01 Feb 2021 • Retail
Is Ace & Tate’s latest shop the future of responsible retail design?
With its fifth London store, the eyewear brand has unveiled its new ready-to-assemble ‘Responsible Retail Design’ store concept – one influenced by the process of imagining the post-pandemic future of retail.
COVID-19 has required that retailers everywhere take a second look at their brick-and-mortar strategy. The task has also opened the door to think more critically about the sustainability factor. For Ace & Tate, that has meant setting four principles for future brand spaces. One: the interiors should be designed for disassembly. Two: they should be honest in their material use. Three: their design should be simple. And four: they should be boldly executed. This ethos is reflected in their latest opening on London’s Marylebone High Street. A collaboration with Berlin-based studio New Tendency, the interior advances Ace & Tate’s goal to become carbon neutral by 2030. Flexible and modular, it sets the pace for all store rollouts to come.
That’s meaningful considering Ace & Tate’s growth rate: 2020 was a year that saw the brand increase its footprint of physical stores by 30 per cent, to 70 stores total worldwide. Circular building materials, standardized furniture and the prefabrication of components all factor into the Marylebone space. It has custom-designed pieces from Danish sustainable furniture company TAKT, counters constructed from end-of-life and cut-off Kvadrat textiles. The walls of the testing room are clad in WoolFelt from Féline – both removable and reusable. Now, post-design, the brand’s principles will be extended through the measure of electricity, gas, water and waste usage per location at each of its stores to come.
‘Responsible Retail Design is just the beginning of our journey in the future of our store expansion,’ explains Doortje van der Lee, Ace & Tate's director of retail expansion. ‘With more flexible real-estate deals, and a modular store concept, this allows us to easily move the store if realities change again. It allows us to follow our customer and be available wherever our audience needs.’