Historic British jeweller Boodles branched out of the West End and into the City in 2001, making it one of the original tenants at The Royal Exchange, occupying a prominent position on the building’s iconic central courtyard. Sixteen years on, it was time for an update, says manager Tom McFadden.
‘We wanted the new store to feel less formal, so we have introduced more colour,’ he says. ‘It’s softer and less angular than before and has a very luxurious feel. Customers in the City are time poor, so we wanted to create a space that would encourage them to spend more time here. It’s completely different to our other shops.’
For the refurbishment, Boodles enlisted the services of retail specialist GP Studio; a first for the brand. The architects ‘changed the layout slightly and completely stripped out and rebuilt the store,’ McFadden explains. ‘This means we have a new window concept, unique flooring and wall decoration for Boodles, and a new library wall, which is unique to The Royal Exchange store.’
The ‘library’ corner is more akin to a luxury penthouse than a store, with plush sofas, carpeting and an elegant library wall complete with decorative knick-knacks. There’s even a drinks cabinet where customers can rustle up a gin and tonic or enjoy a glass of champagne. A new countertop area attached to the main jewellery showcase provides further seating, and behind it is a sweeping leather wall featuring the Boodles logo and a hand-carved leaf design. The bespoke wrap-around glass jewellery cabinets are designed to fit seamlessly into the new Art Deco-inspired scheme and showcase Boodles’ dazzling diamonds to full effect.
McFadden says feedback on the new store has been ‘very positive’. Last year’s introduction of Fortnum & Mason has ‘elevated everything’, he says, and enticed more and more people into the building. ‘The Royal Exchange is the perfect base’.
The Boodles boutique is situated on the central courtyard at The Royal Exchange and is open from 10am-6pm, Monday to Friday