RANDOM NOTES: Modeled after a traditional Maine hunting lodge, L.L. Bean Hunting & Fishing reflects the retailer’s commitment to the outdoors. Special attractions include a 24-ft. riverbed aquarium and intricate carvings of fish and game figures. The 33,000-sq.-ft. space, adjacent to the L.L. Bean flagship in Freeport, Maine, is anticipating LEED silver certification. It was designed by Arrowsmith, Somerville, Mass. For more photos, visit www.chainstoreage.com/photos. Gilly Hicks, Abercrombie & Fitch’s new intimate-apparel brand for young women, is developed around the storyline of a fictional character (Gilly Hicks) who in the 1930s opened a lingerie store in her family’s British colonial-styled house in Sydney, Australia. The store interior is dimly lit and filled with mahogany tables and antique pieces, with oak flooring. It includes a patio, French doors and sketches of male nudes (Gilly was an artist who loved to sketch men in the buff). The space is divided into rooms of different sizes, from a 1,200-sq.-ft. “bra library” to a 1,000-sq.-ft. “living room” for personal-care items that features a barreled wood ceiling. The concept debuted in the Natick Collection, Natick, Mass., and three additional sites, including Mall of America. Some 37 stores are on tap for the next two years. As for the merchandise, it’s casual and boyish, more sweetly sexy than suggestive. … Wilsons Leather has quietly opened a new concept, called Studio, in Southdale Center, Edina, Minn. The store is devoted to leather accessories from such hip brand names as Kenneth Cole, Calvin Klein and Guess. The space is bright and filled with colorful displays and oversized fashion posters. … Barneys New York opened its first location in Las Vegas, an 81,000-sq.-ft. showplace in the new resort, The Palazzo. Designed by Jeffrey Hutchinson & Associates, New York City, the store combines Barneys’ signature New York aesthetic with the flamboyance and electricity of Las Vegas. The focal point is a grand elliptical staircase of formed concrete clad in plaster and stone. An infinity-edge fountain greets customers as they enter, and the facade is sheathed in decorative, custom-fitted glass inspired by the suits of playing cards.
NEW PROJECTS: REI will extend its environmental prototype initiative, which debuted in fall 2007 in Boulder, Colo., with the opening of a two-story, 32,700-sq.-ft. store in Round Rock, Texas. Similar to the Boulder location, the Round Rock store will be built using the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) for Retail rating system, which is currently in pilot. The company is partnering with Gensler, San Francisco, which also worked on the Boulder store. REI plans to analyze the Boulder and Round Rock stores extensively prior to opening a third prototype.