The ethos of the Country Road brand is evident in every detail and resonates with the modern South African consumer. “We worked on the concept with HMKM, a London-based firm, and in 2019, we opened our first flagship in Melbourne. We are very excited to open our first store of this concept in South Africa, where the concept is designed to reflect and take inspiration from the stunning Cape Town scenery,” says Alicia Buffington, head of store design for Country Road Group.
Throughout the store, every consideration was given to ensure the store reflects Country Road’s commitment to responsible design. Fixtures incorporate recycled plastics, carpets are made using recycled polyester yarn, upholstery is made using recycled wool, and a curated collection of furniture is sourced locally.
“This project has been 12 months in the making, and we are very proud of what the team has been able to achieve,” says Elle Roseby, managing director of Country Road.
“On our journey towards sustainability, purpose is embedded in everything we do; From the way we design our products, source our materials, build our stores, and connect with our communities. Seeing the new Country Road store open in the V&A Waterfront, we know that this purpose has truly been brought to life in the most beautiful way.”
The Country Road store at the V&A Waterfront is one of its largest stores at 993m2 trading, and the space was designed to enhance the experience of customers while celebrating the concept of sustainability in fit outs.
“Our choice of materials focused highly on their inherent sustainability credentials, and we looked to source local materials, where possible. We included tiles that are locally manufactured, our flooring contains responsibly sourced timber and low-emission plywood, and the wall coverings contain a high percentage of post-consumer recycled materials. In addition, the lighting design is based on energy reduction and supplied and installed locally,” Buffington adds.
Roy Bagattini, group CEO of Woolworths says this is an exciting milestone on a transformational path in sustainability advocacy which began over 50 years ago.
“Country Road’s new flagship store brings to life how we seek ways to do better and think bigger, to meet our aspiration of being one of the world’s most responsible retailers. Two years ago, we shared our new Good Business Journey strategy, which we call Vision 2025+, which outlined an ambitious set of sustainability goals for 2025 and beyond that have been designed to really stretch and challenge ourselves. For us, sustainability is not only about minimising and mitigating the negative impacts of what we collectively do; it’s about actively giving back more than we take, and is one of the biggest responsibilities of our time.”