Made.com’s flagship Soho showroom opens as retailer ramps up offline presence

Made.com has opened its biggest showroom to date as it continues its drive to take the online store to British high-streets.

The near 800m2 space in Soho – which had previously been a bookshop – has joined the Shoreditch, Notting Hill and Leeds showrooms.

The space mirrors the Made.com website. Full scale ‘virtual’ products are projected onto the curved walls which look like the pages of a book, a homage to the history of the store.

There are a number of room set-ups peppered with iMac stations which visitors can access to place orders.

They can also use handheld CloudTags tablets to access all product information whilst browsing.

To create a sense of drama, a huge lighting installation made of 40,000 plastic tubes fills the windows, replicating a nail impression toy. This will showcase ‘pinpressions’ of Made.com’s most iconic products.

Ning Li, co-founder and chief executive said it has eschewed digital gimmicks and sought to only bring in technology which will add value to the experience.

“Everyone is trying to find a way to link both online and physical worlds. Online, there are no square footage constraints – space is endless – so coming up with ways to showcase our full catalogue here was a challenge. We’ve achieved this by incorporating digital elements but only in ways we feel add value and are not in any way gimmicky,” he said.

“Our showrooms continue to be a testing ground for new products; we use the space as an engagement tool with customers. It’s not about the hard-sell.”

Architect firm Bureau de Change spent five months working with Made.com on the space.

Jennifer Faull

Jen Faull is Brands Editor at The Drum. Based in London, she has interviewed major business figures including top marketers from Mondelez, Unilever, Tesco, and Lidl.

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