Clarks step up their brand and reveal new store designs featuring Concreate wall panels

Shoemakers and innovators since 1825, Clarks have a long established tradition for making great shoes. Combine their knowledge of what makes the best shoes with their vision for what will make shoes even better, and you have what Clarks is all about.

A recognisable name in all four corners of the globe, Clarks continue to move forward, investing in, and focusing on, brand like never before. Helping to drive their vision for the future was the appointment of new Chief Brand Officer, Jason Beckley.

Key to Jason’s ambitions for the brand was bringing all Clarks product design and marketing professionals together in one new Brand team, with the focus on making shoes the star once again and making sure that Clarks is sharing its brand, showcasing its shoes and telling its stories in the most creative, compelling and relevant ways.

With this new focus taking shape a pivotal part in the brand story was store design, and with little changing in Clarks outlets for many years, now was the time to create a completely new store concept which would bring their shoes to life and showcase them in new and innovative retail design.

Architects and interior design specialists Stiff & Trevillion were appointed and Director, Richard Blandy led the design of three new concepts.

“One of the design concepts we created was called Pure. Pure links to honesty, which is very much the philosophy behind Clarks shoes. They use honest design and materials in their shoes and we wanted the store design to reflect that through the use of natural materials and truthful lighting.”

The Pure materials palette combines the honest textures of timber, concrete, glass and natural light.

Being honest, every shoe would be lit to show its true detailing using a click shelving system with each individual shelf under lit. And a large central display table appears almost floating, introducing timber and perspex blocks on top that can be configured for different display arrangements.

“For concrete texture our intention was to use original concrete where it already existed in each stores structure, exposing columns and structural elements and sand blasting the original concrete finish.

“Where original concrete was not available we liaised with our contractors, BMS Limited, for alternative products and they suggested using Concreate wall panels.

“We agreed it was the ideal product to deliver the concrete design elements of the Pure theme. The panels deliver a genuine concrete aesthetic and create a very cost effective approach to creating structures that appear like fully cast concrete.

“Being lightweight and so easy to install they could also go in at any stage in the fit out which gave us a lot of build flexibility.”

Concreate Natural Grey wall panels have been selected. The lightweight, prefinished, polished concrete panels are just 4mm thick and weigh less than 7kg per m2, making them suitable for straightforward glue application to any wall, ceiling or structure to create instant architectural features.

The signature Natural Grey colour of Concreate panels are machined from pressed sheets of air cured, natural fibre cement – each deliberately rough handled to add natural marks and blemishes which enhance the industrial aesthetic unique to Concreate panels.

The theme remains uncomplicated with clean white walls and a mix of natural timbers used for floors, shelves, feature panelling and display boxes.

Clarks also introduced large screens where they will showcase short films created to reveal the story of iconic shoes in their collection, along with the evolution of their iconic brand.  The digital screen content takes centre stage when laid in large surrounds also clad with Concreate Natural Grey wall panels.

Without any doubt, the new store design breaths a new personality into the brand. The Pure concept has gone live in Manchester and Glasgow stores, with more to follow.

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