RANDOM NOTES: Verizon Wireless is in the midst of a major design upgrade involving 280 stores nationwide. The company is rolling out a more colorful and hands-on design that integrates a number of innovations and operational enhancements to streamline the sales process and up the store experience. The design, by JGA, Southfield, Mich., includes a dedicated “demo” zone where shoppers can try more than 55 working models of handsets and other devices.… British designer Alexander McQueen has entered Los Angeles with a splash, opening a flagship that features a 9-ft.-tall, anatomically correct sculpture of a naked man emerging through the roof. The stainless-steel sculpture is suspended vertically from a circular skylight. The head, outstretched arms and torso are visible above the rooftop, while the lower part is visible from the selling floor. As for the rest of the store, the overall look is sleek and futuristic, with lots of curves.… Lacoste has added a second floor to its Fifth Avenue flagship in Manhattan. Devoted to women’s and children’s apparel and accessories, the new space is airy, warm and feminine, with white fixtures and color-changing LED lighting around the perimeter. James D’Auria Associates designed the space.… Japanese sensation ABathing Ape (known as Bape) has opened its second U.S. store, on Los Angeles’ Melrose Avenue. The 2,400-sq.-ft. shop features a circular, glass-enclosed area featuring a stainless-steel conveyor belt on which shoes revolve.… Regis Corp. is doing a major overhaul of its 630-store Trade Secret chain and adding major cosmetic brands along with skin-care and bath-and-body products to the merchandise mix. The company plans to retire the Trade Secret banner and rebrand all the locations as PureBeauty during the next several years. The new format, which debuted at Mall of America, has an upscale look and includes a treatment room.… Canada’s Shoppers Drug Mart has a new concept in the works that will debut in July, in Ontario. The still-unnamed format will focus on skin-care and treatment products and include a full-service pharmacy.
COMPANY/PERSONNEL UPDATES: Marco Retail Group, Northville, Mich., has merged with GHA shopping-scapes, Montreal, to create GHA Design Studios. The new company will have offices in Northville, Toronto and Montreal.… Former Pavlik Design Team partner Placido “Ponch” Herrera and his wife Patty Dominguez have founded the Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based design firm P2 Interiors. … Retail design specialist Jane Ayers has been named principal at NBBJ in New York City.
UPCOMING EVENTS: Chain Store Age’s Green 4 Retail conference, June 18-19, at the Hilton O’Hare, Chicago, will focus on sustainability as it applies to store design, construction and facilities management (