LONDON (Nov. 11, 2008)—A new and exciting way to explore the planet arrives in London this week when National Geographic opens its first global retail store on Regent Street, in the heart of London’s most elite shopping district, on Friday, Nov. 14. Drawing on National Geographic’s 120-year heritage of inspiring people to care about the planet, National Geographic’s new flagship store will bring together its products and services in a constantly evolving, culturally inspired setting.
More than a traditional retail environment, the Regent Street store will feature compelling interactive visual displays and state-of-the-art design dedicated to stimulating, educating and inspiring visitors to celebrate global cultures. In addition to its retail marketplace, the store will feature an exhibition area, auditorium, tapas café, travel desk and photography studio, set across three floors and approximately 1,800 square metres (19,375 square feet).
The auditorium will offer public lectures from some of National Geographic’s most renowned explorers, authors and photographers, as well as free film screenings. The exhibition hall will display a rotating showcase of curated exhibits inspired by content from National Geographic’s international channels, magazines and mission-oriented projects, such as the Genographic Project.
Visitors can stop by the café to sample a selection of tapas, composed of slow food, organic food, fair trade and other specialty items. They can also peruse National Geographic’s travel and cartographic library, book National Geographic Expeditions and local tours, and try out apparel and accessories for their upcoming adventures. The photography studio will allow visitors to test equipment and consult with National Geographic’s optics specialists.
The marketplace will feature a wide selection of National Geographic products featuring its award-winning magazines, books and DVDs, as well as newly created products and unique, hand-crafted items sourced from global artisans and not typically offered in the United Kingdom. Locally sourced collectables from Africa make up a portion of these items and include original artifacts and tools found in indigenous tribes. Custom jewellery and hand-stitched camel hide bags from Kenya are among the authentic and sustainable items on offer.
Key product lines in the store will include apparel, footwear, eyewear, stationery, maps, watches, home furnishings and a wide selection of children’s products.
The store will also offer items designed for the rigours of adventures and exploration, from casual travel gear to expedition-quality apparel, including hi-tech waterproof bags and innovative, multi-layered apparel suitable for diverse climates and activities. Consumers can road-test their apparel in the store’s product-testing area, featuring wind gusts, extreme temperature changes and other conditions that simulate the often challenging environments that National Geographic explorers experience in the field.
Eclectic furniture and home décor items will be featured in displays and will be available for sale. They include a variety of pieces constructed of wood reclaimed from old furniture, buildings, bridges and railways. Sample furniture and home décor items include armchairs, tables, lamps and glassware available in a variety of colors, textures and finishes.
Drawing from its mission to inspire people to care about the planet, National Geographic has built its flagship store with eco-friendly design elements and plans to incorporate additional sustainable practices in its daily operations.
National Geographic’s net proceeds support the Society’s exploration, conservation, research and education programs.
The National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organisations. Founded in 1888 to “increase and diffuse geographic knowledge,” the Society works to inspire people to care about the planet. National Geographic reflects the world through its magazines, television programs, films, music and radio, books, DVDs, maps, exhibitions; school publishing programs, interactive media and merchandise. National Geographic magazine, the Society’s official journal, published in English and 31 local-language editions, is read by more than 40 million people each month. The National Geographic Channel reaches over 270 million households in 34 languages in 166 countries. National Geographic Digital Media receives more than 12 million visitors a month. National Geographic has funded more than 9,000 scientific research, conservation and exploration projects and supports an education programme combating geography illiteracy. For more information, visit nationalgeographic.com.