Whiteley’s was London’s first department store and its iconic building is located on Queensway in Bayswater, central London. While it was highly successful for many years, the store closed in 1981 and was bought by Standard Life Assurance and rebuilt internally. At the height of its popularity it received over 8 million visitors a year, however, customer numbers started to decline as it began to look tired and with the competition of the Westfield Shopping Centre’s opening in Shepherd’s Bush. Stuff International Design was brought in by Standard Life in 2008 to develop a new positioning for Whiteley’s.
Our vision was to create a boutique centre, with a strong emphasis on leisure, entertainment and food. We completely reorganised the mix and organisation of the site. For example, All Star Lanes, a 10 pin bowling company, was brought in the basement, well-known restaurants opened on the dining floor and a new luxury cinema opened on the top floor. Stuff then created a completely new brand and commercial interior design, with very clear vertical circulation and way-finding to raise customers’ awareness of these new offers. As a result of our work the site had a much higher level of quality retail tenants.