Selfridges Exchange Square, Manchester, UK
Thursday 27 Dec 2012


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HMKM were tasked to design a new 20,000 square foot Beauty and Accessories Hall in the lower ground floor of its Manchester store, doubling the beauty brand space within a glamorous and serene environment. This was completed in October 2011.

Beauty is a key floor for department store retailers in helping lure customers through the front door. This move from the ground to lower ground floor meant that HMKM had to work all the harder to ensure its impact and allure was undiminished. The result is a stunning area showcasing exclusive ranges from international brands.

Though beauty dominates, the floor is shared with sunglasses and fashion jewellery. HMKM designed the bespoke fixtures allowing brands to personalize their fixtures with a choice of four finishes: black, white, mirror polished stainless steel or bronze mirror-polished stainless steel panels. Bespoke bench seating promotes a more leisurely lounge atmosphere. Bronze is the colouring and material of choice throughout; it transforms the structural columns, which are clad in circular bronze mirror-polished stainless steel casings, and cast a soft, rose glow onto their surroundings.

The newly widened central escalator atrium now provides generous sightlines down into the basement from the other floors, and allows a great deal of reflected light to hit the central beauty hall area and its dramatic italianate-patterned marble floor.

In the central well, a four-colour pattern (white to deepest brown) is used to intensify visual drama; immediately beyond this, the floor dilutes to a three-colour pattern of softer tones (white to beige), whilst the remaining perimeter areas are lifted by the gleam of pure white stone.

Although it is the smallest of Selfridges' four stores, the Manchester store is the most fashion-focused of them all, hence the importance of brands that reflect and push fashion trends, whether in make-up, fragrance or accessories, and the newly designed space offers the perfect backdrop.