The art of entertaining, gift giving and celebrating is treated with elan at All the Hoopla, a new retail concept from Lenox Group Inc. The 6,450-sq.-ft. format debuted in Twelve Oaks Mall, Novi, Mich., followed by two additional locations in Florida (Orlando and Palm Beach).
“We wanted to develop a store that is exciting, has a sense of personal expression and flair, and offers many ways to celebrate life’s special moments,” said Joel Anderson, president-consumer direct, Lenox Group, Eden Prairie, Minn., whose brands include Department 56, Lenox, Dansk and Gorham.
All the Hoopla is intended as a destination store targeted at gift-givers, entertainers and home enthusiasts. The eclectic merchandise mix contains items from the various Lenox brands as well as other select companies. Home decor, tabletop, seasonal, social stationery, collectibles, baby, wedding and gourmet pantry are among the many categories represented.
The store environment is stylish and exciting, and packed with pizzazz. The atmosphere is upbeat and light-hearted.
“It’s really all about entertaining and celebrating,” said Kathi McWilliams, creative director, JGA, Southfield, Mich.
The eclectic nature of the store starts with the facade, which juxtaposes polished Carrera marble mosaics with blue-stained shingles. The logo appears in stainless-aluminum letters above overscaled doors.
“We wanted the exterior to be as eclectic as the interior,” McWilliams said. “We went with this play of the sophisticated and sleek against the more common.”
The same type of juxtaposition is evident on the interior, where collected furniture elements blend comfortably with manufactured fixtures, and art photography mixes with chalkboard signage. An open industrial ceiling is accented with exposed cedar frames.
With so many different kinds of products on display, the design team worked to give the space a sense of organization. A group of fixtures extends down the center of the store in a runway pattern, providing a home for trend and/or seasonal merchandise. This runway area is intended for quick change-outs in line with the seasons and special events.Project Resources
Design and architect: JGA, Southfield, Mich.General contractor: Retail Construction Services, Lake Elmo, Minn.Lighting designer: Illuminating Concepts, Farmington Hills, Mich.Metal ceiling: Chicago Metallic, ChicagoIn-store graphics: Decor Group International, Madison Heights, Mich.Fixtures and millwork: Midwest Woodworking, St. Louis
The layout separates the store into several rooms that offer a segmented but open set of experiences. Each has its own individual style and flavor. Gourmet foods are housed in the “Cucina,” where baskets hang from metal rods that run across the ceiling. The tabletop area features a hanging metal structure to which various chairs are attached.
“We used all types of chairs, some new, some antiques and some from the flea market,” McWilliams explained. “We wanted to reflect the idea that most people live this way, by mixing the old and the new.”
The stationery and paper-goods area is set off with an oversized chandelier and hot pink-striped wallcovering.
“It’s very intense, but it’s also very girly and cozy,” McWilliams said.
Two destination departments anchor the store. The “Milestones” area is meant to celebrate life’s special events. It features individual cubicles organized by date and/or occasion, providing shoppers with a highly focused set of ideas for individualized gift giving. Many of the goods displayed in this area can be personalized (with the service available on premise).
The “Village” area focuses on Department 56’s signature holiday villages. Accented with twinkling lights and an embossed-tin ceiling, it contains an impressive diorama made up of several villages.
The checkout area features a play on the store name. The area is highlighted with tongue-in-cheek definitions of the word “hoopla.”
“The definitions appear on three large canvases behind the cashwrap,” McWilliams said.
The general flooring is a honed slate-like tile. A rich and highly grained wood floor is used to define certain zones.
All the Hoopla is dramatically lighted, with plenty of highs and lows. The overall effect is warm and sparkly, with individual product highlighting.
“A lot of the lighting is stem-mounted vs. track-mounted,” she added. “There is a different way to calculate wattage with the stems that allows the effect you want while staying within the code.”