Soho Retail’s flagship Soho showroom opens as retailer ramps up offline presence


By Jennifer Faull | Deputy Editor

January 30, 2015 | 2 min read 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 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’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 on the space. Soho Retail

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