inside ‘the most experiential store on Oxford Street’

Superdry’s new Oxford Street flagship, with its striking black, orange and white signage, stands out from the rest of the street, which, with swathes of boarded-up shops, is a shell of its former self. In July, Drapers exclusively revealed that Superdry would be relocating its global flagship from 101-113 Regent […]

Superdry’s new Oxford Street flagship, with its striking black, orange and white signage, stands out from the rest of the street, which, with swathes of boarded-up shops, is a shell of its former self.

In July, Drapers exclusively revealed that Superdry would be relocating its global flagship from 101-113 Regent Street to 360-366 Oxford Street, taking on the former Forever 21 site.

Drapers’ visit to the store takes place a day before its grand opening on 10 November, and last-minute finishing touches are being made to product displays.

The store epitomises Superdry’s “brand reset”, which aims to move away from busy stores piled high with stock, to a more curated measured approach. However, this is not at the sacrifice to the store’s atmosphere – upbeat music pumps throughout the tour, mirroring the cheerful and excited tone of CEO Dunkerton, who energetically guides Drapers through the 32,210 sq ft space.

Retail is set across the middle and top floors, while the showroom for wholesale is on the lower-ground floor. Wholesale makes up 38.4% of the retailer’s overall revenue, based on Superdry’s preliminary results for the 52 weeks ending 24 April 2021.

Dunkerton’s tour kicks off at the store entrance, where the “Recycled by Superdry” collections, which launched in September 2021, are on display. The range comprises 34 items and is made using  recycled materials, including 55% recycled cotton and 45% recycled polyester.

Sustainability continues to be a definitive theme throughout the entire store space: every metre of wood used in the store’s walls and floors has been reclaimed and sourced within a 20-mile radius of the site.

A total of 500 real plants are dotted throughout, providing a pop of colour against the brown and black-painted wood.

“Sustainability is a journey we have been on since 2016. We are not jumping on the bandwagon,” explains Dunkerton as he weaves Drapers through the retailer’s outerwear collection, which has been made of 43 million plastic bottles.

The space also emphasises the retailer’s return to a younger customer. To the left of the entrance is a section dedicated to womenswear and teenage shoppers. Dunkerton explains that, compared with two years ago, shopper participation with womenswear offer has increased by 8%.

“We’re doing it all,” he says pointing to an array of mini-skirts: “Instead of looking backwards, we are now ahead of the [trend] cycle, which is where we need to be.”

Dunkerton leads Drapers towards the back of the store, where colours are muted with grey rails, mannequins and marking a subtle difference from the “younger” section section: “It is a completely different look and feel – it is all more subtle branding and a focus on fabrics,” he says as he points to one of several Superdry’s coat displays.

One unique feature of the store is its “Vintage Repurposed” collection – a first for the retailer.

Dunkerton points to the bright red and white signage directing shoppers upstairs to the dedicated space: “There’s a sense of anticipation as you go up the escalator,” he says.

A section towards the rear of the store’s top floor, it is dedicated to vintage Superdry and Nike products, including T-shirts, hoodies, sweatshirts, and retro jackets.

The vintage theme continues on the floor’s staircase. In an ode to Superdry’s history, original designs have been framed along the staircase, and there are photos above of former brand ambassadors ranging from Justin Bieber to Idris Elba.

“People forget the history of who we are,” declares Dunkerton. “These are original designs of the 2003, 2004 and 2005 collections. It goes through the history of what we have produced – all of the key moments.”

Whole new world

Another distinctive element of the store is located on the lower-ground floor of the flagship. Subtly separated from the rest of the store by a glass door is its wholesale and influencer space. The basement space opens out into a showroom for wholesale, which in the 2021 financial year accounted more than one-third of the group’s overall revenue, bringing in £213.8m of the £556.1m total.

It also includes a Gin & Juice bar, a dimly lit bar which stocks a selection of gin and juice combinations, which is co-owned by Dunkerton. The dimly lit room is peppered with tables, stools, and candles, providing wholesalers with a comfortable space in which to talk business.

As the tour draws to a close, Dunkerton tells Drapers how 360 Oxford Street sets it apart from previous Superdry stores, and the wider retail environment: “It is the most experiential store on Oxford Street, possibly in London. It reflects what people are interested in, vintage, sustainability and brilliant product.”

Superdry’s Oxford Street store highlights old and new elements of the retailer, and includes more recent vegan and sustainable ranges, as well as harking back to brand classics through its vintage section. Its brand new exterior stands out from the remainder of the street, which has suffered in the last two years as high-profile retailers have exited, leaving voids and little sign of retailers coming to replace them.

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