Oslo’s luxury department store Steen & Strøm relaunched

Oslo’s luxury, contemporary department store Steen & Strøm, which is managed by Promenaden Management, is officially relaunched today following a major NOK 300 million (£25.7 million GBP) refurbishment and upgrade in the city. The completed investment works to the more than 220-year-old iconic department store include a brand-new entrance onto one of Norway’s busiest shopping streets for the first time in its history, a state-of-the-art beauty hall and upgraded architecture which introduces a stunning new atrium.

Steen & Strøm first opened in 1797 and is the oldest running luxury department store in the world. Furthermore, it is the flagship destination of Oslo’s Promenaden Fashion District, with six floors of fashion, style, beauty, lifestyle and food. As part of the launch and extensive rebranding initiative, the department store is also unveiling a new name, logo and visual identity. The store is to be known as Steen & Strøm 1797.

Annette Lund, Chief Executive of Promenaden Management, commented: “Steen & Strøm truly is the jewel in the Promenaden Fashion District crown and we could not be more excited to reveal the results of this major investment. Having a fashion destination like Steen & Strøm in Oslo greatly contributes to its international appeal and we are excited to continue bringing the latest and greatest to the Norwegian market.”

New entrance
As it relaunches this week, it does so with a completely new entrance opening up onto Karl Johans gate – Norway’s most visited shopping street with over 15.5m shoppers every year. With this new entrance, the footfall of the department store is set to more than double from 2.2m to 5m visitors next year.

New beauty hall
Steen & Strøm has also recently opened a new beauty hall which features a mix of products, services and experiences such as a Skin Lab for niche brands, a men’s grooming area and a fragrance bar – and includes a world-class line-up of premium and luxury brands including Chanel, Le Labo and the first Dior Beauty Boutique in the Nordics, as well as a strong focus on services and experiences.

New brand, name and identity
Coinciding with this week’s relaunch is the unveiling of a new visual identity created by Lotta Nieminen Studio, which has previously worked with the likes of Hermès, Bvlgari, Condé Nast, Liberty of London, Monocle and Vanity Fair. The rebrand consists of a new visual identity and logo as well as the adaption of the new name Steen & Strøm 1797 to reflect the rich and unique heritage of the store.

Lotta Nieminen said of the new brand: “Getting to pull from such a long history is an inspiring starting point to a project: the story is already there! It was important for me to interpret Steen & Strøm’s heritage through a modern lens in order to highlight not just the legacy, but the store’s position as a bold, forward-thinking fashion destination throughout the years. With the new name, a modern type palette and a bold take on color, the brand elements give Steen & Strøm a confident visual voice that embodies its high-end playfulness.”

The recently completed works make up the first phase in a two-year master plan to future-proof the department store, with the remaining two phases set to transform the remaining floors of the department store and introduce elements such as a French luxury corner and a unisex floor. Later this year, a new e-commerce initiative will be launched in collaboration with Wishibam.

David Wilkinson, Executive Director of Steen & Strøm, added: “Steen & Strøm is already a completely unique destination in Oslo and with the upgrades now being undertaken, we are ensuring it is fit for the future and continues leading forward for Norwegian retail. With the new entrance, the store’s prime location in Oslo’s city centre will be further reinforced, while the architectural upgrades ensure a fresh and contemporary look and feel.”

Sales since reopening after Oslo’s emergence from government-imposed Covid-19 restrictions have already been encouraging, with the beauty hall exceeding targets on its first two days after reopening. Norwegian retail has proved resilient during the pandemic, with Steen & Strøm reporting double-digit growth last summer, and Norway is expected to come out of the pandemic as one of the most robust economies.

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