The “ultimate lifestyle store” for Guildford?

Surrey retail gurus Luke Underhill and James Pascoe outside their new lifestyle store

Surrey retail gurus Luke Underhill and James Pascoe outside their new lifestyle store - Credit: Various

Two of the UK’s best-known outdoor clothing brands, The North Face and Timberland, have combined forces to open what has been described as the “ultimate lifestyle store” in Guildford’s historic Constitutional Hall.

The well-known clothing labels have completely transformed the quirky charm of the town’s best-kept secret: the labyrinthine, late Victorian hall at the top of the cobbled High Street.

Originally a public meeting house, then West’s Picture Palace (Guildford’s first cinema), the store’s slimline frontage extends way back to house the Timberland collection, while just beyond, the building opens into a large vaulted space with central steps and grand balconies – and the latest ranges from North Face.

“Because of the Constitutional Hall’s space and wow factor, we are dying to utilise it for regular, really amazing events for people who live, work in or visit Guildford,” says the Surrey man behind the launch, Luke Underhill, who has already hosted a talk with author Griff Rhys Jones as part of Guildford Book Festival. “We’d like to welcome them in to do so much more than shop. For instance, we’re looking at potential activities such as extreme sports films shown on big screens; Saturday morning kids’ film club and avalanche safety lectures.”

Along with his colleague James Pascoe, Luke helped to build Crew Clothing into a major retail success story. The pair then sold and went on to set up their business SeventyThree Retail in 2010, and now, as well as operating a number of franchise partnerships for Timberland, they are also exclusive UK franchise partner for Havaianas, the iconic Brazilian flip-flop.

• The Timberland/North Face Store, The Constitutional Hall, 170 High Street, Gildford GU1 3HW. Tel: 01483 503596

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