15 August 2014

New Next store marks fresh approach to retailing

A new £12million Next Home and Garden Centre at Hedge End in Southampton has opened, marking a new approach to the British retailer's future stores.

The major new development, designed by one of the UK's leading architects, Stanton Williams, is now the company's second largest site in the UK and the first to be purpose-built. The dramatic building is built to the highest standards of design and materials, incorporating high quality German-sourced Dura beige stone and distinctive glass panelling.

Constructed and fitted out by Midas, the finished store has a floor space of 8,310 square metres and includes a clothes shop, homeware store, garden centre and Costa Coffee café, spread out over three floors.

Steve Middleton, Regional Shopfitting Manager (London & Overseas) at Next Retail said: "This pioneering new store is a significant step forward for Next. By bringing in one of London's leading architects Stanton Williams, and Midas, a proven specialist retail store developer, we are turning the traditional notion of bland big box retailing on its head. Our approach is to make the building itself a much more engaging part of the customer experience, and something that complements and showcases the products within through the use of exceptional design and high quality materials.

"The partners we chose to work with on this store were very important. Stanton Williams are a prominent firm of architects who have brought a new style of architecture to the retail park shed design, and Midas had the track record and the experience to know what customers need from a retail building."

Mark Taylor, Director at Midas said: "It is very exciting to have been selected to build the first store designed with this new approach. The materials used externally such as the glass, masonry and stone are of a very high quality, which means there is a very impressive feel to the entire building. Midas has also been able to run a very successful training and community engagement plan throughout the project having made a commitment to Next at the very start of the work to engage with the local community and involve them in this exciting development.

"We have very much enjoyed the experience of working in partnership with the Next team and look forward to the opportunity of continuing this excellent working relationship on their future works programme."  

Store Manager Sean Hosey said "This new concept store will be an amazing visual shopping experience for everyone.  We have an amazing team who are all very proud to be part of what will not only be one of the largest stores within the company, but also a pleasure to shop in."

The project also involved car parking and an access road being created by Midas, and is part of a wider plan to redevelop the old Wildern Mill site adjacent to the Hedge End Retail Park.

Midas which provides construction and property services across the South, won the contract to design and build the Next store as well as fitting it out internally, after successfully bidding against five other firms.

The project employs a number of eco-friendly new technologies, including large solar panels fitted to the roof, and crushed materials from the demolition of the old Wildern Mill buildings on the site have also been used in part of the construction to ensure building materials were reused and recycled wherever possible.


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