Clarke Gough’s two projects shortlisted for awards!

The National Association of Shopfitters Design Partnership Awards 2014 (NAS) have shortlisted Clarke Gough for two projects. Dog bowl (Manchester) and Gieves and Hawkes (Chester) were shortlisted for the annual Design Partnership Awards run by our official trade body.

Dog bowl is a restaurant bar with five 10 pin bowling lanes situated on Whitworth Street West. The project was completed with the help of designers from Start JG.

Gieves and Hawkes is a traditional bespoke tailor, situated on St Michaels Row. The project was completed with the help of architect Teresa Hastings.

See our profile for more details on the projects:

The Restaurant, Bar and Club Industry in Manchester

Manchester has always had a pioneering going out economy and has influenced music, clubbing and style around the globe. Through the days of the Hacienda and 24 hour party people, the reputation of these Mancunian features set cornerstones for how the city was to develop. But what’s happening in Manchester now and how are our bars, clubs and pubs progressing.

The Liars Club

Some facts:

  • From 2007 to 2012 the number of licensed premises in council wars covering the city centre has increased by a third. This includes clubs, bars, restaurants, hotels, cinemas, theatres, off licenses and private clubs.
  • There are now well over 100 licensed premises in the Northern Quarter.
  • Manchester is the UK’s fastest growing city with the population growing by 20% in the last decade. Specifically, younger people 20-30 have seen the biggest increase. In 2001, 78,301 lived in Manchester in 2001, compared to 123,600 in 2012. Many younger people found themselves in austerity fatigue, and went out to eat and drink in increasing numbers year on year through out the recession.
  • Crime during Manchester’s night time economy has reduced more than any other city in the past 10 years.
  • Smaller night clubs have overtaken larger ones with a broad and diverse offering within the city for every night of the week.
  • Manchester has seen the more regeneration than any other city in Europe.

Bowling Shops

So what has lead to these stellar night time results for Manchester’s bars. There is a broad spectrum of styles, districts and genres in the city. From young professionals flocking to the mainstream areas such as Printworks and Deansgate Locks. To the hip bars in the Northern quarter. This diverse artistic area offers a variety of trendy casual dining restaurants and some experimental club spaces. Large student population flock to oxford road where indie and 90s nights are rife. Furthermore your big hitters see people travel from all over the world to go to the best club in the world (Sankeys, voted 2010) and the biggest party in the UK (Warehouse Project). The recently developed financial district, Spinningfields, is littered with restaurants and bars. Canal street serves up one of the best gay quarters of any city with the largest gay population out of London situated in Manchester. A new area such as Salford Quays is also a heavily regenerated area with an upmarket mix of bars and restaurants on the waterfront. Suburban drinking also has seen a surge in areas such as Chorlton, Didsbury, Fallowfield, Prestwich and others. Bars need to balance a combination of style, drinks, music and vibe to entice different clientele. Its safe to say many have been incredibly successful in this sense within the Manchester area.


The Post-Recession Consumer, Retail and Construction

There has been a lot of turbulence in the industry since the recession. After such a financial crash, we have questioned our finances and our governments. Understanding the influence on the consumer is crucial to success in modern retail. Ideas put forward such as The Great Unwind by John Gerzema, aim to explain this phenomena. Poor consumer confidence was presumed to be the sole reason for movement of preference but now as recovery is in effect we are seeing different degrees of permanence and an array of new habits. The obvious trend is seeing consumer’s desire to economize but there is more to the story than this:

Experiential retailing – the consumer lifestyle and demand has moved to suit the conditions in which e-commerce creates. Specifically retailers are unable to compete with the convenience, price transparency and range the internet offers. Therefore retailers need to look at the experience they provide within shops to differentiate themselves. A unique fit out can be a key influencer, combined with great staff and an environment that connects to them. Urban Outfitters argue themselves that their successful expansion is down to their shop fittings and environment having such a strong empathetic connection to their consumers, so distinct that it becomes persuasive. You need to immerse them in an ideal in which they can identify with within your store space.

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Over 10 days, The Empty Shop MCR raised 7,550 pieces of clothing from 265 donors to help the homeless in Manchester

Local homeless charity, Mustard Tree, is celebrating a ground-breaking week of Mancunian goodwill, as donations from The Empty Shop MCR are counted.

In partnership with shopfitters Clarke Gough and Manchester Arndale, Mustard Tree has received 7,550 items of pre-loved clothing from Manchester shoppers in just ten days, through this innovative project based in Manchester Arndale.

Modelled on a pioneering project in Brazil, The Empty Shop MCR is the first of its kind in the UK, inviting local people to bring their pre-loved items of clothing to be styled-up each day by brands, bloggers and stylists to create a unique shop display. Each day the shop was emptied and all items of clothing have been donated to Mustard Tree, either to be made accessible to those in need or to be sold to raise funds for the charity’s projects.

Totalling 242 bin bags of clothes and ranging from designer dresses to cosy knits and stylish accessories, donations came from generous Manchester residents, 20 local businesses, retailers within Manchester Arndale and independent brands. Local brand AKA donated 1,000 items totalling £20,000 to kick off the project, there were a few famous Manchester faces at the shop and Bruce, the dog from Manchester’s Blackdog Ballroom chain even stopped by to drop off 15 branded t-shirts.

Volunteers from Mustard Tree manned The Empty Shop MCR throughout the ten days and worked hard to raise greater awareness of homelessness in the Manchester area.
Adrian Nottingham, CEO of Mustard Tree said: “We’d like to give a very big thank you to everyone who took part in this fabulously planned, organised and delivered innovative project. Mustard Tree was proud to partner with Manchester Arndale and Clarke Gough, to give the people of Manchester an opportunity to demonstrate their generosity towards some of the most vulnerable members of this great city.

“For ten days our volunteers focused on raising awareness of the plight of those who are currently homeless and marginalised, in a fantastic and visible location. The resulting donations of clothing will give us the opportunity to offer immediate relief to people in need, as well as much needed resources to drive the ongoing work of delivering long term solutions.”

The partners are now looking to next year and how to make the Empty Shop MCR even bigger and better.

For more information go to the Press and Media section of The Empty Shop Manchester’s website:

Twitter: @EmptyShopMCR
Facebook: /EmptyShopMCR
Instagram: EmptyShopMCR

Top 10 Retail Trends of 2013

Here is a short video explaining different retail trends we have seen over 2013 and will continue to see in the next few years.

As a store in the modern retail climate, keeping aware of these trends is key to staying competitive. As shop fitters this is also important information for us to consider as we serve the market.

Despite this video being based in the US, it is still likely to effect us and our shopfitting in Manchester with these globalized retail trends.

We hope to post a video soon with regards to the modern trends of the bar and leisure industry.

Take a look: