RANDOM NOTES: The Scholastic Store, in Manhattan, has been given an extensive makeover. The design, by J. Newbold Associates ,brings Scholastic’s best-known books to life in an upbeat, colorful environment. Among the highlights: an 11-ft.-tall orange dinosaur (from the popular “How Do Dinosaurs” books); a life-sized Magic School Bus that guests can step into; Harry Potter fixtures; a department anchored by Clifford’s Dog House and an activity board where kids can play with magnets of all shapes and sizes.… Kira Plastinina ,the 15-year-old Russian designer/retail sensation, is set to bow in the United States in May, with a store in downtown Manhattan, and one in Stamford Town Center ,Stamford, Conn. The brand is targeted to teens 15 and up and young women, with average price points around $45. The prototype, designed by JGA ,Southfield, Mich., will have an ultra-feminine, young-sophisticate look and a residential, boutique feel. The company has entered into a partnership with Dylan’s Candy Bar to open in-store outposts in all locations (15 are due by yearend). Plastinina is backed by her businessman father, one of the wealthiest men in Russia.… Urban Outfitters will test a concept called Space 1520 ,in a 26,000-sq.-ft. building in West Hollywood, Calif. The retailer will occupy about 11,000 sq. ft. of the space and serve as landlord to other, complimentary businesses (such as food, entertainment and art) it selects to fill the building.… J. Crew Group has opened its first Madewell store in Manhattan. The 3,000-sq.-ft. store is in an 1882 landmarked building in SoHo that was originally home to The Mechanics and Traders’ Bank of Manhattan. The architect preserved the original shell and soaring windows, complementing the century-old molding and flooring with modern silver and Lucite fixtures. Five Madewell units are on tap for 2008, for a total of 11 by yearend.… L.L. Bean will open its first location in the Midwest, in the Chicago suburb of South Barrington, Ill. The store will be built to U.S. Green Building Council LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards.
COMPANY/PERSONNEL UPDATES: FRCH Design Worldwide ,Columbus, Ohio, appointed Parke Wellman as client account director. She was most recently with RYA Design Consultancy ,Dallas.… David Lentz has been named design director for Palladeo Envision ,Glendale, Calif.… Tobin Dudley PLLC ,Charlotte, N.C., has promoted Steve Starr to principal, and the firm is now called TobinDudleyStarr.
UPCOMING EVENTS: Chain Store Age’sGreen 4 Retail Conference will take place June 18-19, at the Hilton O’Hare, Chicago. The conference will focus on sustainability as it applies to store design, construction and facilities management (