With its outdoor underpinnings and Swiss accents, Wenger, in Boulder, Col., is the perfect showcase for the legendary 116-year-old company, which is best known as the maker of the “genuine” Swiss Army Knife. The 3,000-sq.-ft. store, which took top honors in the Association for Retail Environments’ 2011 design awards, is the firm’s first freestanding store in the United States.
The space allows shoppers to experience the entire breadth of the Wenger product line, which ranges from watches and knives to outdoor gear and footwear, as well as learn more about the company’s storied past. It also functions as a as a retail lab for product testing and consumer focus groups.
The brand’s rich and rugged heritage, passion for the outdoors, and respect for its Swiss roots are reflected in the design. A 15-ft.-by-9-ft. woven wall sculpture of hand-cut logs of pine wrapped in twine enhances the outdoor adventure. A hand-painted wall mural based on vintage Swiss travel posters provides a colorful visual focus that directs customers to the back of the store while also referencing the brand’s history.
The new Wenger store was conceived and managed by Wenger Footwear licensee Established Brands International. It was designed by the Denver office of Gensler.