You may remember we blogged about our new shop design for work for Simmons Bakery both at their Hatfield branch and more recently in Welwyn Garden City. Our last blog piece showed the visuals and store concept designs and this month we sent our photographer down there to take some shots of the store so you can see how they measure up.
New Shop Design
Simmons is a family-run business, started in 1838 when Eliza Simmons began making bread in Roe Green on the outskirts of Hatfield. With products ranging from soft sliced bread to delicious chocolate gateaux, the Simmons ethos is focussed on using only the freshest and highest quality ingredients available to make the best possible products – whilst also providing an original and classy café environment where customers feel comfortable and relaxed. Simmons wanted to be able to compete readily with other well known High Street café or restaurant and we worked very closely with Simmons managing director to bring the chain into the 21st century, with a retail strategy that included brand development as well as designing new and enticing bakery store and cafe environments.
With over 30 stores throughout Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire, the aim of this new store was for Simmons to trial the concept and then roll it out to other sites.
The Bakery Counter
The bakery counter and cafe area use different designs and materials – eg different flooring and colour schemes to show customers that they are in different areas of the store, but which both complement each other as a cohesive design which promotes the brand message. The bakery counter area features grey slate-coloured tiles and red pendant lamps. The counter runs the whole length of this area offering a selection of freshly baked treats including cakes, pasties, sandwiches and pizza. There is a seating area with bistro-style high tables and chairs for people to sit at and grab a bite from the takeaway menu. For those who wish to linger over their lunch the bakery area leads into a ‘Sitting Room’ area at the rear of the store.
The Sitting Room
In the ‘sitting room’, there is an abundance of wood – with honey-coloured wooden floors and panelled walls creating a more homely feel. Comfy seating in a range of muted fabrics and shelving decorated with vintage kitchenalia invite customers to rest and sit for longer as they enjoy their baked goods. There is also a seating area on the pavement outside the bakery for those wishing to indulge in a spot of ‘people watching’ as they experience some high street cafe culture.
So far the response to the new design has been good. Sales at the Hatfield branch increased dramatically over and above their previous store in the same location and early indicators are that this new design in Welwyn will be performing in the same way. If you are in Welwn and fancy a bite to eat then do drop in and let us know what you think of the new Simmons experience.