I Do Windows

Store Study: Industry Denim

Posted in Store Study Assignment by Arcadia on February 2, 2012

A store analysis by Cynthia T.

INDUSTRY DENIM

What does the store design tell you about the retailer?

This is a large store, with two floors.  The design is casual and contemporary and the primary material is wood.

The first thing I noticed when I walked in the store was that they carry a lot of Denim, so my impression about the retailer was: selling casual clothing.

Describe the store’s target customer.

Because the clothes are definitely casual and rather expensive; I think the target customers are men and women in the following age group: late 20’s to early 40’s.

Is the merchandise displayed in an accessible manner for the customer?

Yes, the merchandise is displayed in a very accessible manner –  either hanging from racks or folded over tables – within an easy height (nothing is hanging way up high in the ceiling).

Is it stocked-piled or minimalist?

Everything is piled, and every space is filled with something, so it looks highly stocked.

Do the fixtures suit the store’s environment?

They do fit.  The large windows and high ceilings give the store a loft-apartment feeling, and the type of furniture they chose to fill out the space makes it look cozy and casual.

Is the ambiance fitting for the store’s image?

Yes, the ambiance fits the store’s image.  The music, the lights, and the vintage decorations are in sync with the casual, funky San Francisco style.

Does the lighting highlight the merchandise?

Yes, the lighting highlights the merchandise.  All areas are highly lit and no merchandise is left in the dark.

How is color used in the store?

The main color is oak wood, and the decoration is rather rustic looking with a warm palette. The warm tones make the store look neat and inviting.

Are the windows pleasing and drawing you into the store?

The windows look rather messy and condensed with merchandise.  I didn’t find them pleasing but they made me curious about what they carry in the store.

If you could make changes in the store what would they be?

I would put fun signs throughout the store to help customers identify what is men’s and what is women’s.

 

Thanks Cindy for a great assignment and photos!

 

 

Store Study: BeBe

Posted in Store Study Assignment by Arcadia on April 18, 2011

This week’s store study assignment is by Lisa G.  I’ve featured Lisa’s reviews before, and I do like to post other student’s work, but Lisa does a really great job of analyzing a store from a visual merchandiser’s point of view.

BeBe, San Francisco Westfield Mall


What does the store design tell you about the retailer?

Overall this store’s design doesn’t really tell me that the designer or visual merchandiser cares about the product they are selling. Nothing to me is really appealing about this store. This Bebe store and many others makes me think that very little time goes into creating an experience that one should feel when they walk into a store.

Describe the store’s target customer?

I think the store’s target customer is one that likes to dress a little bit more on the sexier side. As for age range Bebe probably caters to late teens to early to mid 20s.  A lot of the clothing is on the tighter side so I would say their target woman is one who also likes to show off their curves.

Is the merchandise displayed in an accessible manner for the customer?

No, everything about this store is a mess. A lot of the merchandise is displayed on racks. They don’t really have any clothing on shelves or in cases. Their jewelry is hung on a jewelry rolling piece pretty much in the center of the store. They do a lot of color blocking in this store. All the whites are together, peaches, black, etc.

Is it stocked pile or more minimalist?

I would say it is somewhere in the middle. It is definitely not minimalistic but also not stock piled. I would say they have a few sizes of each different piece

Do the fixtures suit the store environment?

They have a table in the store that has a mannequin placed on the top of it and then benches going around the table. On the benches they have jeans draped over the side. This display is not done well at all because the display looks like it was thrown together and the jeans are also touching the floor.

Does the lighting highlight the merchandise?

Yes, they have a lot of lighting in this store but it is almost too bright. I think they need to dim the lighting a little bit because it actually hurts my eyes. I think it probably seems a bit brighter because in the corridor of the Westfield mall it is not that bright and then you walk into this store and the brightness is almost an over kill.

How is color used in the store?

Whenever I think of Bebe I think of colorful tight clothing and as I mentioned above they do a lot of color blocking in the store. Color is definitely shown in their merchandise. Besides using color for their clothing there really isn’t any other color in the store and the walls are very simple, white and plain.

Are the windows pleasing and drawing you into the store?

These window displays are awful and do not draw me into their store. Now that I’ve reviewed a few stores I realize just how unappealing the Bebe stores are to the public. Based upon their window display one knows they are having a sale. Yet, in the window display I think they added way to many mannequins in the window to advertise their sale. However, I do like the use of levels in this display. In their other panel they have six mannequins and then a poster with two models on it all being shown over 3 panels. I really don’t even know where to focus on this window display. I know in class we learned it is always better to have an odd number of mannequins yet in this one there are 6 mannequins and a poster board with two additional models. To me it does not seems like the visual merchandiser spent a lot of time on creating a great window.

If you could make changes in the store what would they be?

Here are my changes:

1.     Window display – Instead of having 6 mannequins and a poster of two models I would have three models gathered together and pointing to a sign that said Sale. The models would be dressed in typical Bebe attire since their goal is to sell their merchandise.

2.     The store itself is so dirty. The bare white walls are not appealing. To add some more color to the store I would paint the wall behind the cash wrap a bright color at least to add some differentiation. I would also hang a very large painting or mirror behind the cash wrap.

3.     Shelving. They should include some shelving in this store and fold some of the clothing instead of having it all on racks or table displays.

4.     In class we learned to put your most expensive and new items up front and then your sale items near the back. Walking into this Bebe store I could not tell what was new or their gold merchandise. I would change the layout of this store and maybe have the cash wrap in a different area. Off to the side instead of right in the middle.

Thanks Lisa for another great assignment!

Ted Baker

Posted in Store Study Assignment by Arcadia on February 24, 2011

This week’s store study assignment is by Lisa G.

Ted Baker, Union Square– San Francisco, CA


What does the store design tell you about the retailer?

Overall this store is not that big and they only carry a small selection of each size. The store is very inviting and there are a lot of bright colors throughout the store especially when focusing on the clothing. From the store’s layout and clothing selection I would say it caters to somebody with a more European taste for clothing and somebody who is a little bit edgy and willing to try a look that might be outside the box.

Describe the store’s target customer?

I would say the target customer is somebody in their 30s who can afford to dress nicely but yet still not spend an exuberant amount of money. Their target customer is definitely into fashion and wants to select clothing that is going to get them noticed.

Is the merchandise displayed in an accessible manner for the customer?

Overall I would say the merchandise is displayed in an acceptable manner but as I stated above the store is kind of small. With that said I think they have too much clothing in the store. They have a lot of racks throughout the store so it makes it hard to move around. I would eliminate some of the clothing racks.

Is it stocked pile or more minimalist?

The store is more minimalist and there is no stock piling. There are a few pieces laid out on a table for show but overall there are just clothing racks throughout the entire store.

Do the fixtures suit the store environment?

This store does not have a lot of fixtures b/c there isn’t that much space. The fixtures that they do have, do fit the environment. I like the large light structure in the middle of the store. ( see photo )

Does the lighting highlight the merchandise?

Yes, the lighting highlights the merchandise. The lighting in this store is very bright and enhances the clothing since a lot of the clothing is in bright colors. The lighting is especially beneficial in the dressing rooms. The dressing rooms at this store are huge and good lightning makes it that much easier for you to see what you are actually trying on.

How is color used in the store?

The clothing in this store is very colorful. They do not keep to the black, white and gray tones. The clothing that was out today consisted of reds, blues, bright pinks and a few black and white items.  I would say besides that they do not use that much coloring. The interior walls are a brown/ wood coloring.

Are the windows pleasing and drawing you into the store?

The windows are very simple since they are having a 60% off sale. When I look at the mannequins in the window I am not drawn to the store based upon what they are wearing but more so that there is a 60% off sale happening. One window display advertised their new collection and another window displayed let the public know about the sale. For the Sale window I like how the word Sale was written across the window. For the new collection window I think it is kind of boring and it wouldn’t grab my attention and draw me into the store.

If you could make changes in the store what would they be?

1. I would change their new collection window display to something exciting that is going to draw people into the store. First off they have 4 models and I know in class we learned to have an odd number of mannequins. Second, there is no exciting focus point in this window display. When I look at this window my eye goes directly to the center which is a pile of purses. I would maybe do some theme around their new clothing line. They should think about who is going to be purchasing their new collection and do a window that targets those customers.

2. I would remove some of the racks in the store and consider building shelving into the wall so they can fold some merchandise and place it on shelves. There is not much space to walk around in this store and all the racks on the floor make it even more difficult. I thought the men’s section was way too crowded.

Thanks Lisa for a great assignment!

(image above via: Lisa G.)

 

Michael Kors

Posted in Store Study Assignment by Arcadia on February 11, 2011

Now that the new semester has begun, and students have turned in a few assignments.  I will resume posting Store Studies on some of the stores they have visited.

Michael Kors by, Raina A.

What does the store design tell you about the retailer?

The store design tells me that the retailer is a well respected designer with a high price range.  The store is very organized, clean, and minimalistic, so that tells me the designer possesses those qualities.

Describe the store’s target customer?

The stores target customer is mainly women, young twenties to ageless.  The store is targeting a customer that is looking for quality in product and wants key pieces of clothing, not just daily wear.  There is a small amount of clothing in the store, it is mainly purses, so that tells me the retailer targets a large amount of women, and not just one particular size.

Is the merchandise displayed in an accessible manner for the customer?

The purses are spaced out by at least a foot and are displayed in an appealing manner with the straps on a metal hanger and the purse on the surface.  The clothing is hung in one opened door amount space.  The shoes are in a separate area with a foot spacing apart.  The accessories are at the front cash wrap.  All of the merchandise is accessible and easy to find.

Is it stocked-piled or minimalist?

The stores carries a large array of merchandise and a small amount of sale items.  The store is minimalist.  There is one merchandise per style displayed and when purchasing the product they will bring out a new one from the stock.

Do the fixtures suit the store’s environment?

The fixtures are very bright and clean white.  The fixtures suit the environment very well, showcasing every inch of the store.

Is the ambience fitting for the store’s image?

The ambience fits the store’s image in a quaint glamorous way.  The ambience is a selling environment that also says the merchandise is straight from the runway.

Does the lighting highlight the merchandise?

The lighting is perfect for photo shoots and therefore showcases the quality, luxurious colors, and usability of the merchandise.  The lighting is very bright but had dimmed areas in places.

How is color used in the store?

The color that is mainly used in the store is white.  From the outside of the store passing by, you can see that the inside is very pearl white and bright from the lighting.  It is a beautiful choice, because then the color showcases the bright colors of the merchandise and the gorgeous  textures of the merchandise.

Are the windows pleasing and drawing you into the store?

The window displays of the store are similar to the inside of the store.  The display shows some purses in the same way they are set up in the store, basically letting the merchandise talk for itself.  The windows are very pleasing, but the store front looking inside is the main attraction.

If you could make changes in the store what would they be?

If I could make changes in the store I would space out the clothing, possibly featuring a few pieces.  The crammed clothing makes it unappealing to gravitate towards even though it is pleasing to see a minimal amount of clothing.  I would also feature a small written display, as in museums, of the stitching, fabric, color, etc…details of the merchandise to inform a customer on what they are buying or looking at.

Thanks Raina for your informative reporting!

Gump’s

Posted in Store Study Assignment by Arcadia on May 17, 2010

Another student’s Store Study Assignment:

By Divya V.

What does the store design tell you about the retailer?

Very high-end gift store.  One of the first retail stores in San Francisco.  Originally a frame shop converted into a premium gift store.  Huge tourist attraction now – shops history brings a lot of people here.  Reminded me of Liberty of London store (a huge store on Central London’s Oxford St., very popular among the rich and famous, and the tourist alike).

Describe the store’s target customer?

High-end Bay Area residents.  Tourists from all over the world.

Is the merchandise displayed in an accessible manner for the customer?

Yes, displayed beautifully all around the store.  It’s like walking in an overcrowded posh mansion of some rich fella.

Is it stock piled or more minimalist?

Neither and both.  Mostly the merchandise is displayed in a beautiful manner.  Most areas are crowded – more than visual merchandising, interior decorating techniques have been used.

Do the fixtures suit the store environment?

Yes.  Both linear and non linear.  A lot of shelves, tables, and cabinets are used throughout the store.

Is the ambience fitting for the store’s image?

Yes.  High-end store so it is purposely meant to look that way.  Even the sales persons wear suits and neckties!

Does the light highlight the merchandise?

Yes, the store is pretty well-lit and in many places mood lighting is used.

How is color used in the store?

Most places are white

Are the windows pleasing and drawing you into the store?

Windows alone may be not.  The mast lag above the store is pretty eye-catching though.  From outside the store looks like any other big store.  Easy to find on the street yet if I weren’t looking for it I would have walked past it.

If you could make any changes in the store what would they be?

Perhaps make the windows more attractive and bring some element of the history of the sore in the display itself.

The Archive

Posted in Store Study Assignment by Arcadia on April 7, 2010

Another great student store study:


The Archive (San Francisco)

By Shannon L.

What does the store design tell you about the retailer?

Most exciting and cutting edge boutique for men.  Straight from the runways of Paris and Milan, and the ateliers of Tokyo.  The Archive was always sort of a golden oasis; a shining exemplar of discretion and simplicity in a city so consumed by consumerism that good stores are often left on the wayside in favor of something bigger, something brighter, and something of much more marginal quality.

Describe the store’s target customer?

Definitely a must for fashionable guys with an edge!  If you want to look good without looking like everybody else then this is the store for you.

Is the merchandise displayed in an accessible manner for the customer?

I felt compelled to write a study since their recent buys have been absolutely stellar: the first pieces from Rick Owens, Label Under Construction, Devoa, Nice Collective and N. Hollywood have just arrived.  If you’re in the market for a suit, I would heartily recommend trying on the N. Hollywood tropical-weight wool, two button suit.  The incredible eye for detail that these guys have shows in that selection alone.  The buyers have refined taste and it shows.  Europe, Japan, and the US are well represented.

Is it stock piled or more minimalist?

Stocked

Do the fixtures suit the store environment?

Superior fit, quality fabrics, artisan workmanship, keen style, personalized service, pleasant shopping experience.

How is color used in the store?

The color palette is very SF (San Francisco), that is the colors are muted and are usually dark (or white).  The styles reflect an urban lifestyle and fall more to the classic than the trendy.  Coats are beautiful.  Jeans are unique.  The shoe selection is small but well-chosen and the jewelry is fun/cool.

Are the windows pleasing and drawing you into the store?

See photo

If you could make changes in the store what would they be?

The Archive can treat you, try engaging them in a genuine conversation about clothing, how things fit, how things are fabricated, who makes them, what fabrics are used, where are they sourced?  Unlike pushy sales people at other stores, they actually know and love every single one of their products and are more concerned with you getting what you want than them getting a sale.

Men of San Francisco, I beg you to come and to tap into your true fashion potential.


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L’Occtiane

Posted in Fashion 49, Store Study Assignment by Arcadia on March 22, 2010

Another great student store study:


L’Occitane by Mino S.

What does the store design tell you about the retailer?

I see a character in this store.  It does bring the image of Provence, France in the store by the overall ambiance, use of unique color, fixtures, and lighting.

Describe the store’s target customer?

I’m sure that most of the target customers should be women of all ages since they have been growing so fast in the last few years and have retailers in every city and every country.  I’m one of their customer’s too!

Is the merchandise displayed in an accessible manner for the customer?

Yes it is.  When I was at the store, I felt like I was visiting someone’s vacation villa located in Provence.  They have common but stylish fixtures that help customers access the merchandise easily.

Is it stock piled or more minimalist?

More like stocked piled since they have displayed a bunch of the same products arranged friendly and nicely.

Do the fixtures suit the store’s image?

Yes they had some wooden standing shelves and black stainless shelves arranged nicely in harmony with overall ambiance.

Is the ambiance fitting for the store’s image?

Yes, it shows me where the origin of the brand and merchandise comes from and it seems like they are proud of where they come from.  When a brand does that it lends credibility.

Does the lighting highlight the merchandise?

They don’t have bright and straight beam lighting, but they have warm (like orange color) lighting and it was not hard to see the merchandise though it does not have a function to emphasize a particular product.

How is color used in the store?

The store has the combination of yellow ocher, red clay, and dark brown (when they used lines) and I thought that the colors mixed very well.

Are the windows pleasing and drawing you into the store?

The window of the particular store I went to was very small, so there was not much of a window display.  But the door was wide open and big so I could skim the store’s ambiance through the door well.

If you could make changes in the store what would they be?

I like the fact that the store was selling bunches of lavender flowers (it helps the “villa” image) but the flowers had not much of a fragrance any more, so I wish they changed the flowers more often.  I would buy a bunch if they had their full fragrance left.

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Bell Jar

Posted in Fashion 49, Store Study Assignment by Arcadia on March 2, 2010

Another student’s Store Study Assignment:


By Carmen Y

Bell Jar – 3187 16th St., San Francisco, CA

What does the store design tell you about the retailer?

The merchandising alone is enough reason for someone to visit Bell Jar.  The merchandise is carefully selected and beautifully displayed.  As soon as yo enter the store, you feel as if you have entered a different realm of fantasy full of vintage finds mixed with designer duds.  To top it off, the color contrasts of the walls, wallpaper, furniture patterns, prints, and textures all ties Bell Jar together and definitely classifies it as a one-of-a kind boutique in SF.

Describe the store’s target customer?

The target customer is a woman in her 20s to late 30s age group who is sophisticated, chic, and has a creative taste for both vintage and designer finds.

Is the merchandise displayed in an accessible manner for the customer?

Yes all the merchandise is displayed in an accessible manner for the customer.  Their vast range of merchandise includes, candles, soaps, home décor, clothing, stationery, small knick knacks, and so much more.  Every item is carefully displayed in a very accessible manner – never too high up and certainly never too far from reach.

Is it stock piled or more minimalist?

Some merchandise is stock piled, such as small vintage finds (ie: postcards, books, soap, lotions, and small knick knacks).  The merchandise that are definitely minimalist are special one of a kind items such as a large antique item, shoes, and certain pieces of clothing.

Do the fixtures suit the store environment?

The fixtures in this store range from various lighting fixtures, vintage carriers, bird cages, various unique paintings, tables, and stands of all different shapes, and sizes, a moose head on the wall, and the list goes on and on.

Is the ambience fitting the for the store’s image?

The ambience is very fitting for the store’s image because it automatically gives off a very unique yet chic vibe.  All the different colors, patterns, and textures splashed throughout the store definitely creates a unique one of a kind experience for their customer.

Does the lighting highlight the merchandise?

There is plenty of lighting at Bell Jar.  They have two large storefront windows that gives plenty of natural light into the store.  There are also plenty of supplemental lighting fixtures (both small and large) inside the actual store that definitely highlights the merchandise assortment that Bell Jar carries.

How is color used in the store?

There are a lot of different colors (both bold and soft) and various textures used in the store.  Each wall and each room is decorated different with a mixture of patterns and textures, thus creating a very creative yet chic environment.

Are the windows pleasing and drawing you into the store?

Bell Jar has two very creative and inviting window displays that are always fresh and definitely draws the customer inside the store.  They use a mixture of furniture and other items to beautifully merchandise an innovative concept through their displays.

If you could make changes in the store, what would they be?

There is such a large selection of merchandise at Bell Jar that it can get a little cluttered and confusing inside the store when you are browsing for certain items.  Things are arranged together on the same tables, or rack and sometimes I feel confused on how or why the layout of the is set the way that it is.  Therefore, the change that I would recommend for Bell Jar would be more organized when it comes to arranging their vast array of merchandise.

Thanks Carmen for turning in a great assignment.  Job well done!

Heritage 1981

Posted in Fashion 49, Store Study Assignment by Arcadia on February 23, 2010

I’ve been so impressed with some of the Store Study assignments my students have been turning in, I’ve decided I would begin to post some of their findings:

By: Jen C. – Heritage 1981 store – Concord, CA

What does the store design tell you about the retailer?

The store design tell you that the retailer is inspired by vintage style and very into Americana.  They cater to a very specific group of young adults, but the environment makes that group anxious to come back for more.

Describe the store’s target customer?

The store’s target customer is both men and women in their 20s and 30s, who appreciate both current trends and vintage style.

Is the merchandise displayed in an accessible manner for the customer?

For the most part, yes.  However, a lot of the racks are jam-packed with merchandise (the thick wooden hangers, although very pretty, don’t help the space issue much) and some of the shelves holding folded clothing were much too high for this 5’3″ girl to reach unless I was rocking some stilettos.  I guess next time I’ll come prepared.

Is it stock piled minimalist?

Stock piled.  Very, very stock piled.  However, that is to be expect from a store whose parent company is Forever 21.

Do the fixtures suit the store environment?

The fixtures definitely suit the store environment.  It’s a mixture of the expected, such as metal racks and wooden shelving, and the unexpected, such as vintage suitcases on the floor overflowing with scarves and belts.

Is the ambience fitting for the store’s image?

The ambience is very fitting for the store’s image.  They decorated with old suitcases, antique books, quirky mannequin heads, offbeat lamps, and vintage photo frames, full of modern people portraying the lifestyle of their target customer (or the lifestyle they want).  Every aspect of the store seemed to be such a quirky mix of old and new.

Does the lighting highlight the merchandise?

Overall, the store has minimal lighting and is pretty dark in most areas.  The displays throughout the store, however are well-lit with task lighting.

How is color used in the store?

The store is painted mostly dark blue, with wooden fixtures and flooring, and a few accent walls in bright orange with white trim.

Are the windows pleasing and drawing you into the store?

Honestly, I never would have entered this store in the first place if it wasn’t for their amazing windows.  There are window displays on either side of the entrance which are typical and contain three mannequins each (one for women, the other for men) with an American flag as the backdrop to each.  There are two ways to enter the store, with the entry ways divided by a third display in which mannequins are set on top of old books.  On the other side of each entry way is another display and behind the glass are red, white, and blue buttons (think “Vote for Obama!” versus “Oh crap, my sweater is missing a button”), hundreds and hundreds of buttons, filling the entire window floor to ceiling.  I can’t even explain how awesome it is.

If you could make changes in the store, what would they be?

The only thing I would change about the store is how much they pack on each rack, much like their parent store Forever 21.  although it’s a lot cleaner at Heritage 1981 than Forever 21, it’s still difficult to shop with the racks as full as they are.

Thanks Jennifer for turning in a great assignment this week.  Job well done!

Store Study Assignment

Posted in Fashion 49, Store Study Assignment by Arcadia on February 13, 2010

The Store Study Assignment is meant to get you out there looking and paying attention to the world of display.  Take this opportunity to see what others are doing in our line of work.  What looks good and what doesn’t?  Don’t just visit the beautiful high-end stores, take a look at some of the really bad junky stores, it is at these stores where you can really put into practice what you have learned.  Ask yourself if you could change anything in that store what would it be?

The aim of this assignment is to begin to train your eye in store design and to look for visual elements that are both good and bad in a variety of situations.  This assignment is to be turned in the following week for each class, with the exception of Spring Break.  You may choose any establishment you want, but please mix it up.  Don’t keep going to clothing stores, visit grocery stores, hardware, restaurants, trade shows, pharmacies, etc…..LOOK AT EVERYTHING!

The Questions are all reflective of what we have gone over in class lectures, now is your time to apply it to the real world:

What does the store design tell you about the retailer?

Describe the store’s target customer?

Is the merchandise displayed in an accessible manner for the customer?

Is it stock piled or minimalist?

Is the ambience fitting for the store’s image?

Does the lighting highlight the merchandise?

How is color used in the store?

Are the windows pleasing and drawing you into the store?

If you could make changes in the store what would they be?

You do not have to write a book, but I am looking for more than a one sentence explanation!  If you are absent please feel free to email me your assignment.  And have FUN, this is not meant to be a chore!

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