A buzz reverberated around the hollow three-story space on Long Acre in the heart of London’s Covent Garden. Hollow because we’ve been invited to a preview to see the newest space that houses both Uniqlo and Theory brands and one that opened on April 27th. Devotees swarmed the Grade II-listed converted space's staircases and far-reaching floors. Some – myself included – were sporting their lived-in Uniqlo wardrobes. Mine included a simple cropped white tee; a pair of easy black wide-leg carpenter trousers; an oversized corduroy blazer and a cult crescent moon cross-body bag – a piece which I’ve recommended multiple times to friends and family; and is hard to miss when out and about in London now that everyone and their mum seems to own one.

We’re all here to celebrate Theory and Uniqlo’s new co-ed shop. Few store openings would attract over 500 people (so I was told), but Uniqlo has built its reputation as a brand that most of us can relate to (and support), with its chic Japanese silhouettes and high-quality fabrications that have become universal wardrobe classics. It also meant the colossal space was virtually splitting at the seams.

Elbowing my way through crowds to reach the store’s top floor, I was greeted by Katsute100 cafe, a Japanese tearoom dishing out handmade matcha cakes and steaming brews and the RE.UNIQLO Studio. An exciting new eco venture, first introduced at the Regent Street flagship, it encourages shoppers to make their Uniqlo items last longer with a repair service and customisation offering.

From £10 the in-house team can Sashiko (a type of traditional Japanese embroidery) your items with fabric patches and decorative stitches or perform simple custom embroideries from just £3. Alternatively, you can get invisible hole repairs and darning on knitwear, shirts and down for a similarly low price. It seems the high street is, at last, listening to our desires to buy less and prolong the life of our wardrobes.

A floor down, UT celebrates its 20th anniversary with new and archive designs and its most recent collaboration with TFL all on sale, which meant fabulous furnitures (sadly not for sale) rendered in the iconic gaudy, carpeted fabrics that cover TFL seats – think Victoria and Piccadilly Line geometric blues and London Underground inspired t-shirts and totes. Weird but strangely wonderful.

On our way out we drop into Theory, the NYC label best known for its pared-back aesthetic, where award-winning fashion illustrator Jessica Bird is hand-painting sleek glass water bottles, surrounded by a frenzy of excited guests. The opening marks the brand's 4th store in the UK and I for one am excited to see how this brand grows further on landmark British soil.

It's rare that stores on London’s bustling high street encourage shoppers to stay for longer and do more than shop and check out, but this one is kitted out with seating areas and rest spots across its three floors. In the atrium, you can take a perch nestled in between dried floral displays by South East London florist JamJar Flowers, whom the store has launched an ongoing collaboration with.

The resurgence of IRL retail is exciting to witness, and I leave appreciating Uniqlo even more than I did before entering their new experience-led bricks-and-mortar world.

Discover more at uniqlo.com