Stratford upon Avon lifestyle store transformed thanks to £100K investment

Photo shows: Richard Biggs (left) from Bonds Lifestyle with Jim Clark from the CWLEP Growth Hub

A lifestyle store and brasserie near Stratford-upon-Avon has been re-launched following a six-figure investment.

Bonds Lifestyle on Evesham Road has been transformed while it was closed during the pandemic to create a London-style shopping experience.

Owners Richard and Zoe Biggs have refurbished the upstairs of the 12,000 sq ft building with Scandinavian-style interiors to create a contemporary open-plan space and the café has been rebranded as Bonds Brasserie.

The £100,000 self-funded improvements have been made after Richard and Zoe.

Richard said: “The future of retail is experience-based and we have to be able to compete with internet shopping in different ways, so that has been our focus.

“We have been closed for seven of the last 12 months during the pandemic, which has been really difficult, but we have concentrated our energies on the business.

“The upstairs section was in need of some love and attention. We have put on a new roof, installed new electrics with specialist retail lighting and it no longer has different cubicles of concessions – it is now completely open plan.

“Our model is a mix of old and new, with an emphasis on the unique and the inspiring, from Scandinavian boho interiors to decorative vintage items. It looks like a London store with black ceilings and white floors so it has had a complete overhaul.

“We have refreshed our brasserie and we will be increasing the menu options in the next few weeks. Before the pandemic, it was often fully booked so we wanted to create an area where shoppers could pop in for coffee and cake which is why we have built a yurt.

“We also have brand new toilets and they are like a London hotel with black ceilings and walls and cool lighting.”

Jim, account manager at the CWLEP Growth Hub, which supported the couple, said: “Bonds Lifestyle is well-known in Stratford-upon-Avon and Richard and Zoe have created a great business. Throughout Covid-19, my job has been as much about listening to the worries of business owners as it has been about providing practical help and at the Growth Hub. We are here for companies whatever their circumstances.”