New Next Home and Garden Centre store marks fresh approach to retailing

A new £12m 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 finished store has a floor space of 8310 sqm and includes a clothes shop, homeware store, garden centre and Costa Coffee cafe, spread out over three floors.

Steve Middleton, regional shopfitting manager (London & Overseas) at Next Retail says: “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.

Store manager Sean Hosey adds: “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.

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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