Denim and Differentiation
The latest store concept from Pepe Jeans is a clear sign that the brand is hungry for growth, beyond just denim – evident instore through its widened fashion offering.
Situated on London’s prestigious Regent Street, it latest bricks-and-mortar investment is evidence of brand’s hunger for growth, and the realisation that an offer built solely on only denim is rarely enough to engage shoppers anymore. In fact, the front of the store doesn’t give the impression of a denim specialist retailer at all. Instead, it’s more underplayed and looks similar to the other millennial focused fashion brands that neighbour the store, like Zara and Uniqlo.
Well thought-out, presented and delivered…
That’s not to say that Pepe Jeans has forgotten its denim roots. Rather than feeling like a disconnected denim specialist brand with a few other apparel products thrown into the mix, the store has been well thought-out, presented and delivered, with a retail environment designed to engage shoppers, and number of instore features to suit.
Its familiar fabric remains in sight throughout, on table fixtures and especially within its instore ‘Custom Studio’, similar to Levi’s Studio in Stockholm – a workshop where shoppers can create their own denim products; using laser design tools, ornaments, and distressing.
The stores design is self-consciously eclectic with gold-edged fixtures and cork details next to bright red and yellow walls. The use of vibrant colours is striking and draws attention to specific key areas of the store. At first glance, it may appear like a cookie cutter approach to retail design and visual merchandising, pedalled by the current crop of populist retailers such as Urban Outfitters. But rather than the haphazard, edgier look that greets shoppers in UO stores, Pepe Jeans is visibly more contrived in its instore execution. That could be viewed a criticism, but it shouldn’t be. It gives the brand a much more professional aesthetic – and it is all the better for it.
Cutting-edge or ‘new’ it may not be, but this store does present itself with purpose – progressing Pepe Jeans away from dated denim label towards a brand that is very much more ‘of the moment’.