Grafenia has opened the first of what will become a network on new business stores under its Nettl brand.
The store, like the first Nettl outlet, is in Birmingham. But rather than part of an existing business, as many of the 80 Nettl studios in operation are, the new store adopts an entirely new approach.
In a statement the company says: “It brings together everything a business needs to thrive in today’s world. Whether it’s ecommerce, online booking systems or digital marketing, it’s complemented with offline promotion through print, display and signage.”
The emphasis is not on printing machinery, but on discussion areas where the five staff can advise on design and what to choose to run a successful campaign, event or to meet a business need. Peter Gunning, CEO of Grafenia, explains: “We want this to feel a bit like a department store for business – somewhere they can go, talk to people about the things they want to achieve online and offline, and just be inspired.
“We’d like the Business Store to become a place where local businesses come to hang out. They’re welcome to come in and use our space to meet – we can accommodate nearly a hundred guests in our different themed areas – or simply get a coffee, have a seat and do your next deal.”
The store has a footprint of around 200m2 and is decorated throughout in products made at the Grafenia plant in Manchester where it installed a D-Gen fabric printer last year. There are also printed items of furniture, meeting booths and plenty of samples to showcase what the business can do and to inspire those looking for marketing ideas.
It is a marked change from the original store that opened in Smallbrook two years ago. “The building we were in was being redeveloped, so we had to move out. But rather than move into a smaller space, we wanted to try something bold,” says Gunning.
The new look concept harks back to the golden days of bespoke personal service where the store selling website design and print would be on the high street alongside the drapers, greengrocers and apothecary’s shop.
It even has ‘established 18:55’ above the door, more to do with a team get together in the pub than a claim to be established in the Victorian era.
Grafenia has opened a Business Centre in the centre of Birmingham as the next stage in developing the Nettl brand. This was set up to offer design advice for web sites and covers all print, including signage and textiles. These are printed at its Manchester head office.