2014 Retail Store of the Year: And the winners are …

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Liverpool, Mexico’s largest department-store chain, received top honors in Chain Store Age’s 32nd annual Retail Store of the Year design competition. The company’s stylish and contemporary 301,400-sq.-ft. store in Veracruz was named Store of the Year, and also took top honors in the Department Store category. It was designed by FRCH Design Worldwide, Cincinnati.

In other top honors, Walgreens’ net-zero energy store — an industry first — in Evanston, Ill., was named Sustainable Store of the Year. And Build-A-Bear Workshop, Garden City, N.Y., was the top finisher in a category new to the competition: Digital In-Store Innovation.

Here is a complete list of the winning projects (all first place, except where noted), which will be featured in the February/March issue of Chain Store Age and celebrated at a reception during CSA’s annual SPECS Conference (March 9 – 11) in Dallas:

Retail Store of the Year:
Liverpool, Veracruz, Mexico (Design: FRCH Design Worldwide, Cincinnati)

Sustainable Store of the Year
Walgreens, Evanston, Ill. (Walgreens, Deerfield, Ill.)

Digital In-Store Innovation
Build-A-Bear Workshop, Garden City, N.Y.

Soft Lines (up to 5,000 sq. ft.)
Sperry Top-Sider, Natick, Mass. (Callison, Seattle)

Soft Lines (Honorable Mention, up to 5,000 sq. ft.)
Volcom, New York (Interbrand Design Forum, Dayton, Ohio)

Soft Lines (5,000 to 10,000 sq. ft.) Tie
Nike, Seattle (Nike, Beaverton, Ore.)
Barbour, Chicago (RGLA Solutions, Schiller Park, Ill.)

Soft Lines (over 10,000 sq. ft.)
H&M Times Square, New York City (H&M, Copenhagen)

Soft Lines (Honorable Mention, over 10,000 sq. ft.)
David’s Bridal, London (David’s Bridal, Conshohocken, Pa.)

Hard Lines (up to 5,000 sq. ft.)
Cannondale, Carle Place, N.Y. (Bergmeyer Associates, Boston)

Hard Lines (Honorable Mention up to 5,000 sq. ft.)
AT&T Store of the Future (Callison, Seattle)

Hard Lines (5,000 to 10,000 sq. ft.)
Real Madrid Official Store, Madrid (Sanzpont (arquitectura), Barcelona)

Hard Lines (over 10,000 sq. ft.)
Pirch, Glendale, Calif. (Fitch, Columbus, Ohio)

Department Store
Liverpool, Veracruz, Mexico (FRCH Design Worldwide, Cincinnati)

Department Store (Honorable Mention)
Lord & Taylor, Boca Raton, Fla. (Lord & Taylor Store Planning/Design, New York)

Supermarket (up to 40,000 sq. ft.)
Whole Foods Market, Detroit (Design consultant: JGA, Southfield, Mich.)

Supermarkets (Over 40,000 sq. ft.)
Freson Bros. Fresh Market, Alberta, Canada (Shook Kelley, Los Angeles)

Supermarkets (Honorable Mention, over 40,000 sq. ft.)
H-E-B, Austin, Texas (HEB Grocery, San Antonio, Texas)

Drug Store
Walgreens, Boston

Convenience Store
My Goods, Denver (King Retail Solutions, Eugene, Ore.)

Hyper-mart, DongFang, Xiangtan, China (rkd retail/iQ, Bangkok, Thailand)

Single Unit (up to 5,000 sq. ft.)
Jockey Bra, Schaumburg, Ill. (JGA, Southfield, Mich.)

Single Unit (over 5,000 sq. ft.)
Kid’s Cavern, Macau, China (Callison, Seattle)

In-Store Shop (up to 20,000 sq. ft.)
Adidas Originals Collective, Footaction (Big Red Rooster, Columbus, Ohio)

In-Store Shop (over 20,000 sq. ft.)
Lord & Taylor, menswear (Highland Associates, New York)

Timberland, New York (Leonard Ostroff Design Associates, Montreal)

Showroom (Honorable Mention)
Virginia Tile, Chicago (JGA, Southfield, Mich.)

Casual Dining
Café Barista, Guatemala (Interbrand Design Forum, Dayton, Ohio)

Casual Dining (Honorable Mention)
Starbucks, Montreal (Aedifica, Montreal)

Specialty Food
DFS Wine and Cigars, Macau, China (rkd retail/iQ, Bangkok)

Specialty Food (Honorable Mention)
Papa Murphy (Tesser, San Francisco)

Specialty Food (Honorable Mention)
Maybury, Dubai (Brand Creative, Dubai)

Food Court Restaurant
Kung Pao Wok, Richmond Centre, Richmond, B.C. (Dialogue 38, Toronto)

Florida International University (FIU) Restaurant Management Lab, North Miami, Fla. (Echeveria Design Group, Coral Gables, Fla.)

Restaurant (Honorable Mention)
New Generation, Toronto (Dialogue 38, Toronto)

Service (up to 10,000 sq. ft.)
Sterling Bank, Portland, Ore. (Callison, Seattle)

Service (Honorable Mention, up to 10,000 sq. ft.)
American Express Centurion Lounge, Las Vegas (Big Red Rooster, Columbus, Ohio)

Service (over 10,000 sq. ft.)
The Red Door, New York (TPG Architecture, New York)

Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Select, McCarran Airport, Las Vegas (Fitch, Columbus, Ohio)

Exterior (freestanding)
Ja Bistro, Toronto (Dialogue 38, Toronto)

Exterior (in-line)
Sperry Top-Sider, Natick, Mass. (Callison, Seattle)
White House/Black Market, Toronto (Chico’s FAS, Fort Meyers, Fla.)

Cash Wrap
Real Madrid Official Store, Madrid (Sanzpont, Barcelona)

Fitting Room
Sperry Top-Sider, Natick, Mass. (Callison, Seattle)
David’s Bridal, London (Design: David’s Bridal, Conshohocken, Pa.)


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C.Mathewson says:
Mar-16-2014 07:50 am

We have been to Liverpool and it really has a great modern architectural charm both outside and on the interior. Congratulations for winning the retail store of the year.



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Ross Dress for Less expanding in Chicago area


Dublin, Calif. – Ross Dress for Less will open four new locations in the greater Chicago area on March 8, 2014. These openings bring the total number of Chicago area stores to 35 for the retailer.

New locations will be in Pullman Park Shopping Center in Chicago, Lake Park Pointe Shopping Center in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago, Waukegan Plaza in Waukegan, and Butterfield Plaza in Downers Grove. Together, Ross Dress for Less and DD’s Discounts currently operate approximately 1,300 off-price apparel and home fashion stores in 33 states, the District of Columbia and Guam.


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Regular Cleaning of Condensor Coil in Refrigeration and Freezer Appliances Results in Maximum Efficiency


By Richard P. Fennelly

It’s a well-known industry fact that refrigeration and freezer appliances, which are no longer exclusive to supermarkets, are major electricity “hogs” in retail stores.

Unfortunately, many store owners/operators are not following an important maintenance task that is uniformly recommended by the manufacturers of these appliances: monthly or bimonthly cleaning of the condenser coil unit that is contained in the appliances. It is a topic that needs to be front and center for any organization interested in maximum efficiency for these appliances.

The need for such a cleaning protocol largely goes unrecognized because the visually non-appealing condenser coil unit lies hidden behind a panel or grille blocking view of its deteriorating condition over time.

The problem festers until a service technician discovers it on an expensive unscheduled service call when the unit begins to malfunction. With the projected market in refrigerated display cases alone slated to grow from about $8.8 billion dollars in 2012 to about $16.3 billion dollars in 2019, this issue is likely to grow exponentially, especially for plug-in units which might account for almost 68% of this growth.

Since the condenser coils are responsible for dumping the warm air extracted from the enclosed cooling chamber into the outside air, the build-up of dirt or debris on the coils will compromises their heat transfer ability and the cooling efficiency of the unit. And over time, such dirt and debris invariably does form on the coils unless a regular maintenance program is followed. The result: close to a 10% higher electricity bill for each refrigeration unit and close to a 20% higher bill for each freezer unit!

Additionally, the non-maintained units work harder, causing premature appliance aging due to longer run times, and have an increased chance of equipment failure because of higher pressures and operating temperatures. Finally, the store environment becomes less “green” as the coils collect dirt and other debris.

The benefits that come with a condenser coil unit cleaning program are reflected with 75% of those issues deemed most important by the attendees of the recent Star Refrigeration 2013 Roadshow, namely, energy savings/run efficiency (26%); operating cost (18%); reliability (14%); maintenance (14%); and performance (3%). (For survey, go to .)

What is the best way for the maintenance program to be conducted? Since the plug-in appliances containing these condenser units are located inside the store, the traditional cleaning method has been to use either a combination of brushing and vacuum or, even better, a combination of brushing, vacuum, with a supply of compressed air to assist in the dislodging of dirt or debris that is lodged within the coil structure.

Using compressed air (e.g., from a standard wet/dry vac) is problematic since, unless contained, this air steam will pollute the store environment necessitation additional cleanup. The traditional way in which dislodged debris has been captured has been the use of a container, such as a box, lined with a damp cloth to capture and hold the airborne debris. Often, a two person team was needed for the cleaning operation – one to hold the box/cloth capture device, the other to blow compressed air and vacuum during the cleaning operation.

Most recently, however, more scientifically engineered dust containment bags have been developed that allow for a single person to effectively blow out debris from the coils while vacuuming the airborne debris into a vacuum appliance without polluting the surrounding environment. In many cases, it is not even necessary to have this rather non-technical cleaning task performed by a refrigeration service technician — it is definitely within the capability of the do-it-yourselfer.

Preventative maintenance programs are often the first ones to be eliminated when operating budgets are reduced. This is shortsighted since a well-structured preventative maintenance program for these refrigeration and freezer energy “hogs” can more than pay for itself in energy savings while prolonging the life of such equipment and reducing the cost of maintaining it over its lifetime. It is easy to save from $100-$200 per unit in electric costs as a result of a disciplined condenser coil cleaning program. For stores that contain a multiple of such units, the savings can be in the thousands of dollars. These cost savings go directly to the bottom line.

There has been much talk and press attention given to a whole host of energy efficiency steps that the retail industry can take (energy efficient lighting, better insulation, better protocols for heating and cooling schedules, etc.). These all constitute “low hanging” fruit, most of which by this time has been picked. So how might we continue to squeeze out more efficiencies? Certainly, the scant attention that appears to have been paid to a disciplined PM program for the condenser coils in plug-in cooling appliances needs to change.

Richard P. Fennelly is director of product development at, manufacturer of the Coilpold dust containment bag for use in the condenser coil cleaning of commercial refrigeration and freezer appliances ([email protected]).


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