The UK’s largest chain of licensed stores is embarking on an ambitious refurbishment programme that has already transformed a dozen branches into new generation, female-friendly outlets. Abandoning the blue colour scheme that has been synonymous with Private Shops for so long, the new stores are warm purple with white highlights and feature the taglines ‘Your Intimate Lifestyle’ and ‘The Adult Store You Can Trust’ on their windows. Inside are further enhancements, including more emphasis on couple-friendly products and lingerie.
Mike Wallace of Private Shops explained: “We wanted to get away from the shabby perception that some people have about licensed stores. Even now there are people who are too embarrassed to enter a traditional licensed shop, perhaps because they expect it to be male-focused, so we’ve tried to make our stores as welcoming as we can, while still adhering to the licensing restrictions we are placed under by different councils.”
Rather remarkably, these restrictions included one local council rejecting the new corporate purple colour scheme, which is why one of the new-style stores has a white exterior. Wallace added that recently recruited area manager Leigha Turner had played a key role in the programme and that the company would continue to refurbish stores on a monthly basis.
All stores that have been upgraded have had their sales closely monitored and ‘significant increases’ have been recorded. There are currently 91 Private Shops around the UK, slightly down from the chain’s pre-recession peak of 104.