Collaboration between two long-established Leicester companies has brought the ‘original’ Walkers pie back onto the high street, creating a flagship city centre store with a bold new image. National multi-disciplinary consultancy practice Pick Everard has designed a new branded retail interior, working with Walkers & Son, famous pie makers, part of the Samworth Brothers Group, to launch an exciting multi-faceted concept. Work began on the interior early this year following a hugely successful pop-up shop venture on the premises that scored a massive hit with customers last Christmas. Opening on Friday 27 September 2013 the new-look store returns to the four-storey Georgian building that was the flagship Walkers & Son shop next to the market in Cheapside, Leicester.
Pick Everard has channelled extensive experience of working with major retailers such as Sainsburys, Next and Boden to deliver a compact and highly functional, high street store format. Pick Everard’s lead Interior Designer Dan Pilling worked closely with the Walkers team to project the brand’s history and the value placed on a good quality, tasty pie.
Peter Quinn, Managing Director, Walkers & Son comments: “Pick Everard has designed a flagship store which has exceeded our expectations. The project has successfully linked the historical importance of the building going back more than 100 years with a beautiful modern store which is an icon for our brand. Rescuing the building and creating such an important location in Leicester has been a difficult task made easier with Dan’s creativity, talent and tireless enthusiasm for the project.”
Pick Everard’s designers envisaged a split retail concept; ‘traditional’ deli format, larder style shelving and fresh produce displays and a hot food product offer. The resulting innovative interior design scheme subtly draws these separate aspects together. The challenge was to generate a relevant new retail identity for Walkers & Son and in the process create an upmarket sales platform telling the story of Leicester’s original multi award-winning pie. Both Walkers and Pick Everard go back a long way – to 1824 and 1866 respectively. Pick Everard has worked in partnership with brand owner Samworth Brothers previously, on the conversion of the former Leicester Grammar School into the headquarters of the Diocese of Leicester, for whom Sir David Samworth is a benefactor. Pick Everard designed the new ‘W1824’ branding harking back to the date the first pie was made, but the new hot food offer brings the essence of the pie’s history back to the 21st century high street. The company’s creative chefs have developed new hot pie recipes especially for the shop.
Pick Everard’s Dan Pilling explains: “The new layout harks back with gleaming white butcher’s shop tiles, blackboards and sandstone flooring, but also brings the brand forward with walls of product-laden shelving and huge open top deli fridges against a backdrop of the dark grey and gold branding.” Dan added, “This new retail format creates an evocative environment – sitting the pies within the context of a ‘Larder Cupboard’ of complementary ingredients – all drawn from the same traditions of quality, good ingredients and Leicester heritage.“