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Brief Published: 12 Feb 2016

Virgin Holidays Store Lounges Renew Travel Retail

Virgin Holidays Lounge by YourStudio

British brand Virgin Holidays is reinvigorating business with the launch of five hospitality-inspired, tech-enhanced concept stores across the UK (Bluewater, Lakeside, Bristol, Newcastle and Leeds).

Grounded firmly in a sense of fun, the designs aim to modernise and raise the profile of the brand’s retail identity, which currently consists of a somewhat mixed footprint of seven standalone stores, plus more than 100 concessions at department stores Debenhams and House of Fraser, and in supermarkets Tesco and Sainsbury’s.  

Dressed in cabin-crew-inspired uniforms, sales associates act as roaming concierges, emphasising the push towards delivering tailored experiences over generic, computer-based sales. There’s also no dedicated till area – instead, customers relax at an ‘Island Bar’ with drinks while browsing destinations on transaction-enabled tablets. Additional devices dotted around the store are filled with holiday-related videos that can be instantly transferred to larger wall screens (see Limbo Spaces for similar concepts).

Bidding to show it’s on board with new tech, wall-mounted Google Cardboard virtual reality headsets offer a more immersive glimpse of holiday hotspots, while a green screen allows visitors to picture themselves abroad. A Disney-themed kids area includes a dress-up box and cartoon cinema, while adults can also test Virgin Atlantic Upper Class seats with a complimentary glass of champagne. The space was designed by London-based agency YourStudio.

For more on Virgin’s wider strategy, see Gap x Virgin: Retail Room ServiceVirgin’s Pop-Up Restaurant and Virgin’s New Uniforms. For more on holiday retailing, see the TUI store in Retail Design Expo 2015 and Retail Beyond the Algorithm.