CSA Editor’s Pick: Bloomingdale’s Santa Monica showplace

Retailer soaks up sun with dazzling store in Santa Monica Place

The outside of Bloomingdale’s new store in Santa Monica, Calif., shimmers with light-reflecting discs.

Bloomingdale’s has opened the doors on its 41st location: an anchor store in the renovated Santa Monica Place, in Santa  Monica, Calif. Fashioned after New York City's Soho location, the new store has an eclectic feel and cool vibe. It was designed to capture the diversity and culture of Santa Monica while adding a distinctive Bloomingdale's presence.

"We have designed a store that will provide a sophisticated shopping experience with the sensibility of a beach community and hope it will become Santa Monica's newest neighborhood store,” said Michael Gould, chairman and CEO of Bloomingdale's.

The renovation and restoration of the building was done in an effort to maintain the integrity of the space and respect for the environment.

"We created a space which reflects the local beach community, but with a unique blend of luxe materials in new ways," said Jack Hruska, executive VP of creative services at Bloomingdale's.

The exterior features a dramatic glass box on the corner, which acts as the entrance to the shopping part of the city of Santa Monica. Shimmering aluminum discs suspended on three-inch pins reflect the sparkling sun. A signature Bloomingdale's black panel serves as the finishing touch on the facade.

The interior is bright and airy, and marked by original raw industrial elements and local beach community influences, all accented with the retailer’s famous luxe, high-end spin. Video walls that stream ocean waves and other beach scenes flank the escalators. Artwork from local photographers and artists displayed throughout the store also reference the beach/pier theme.

The first floor features a new take on the trademark Bloomingdale's signature black and white checkerboard flooring. The traditional black and white marble was swapped out for a staining technique directly on the concrete floor to coordinate with the overall industrial chic feeling. The checkered pattern leads customers through an innovative cosmetic area, complete with interactive treatment bars such as the Benefit Brow Bar and a French-inspired perfumery.

The first floor is also home to an elaborate women's shoes area, which reflects the industrial meets posh pairing theme. A cement floor aisle runs alongside rich patterned rugs featuring glowing luminous white boxes displaying the shoes. A mural of the Santa Monica Pier constructed of glittering sequins intertwines the surrounding beach community into the overall design of the store.

In the women's handbag space, a dramatic lattice ceiling detail springs off the back wall of the department and climbs across the ceiling.

In the men’s department, glossed white walls paired with black and chrome details give an overall masculine and modern feel.

The design features on the second floor, which houses women’s apparel, include laser-cut wood ceilings. The fitting rooms are done as large-scale boxes, which illuminate when occupied. Others are fashioned as wooden structures with a white serpentine plastic double-layered material to create a look that's reminiscent of a beach shack.

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