Retail concepts

Coffee and cones



fortnum & Mason coffee and mini ice cream cone

When I first happened upon the revamped Fortnum & Mason store in Piccadilly, I practically recoiled in shock. What had they done? In their effort to modernise, all the character had been sapped out of the poor shop. A few months on and I decided to give it a second chance. To my surprise I discovered a gem. Parlour Restaurant on the first floor is a darling little ice-cream parlour, designed by David Collins (Madonna’s decorator no less) and decked out American diner style with a 50s Italian twist.

The pistachio-green chairs work beautifully with the fondant-coloured china and floor-tiles, while neopolitan-hued lampshades coordinate very nicely indeed. But it’s not just about the decor. There’s a choice of fabulous ice-cream sundaes including a few alcoholic ones and great attention is paid to presentation. My favourite touch? The mini-sized ice-cream cones served with the capuccinos in their own little holder! Absolutely adorable.



Candid camera




Going to Colette? Skip the shopping, head for the exhibitions. 200 Troubled Teens (from 3rd-29th September) is a collection of photographs of adolescent skateboarders by Patrick O’Dell and youthful heavy-metal fans by Angela Boatwright. From the Street to the Night (1st-27th November) is an exhibition of street fashion portraiture by Amy Arbus, Scott Schuman (The Sartorialist), Yvan Rodic (Facehunter), Mark The Cobrasnake, Misshapes and Patrick McMullan.

For more information go to www.colette.fr



Primark vs New Look



Newsflash: Primark’s arrival in Marble Arch is imminent, as the store frontage is up and the battle looks set to commence between Primark and New Look. I’ll be interested to see how they battle it out. Pros and cons…

NEW LOOK
Good points – they have Giles and Lily Allen doing exclusives with them and their new Shoe Heaven range is a massive hit
– they are soon to start selling online
Bad points – merchandising leaves a lot to be desired and those weird trolley things – what the hell are they about?

PRIMARK
Good points – they are so stupidly cheap you can’t not buy something
Bad points – the stupidly cheap bubble is sure to burst as clearly, if it’s cheap it can’t be ethical
– queuing is traumatic to say the least and the mess…can it really be worth it?
-everyone and her granny will be shopping there

Hmm, New Look are winning so far, let’s see how it all pans out…