Archive for March, 2021

Customer safety measures at The Rock

To ensure the safety of our visitors we have adopted the following measures at The Rock:

  • We have an enhanced cleaning regime, including the cleaning of all key touch points
  • We have introduced additional signage to assist everybody in following the latest social distancing guidelines
  • You’ll spot a lot of visual cues to ensure everybody is maintaining a 2 metre distance between each other. If you’re unsure about anything, please ask.
  • Our teams are following a strict personal hygiene regime, including regularly washing hands, the use of disposable gloves and disposable face masks.
  • The installation of customer hand sanitising stations on the malls and in the lift lobbies

Please note: There may be occasions where access to The Rock is restricted to allow social distancing measures to be observed. Many shops will also be restricting the number of shoppers allowed into store so visitors are advised to plan extra time for their trip.

The Rock does not have any public toilets and it is likely that the toilets within our retail stores will also be closed. Please keep this in mind when planning your visit.

The Rock car park is open and usual tariffs apply.

Please bear with us during this time as we work hard to keep our customers safe and please continue to follow government advice and adhere to social distancing measures.


From Friday (24th July) face coverings will be compulsory in shops and supermarkets in England.

We would like to remind you to please wear a face covering when visiting shops at The Rock.

More information on this is available here:

The government also advises that you also strongly encouraged to wear a face covering in other enclosed public spaces where social distancing may be difficult and where you come into contact with people you do not normally meet.

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Home improvements: The biggest trends to look out for in 2021

Having a comfortable and secure place to live has never been so important. 2020 was the year when our living spaces turned into home offices, classrooms or gyms; maybe even all three! Many of us revisited abandoned DIY projects and gave our homes a much-needed makeover.

If you’re keen to give your home a spruce-up yet aren’t sure where to start, retailer Next has analysed Google search data for hundreds of home décor queries to find out what the UK’s most popular home décor themes and trends could be for 2021.

Their research covers how searches for particular home décor queries have evolved over the last four years, as well as how they differ from region to region.

For example, out of all the counties analysed, Manchester is the place most likely to search for “home theatre” – with a sizeable 28.6% of the average monthly searches coming from the Greater Manchester area.

Other popular search terms for Greater Mancunians are “black and gold living room” (a trend that residents of West Yorkshire and the West Midlands are also Googling) and “basketweave floor”.

Feeling inspired yet? Keep reading to get all the home inspiration you need before you head to The Rock Next store post-lockdown!



During lockdown, many of us searched for a way to incorporate the country feel of a weekend away or rural escape into our own home décor. By analysing Google searches between March and October last year, Next discovered that “French country décor” increased by a monumental +515% in searches, with “country cottage décor” and “modern farmhouse decor” also rising significantly.

Next Home’s design manager Susie Gibson believes that the modern country trend is here to stay in 2021: “Modern country is a pared back country style inspired by British boutique hotels. Next’s Charlbury or Gosford sofas reference classical details and form with a pared back feel. The Gloucester lighting range is smart and stylish, perfect for an upgraded elegant country style.”

Similarly to the country theme, queries for rustic-related furnishing rose in popularity throughout 2020. The most popular searches were “rustic desks” and “rustic living rooms” which increased by 260% and 90% respectively last year. Interior designer Nicola Burt emphasises the versatility of the rustic theme:

“A relaxed rustic look with dark, dull metals would suit an industrial urban space, whereas a more ‘cottagecore’ country look may work better in a rural or period property. […] This look requires layers – whether that is pattern, texture or colour – to make it look cosy and inviting.”

If you’re a fan of countryside-inspired décor, be sure to take a look at Next’s collection of rustic home décor, available to click and collect at The Rock.




Creating your own safe haven and cocooning yourself in your own furniture is set to be a big trend in 2021 – whether it’s snuggling up in a beanbag chair or spending a Sunday with the family on a comfy sofa.

“There is a desire for ultra-comfy low-level loungers, in fabrics such as velvet, bouclé, and soft, natural linens. […] Homeowners want deeply comfortable seating – a sofa to lie down on, as well being large enough for everyone to sit on together,” says Nicola.   

When choosing your cocoon furnishings, it’s important to take shapes and colours into account. Nicola believes that rounded shapes and rich colours are the key to creating one’s own sanctuary:

“Squishy sofas, curved furniture shapes, and tactile, snuggly fabrics are in demand. Sofa trends feature rounded curves and geometric patterns, as well as 1920s-inspired occasional chairs with scalloped backs in rich tones of emerald green, royal blue, paprika or deep burgundy.”

If cosy furnishings take your fancy, then take a look at Next’s Home Sanctuary edit for inspiration.



Studies have shown that spending more time outdoors has great health benefits such as reducing stress and increasing productivity. As such, it’s no wonder we were searching for ways to bring the outside in during 2020. Google searches for “indoor plant pots” grew by a huge +173% between March and October last year, whilst “indoor hanging baskets” jumped in searches by +50%. Nicola believes that our newfound appreciation of nature in 2020 will continue this year:

“During the pandemic people wanted to feel close to nature and many don’t have access to a garden, so they brought plants into their homes instead. […] Plants are not only good to look at and bring life to a space, but many indoor plants have health-giving properties; detoxifying the air so we can sleep better, for example.”

As we live in such a digital world, Biophilia helps to inject some much-needed nature into our home décor. Injecting some green into our lives instantly helps to uplift our moods and circulate the air indoors.

“Biophilic design gained more awareness during the pandemic, when everyone’s desire for outside space increased, and the realisation that nature makes us feel good and is beneficial to our health both physically and mentally. […] Along with the upsurge in biophilic design, the colour green has also increased in popularity. Just looking at something green can help to decrease your heart rate and decrease stress,” says Nicola.


Ready for a home makeover? Then be sure to explore Next’s full range of home furnishings online, also available to click and collect from The Rock Shopping Centre once lockdown has eased.


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