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Trailfinders, London

In recent years we have finally seen the travel market play catch up with the rest of the high street and rightly so.  Considering the amazing places and diverse cultures waiting to be explored across the globe, travel agent outlets do not always showcase their destinations to the full extent.

As with all other areas of retail, travel agents have been hit hard by the internet and it has been a case of survival of the fittest.  The worldwide web has encroached and developed on the traditional travel agent format: - it offers a plethora of competitively priced holidays, a selection of brokers to help you secure an even leaner price and direct access to airlines, including the cheap ones.  Plus, you can surf for inspiration, get reviews on the best hotels and educate yourself on all aspects related to your overseas vacation.  Never has there been a more opportune time to devise a new retail offer to seduce consumers into booking their dream package instore; which is exactly what worldwide travel leader, Trailfinders, has just done.

Design agency, LustedGreen developed an exceptional concept for its two Kensington High Street stores – the Travel Centre and the Premium Travel and Cruise branch.  Starting with the Travel Centre, the open plan layout is based on big, bold and colourful imagery to convey the excitement and anticipation of travel.  There are digital screens to promote the various destinations on offer and a curved path to lead you around the store and add a sense of adventure.  As an avid traveller myself – well, who doesn’t like an exotic holiday or two - I love the new format.  The large graphics take in exotic animals, idyllic beaches, iconic natural wonders and an enormous map of the world – such a simple and effective solution.

The entire store is bright, open and welcoming.  There is nothing in the window to obscure your view of the interior and its seductive glossy images.  Washed oak brings muted warmth to the uncluttered interior and is used as a theme throughout the space.  The numerous, individual sales desks, rather than being in straight lines, follow the curved path.  Desks are curved themselves and partially screened to provide a degree of personalisation – which this tour operator prides itself on.  It really is a revelation in travel retail.

Across the road from this store, a more exclusive feel has been applied for the Premium Travel and Cruise offer.  Using a very similar format and arrangement as the Travel Centre, the interior of this luxury holiday agency is enhanced with a richer palette of dark-stained ash, neutral stone and grey tones.  A deliberately warmer and more focused lighting scheme combines concealed LED lights washing over surfaces with pools of spotlighting.  The new store also provides a hospitality bar for serving tea and coffee to clients.  As in the previous store the individual rounded desks are partially screened and trace the line of a curved path.  Large format graphics depicting sensational places fill one side of the branch, whilst multiple 55 inch LCD screens that showcase the premium offer are mounted and line the opposite wall.  At the rear of the store an administration area is screened off with full height timber slatted screens, and separated by a large back-lit graphic of a hotel.

Trailfinders Premium Travel and Cruise branch is an altogether more prestigious store that specifically reflects the high standards of luxury and comfort clients would experience in first and business class lounges and 5 star hotels.  It is the perfect start to your holiday!  In fact both of these new concepts stimulate your senses and are a real pleasure to visit.


Photography credit for Trailfinders - Liz Artindale (Premium travel photos) and John Dockeray (Worldwide Travel Centre photos).

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