly baked bread! In the sound dome, the satisfying crunch of lettuce echoed, immersing guests in the texture of the ingredients. Mesmerising high-resolution visuals adorned the walls, captivating onlookers with tantalising glimpses of sizzling burgers and fresh toppings.

There was a wide scale influencer campaign supporting the experience, with the content displayed on huge screens, a great way of leveraging the conversation on social within the physical space. The event was ticketed, with app holders receiving free access and enough points to loaded to enjoy a free burger from any of their restaurants.

Why it works?

Outernet London is the most visited attraction in the city, with over 1.5m visitors each week it is a great venue for brands to gain mass exposure to global audiences. The venue boasts the highest resolution screens in the world, providing the opportunity for brands to create maximum impact showcasing highly visual content. Overall, the McDonald’s immersive pop-up at Outernet was a feast for the senses, offering visitors a unique and memorable way to engage with the brand’s iconic offerings.

Søstrene Grene

Søstrene Grene’s London flagship store exemplifies the pinnacle of value and commercial retailing, while maintaining impeccable standards of visual merchandising. With a clever fusion of space utilisation and retail design, it embodies a harmonious balance of creativity and practicality. As part of their ambitious expansion plans, the retailer aims to open 100 stores across the UK by 2030, adding to its existing network spanning 16 countries. Founded in 1973, this Danish brand specialises in responsibly sourced homeware and accessories, with a narrative centred around fictional sisters, Anna and Clara.

Upon entering, customers are enveloped in a sensory experience, greeted by the smell of untreated wood and the soothing sounds of classical music. The store’s maze-like layout is a blueprint across each of its stores, guiding shoppers through beautifully curated collections, meticulously merchandised to ensure every corner captivates the shoppers attention.

A commitment to affordability is evident, yet the product presentation remains impeccable, with handwritten price tags adding a personal touch. The store design is based around wooden boxes, a nod to its heritage where the first store used fig and date boxes as a cost effect way of merchandising its products.

The store’s innovative layout mirrors the structure of the brain, with one side reflecting Anna’s creativity and the other Clara’s practicality. Brightly coloured products pop against a dark backdrop, enhancing visual appeal. Beyond commerce, the brand is dedicated to responsible practices, from phasing out single-use plastics to reducing packaging waste and choosing eco-friendly transportation methods. It’s a holistic approach that underscores the brand’s commitment to sustainability and circularity, setting a high standard for the industry.