White Stuff | Edinburgh | 2010

Building an Emporium…

British fashion and lifestyle brand White Stuff asked AMD to design their first ever ‘emporium’ in Edinburgh – now known as the largest and most exciting White Stuff store. Having worked with White Stuff for many years on retail environments across the UK and Europe, we were delighted for the opportunity to take the brand to a whole new level of store experience in this multimillion-pound project.
Located in George Street, Edinburgh, the emporium was created within a listed department store building once known as ‘Grays of Edinburgh’. Spread across three connected buildings over four floors, the space we had to work with totalled at 10,000 sq ft. Our challenge was to create a real sense of originality, fun and excitement which translated through to every inch of the space.  

Whilst the traditional exterior was impressive, the interiors were very tired – most of the original features had been either boxed over, filled or removed. We began by installing a skylight on the first floor of the central Victorian building, which allowed natural light to flood though to darker spaces. We removed the false lowered ceilings and restored the original cornice, as well as the natural timber flooring.

With the shell of the space restored or improved, we began creating truly bespoke features for the store, starting with a ‘meeting tree’ which soars up through the central void. We installed a bench around the tree for shoppers to sit and enjoy this striking talking point.


The highlight of the project, which was featured as a benchmark project on Mary Portas’s TV show ‘Mary Queen of Shops’, was a series of fun and immersive changing rooms reminiscent of Narnia. We transformed a huge unused space into a characterful corridor with mismatched wardrobes either side. The changing rooms, which were inside the wardrobes, all took on a different, dedicated theme – from a 1950s kitchen to what could be your dad’s garden shed. At the end of the corridor was a ‘magic mirror’, where shoppers could take pictures of themselves and send to friends for advice. These whimsical spaces were unusual, unexpected and very well received by shoppers.

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