Next Watford

Next Plc
Atria Watford
Essential Projects
Final Contract Value
Completion Date
March 2022

Project Brief

Specialist manufacturers of bespoke architectural metalwork and glasswork, Essential Projects was contracted to finish the fit out at a new Next store, dubbed as “the first of its kind” in order to respond to new shopping habits.

Formerly home to Debenhams, the new department-style store located at Atria Watford includes a clothing department for women, men, and children, along with a home department and the existing beauty hall, spread over three floors under one roof.

The expanded offering also includes concessions from partner brands including Victoria’s Secret, Bath & Body Works, Mamas & Papas, and Costa Coffee.

The essential solution

As part of the redevelopment, Essential Projects was contracted to manufacture, supply and install the bespoke feature glass staircases for which the Next in-store customer experience has become renowned.

The feature staircase links the ground floor clothing areas to the first floor Home, Bath & Body Works and Mamas & Papas areas.

To allow for a change in the layout from the old Debenhams store, Essential Projects had to install additional structural support steelwork to reinforce areas surrounding the new bespoke staircase.

In keeping with other Next interior design concepts used within other stores around the UK, Essential Projects also added a 1.1m high glass balustrade underneath the glass staircase.

A number of other metal and glass products were also installed, including stainless steel cladding and two bespoke glass gates used to encompass window beds.


This is the first Next store in England that offers such a range of departments. I am proud of the metalwork we have delivered, which now enable Next’s customers to move easily between the various levels and different departments within the store.

Eliot Saxton, Essential Projects

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