Cositas St Albans rated one of the most innovative shops in the UK

Emma Bustamante, in her workshop at Cositas.

Emma Bustamante, in her workshop at Cositas. - Credit: Archant

A St Albans home decor and design store has been highly praised by those in the industry.

Emma Bustamante, owner of Cositas, in the workshop area of the store.

Emma Bustamante, owner of Cositas, in the workshop area of the store. - Credit: Archant

Cositas on Holywell Hill is among the 14 most innovative independent stores in the UK according to the 'Remarkable Retailers' campaign. In association with Vend and the British Independent Retail Association, the aim is to champion success stories and underline 14 outstanding contributions to local high streets.

Cositas deliver customer workshops so that locals can learn skills such as screen printing and lampshade making. The combination of being able to make things and shop in one store is known as 'retail-tainment' and is a growing market.

Owner Emma Bustamante set up business in 2017 and is pleased the shop has been chosen out of over 1,000 others. She said: "At Cositas we live and breathe design, both in the products we stock and the models we allow our customers to create. While we're a relatively young business, we've enjoyed sharing our interior know-how with the people of St Albans and Hertfordshire.

"We're proud to be recognised for our innovative approach to retail, and we believe there's an opportunity for more independents to engage their local communities and provide activities like our workshops. We've found customers love learning something new and having something unique to take home after."

Workshops include leather clutch bag making, jewellery making, creating your own lampshade, calligraphy and patchwork. A range of daytime and evening sessions are available. Pop-up shops are also run from the store every so often.

UK Vend manager Higor Torchia said: "These retailers differentiate themselves by their unique products and customer experiences, but are united by their innovative use of retail technology to support their success.

Most Read

"Each retailer's use of cloud-based software allows them to manage inventory on-the-go, as well as run clever reporting analytics that gain insight on customer loyalty and what's selling well. It means the retailers have more time to focus on creating winning formulas to ensure that local high street can thrive."

For more information visit: