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July 10, 2012updated 04 Apr 2017 1:05pm

Virgin Money opens first store

Virgin Money has opened its first store in Guildford replacing an old Northern Rock branch, as the lender plans to transform the entire 75-branches-strong Northern Rock network across the UK to Virgin Money Stores. The new Virgin Money store aims to provide a fresh approach to high street banking and includes features such as access to Virgin Money products, free use of WiFi, iPads and iMacs and a no hard sell policy adopted by the staff members. Kerry Merrington, manager of the new store in Guildford, said: I am delighted to be able to welcome Virgin Money customers to our first fully re-branded Store. The facilities available to customers are very different to a normal bank branch.

By Meghna Mukerjee

Virgin Money has opened its first store in Guildford replacing an old Northern Rock branch, as the lender plans to transform the entire 75-branches-strong Northern Rock network across the UK to Virgin Money Stores.

The new Virgin Money store aims to provide a “fresh approach to high street banking” and includes features such as access to Virgin Money products, free use of WiFi, iPads and iMacs and a no hard sell policy adopted by the staff members.

Kerry Merrington, manager of the new store in Guildford, said:

“I am delighted to be able to welcome Virgin Money customers to our first fully re-branded Store. The facilities available to customers are very different to a normal bank branch.

“As well as having access to all Virgin Money and Northern Rock products, customers can simply come in, take the weight off their feet, enjoy a cup of tea and use our free facilities.”

In December 2011, Virgin Money, the banking arm of Richard Branson’s Virgin empire, made its branch channel debut with design consultancy allen international roped in to create stores designed to challenge the preconceptions of traditional banking, with vibrant spaces that foster more relaxed interaction between staff and customers. 

Virgin Money already has ‘lounges’ present in Edinburgh, Norwich and Manchester – the design of wich has borrowed visual elements from the retail concept.- and there are plans to launch more.

allen international is working with Virgin to adapt the store concept for the entire Virgin Money branch network.

As Virgin Money continues to roll out its store concept to the high street, lounges will continue to provide regional hubs for meetings, events and promotions in support of the banking services offered in the stores.

There has been much hype about Virgin Money breaking the mould of UK retail banking, following the completion of its successful deal to acquire bailed out Northern Rock from the UK government for £747m ($1178.98m) in November 2011.

 

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