And the Store of the Year is…

BY Marianne Wilson

ShopWithMe, a futuristic-looking “smart” store at Pioneer Plaza, Chicago, took top honors as Store of the Year in the Retail Design Institute’s 45th annual International Store Design Competition. The awards were presented during a gala celebration on Saturday, March 12, at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas, the night before the kick-off of Chain Store Age’s annual SPECS Conference.

Designed by Giorgio Borruso Design, the 3,000-sq.-ft. ShopWithMe brings the best of offline and online shopping together under one roof, and creates personalized experiences for every shopper. The space is completely mobile. It is designed to be mass-produced so it can be deployed by retailers across the United States. Specialty retailers Toms Shoes and Raven + Lily were featured in the Chicago store.

The Retail Design Institute’s annual competition attracted entries from around the world, and featured 21 categories, ranging from department stores and specialty shops to supermarkets and pop-ups to restaurants.

Here is a complete list of all the winning projects (all winners are first place except where noted):

• Store of the Year:
ShopWIthMe, Pioneer Plaza, Chicago (Design: Giorgio Borruso Design)

• New or Completely Renovated Full-­Line Department Store
David Jones, Sydney, Australia (Design: Dalziel & Pow)
Outstanding Merit: Hudson’s Bay, Hillcrest Mall, Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada (Design: Hudson Bay Store Planning & Design)

• New or Completely Renovated Specialty Department Store
Nordstrom, Pacific Centre, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (Design: Nordstrom Store Design, CallisonRTKL and James K.M. Cheng Architects)

• Shop Within an Existing Full-Line or Specialty Department Store
Hudson’s Bay, footwear, Queen Street , Toronto (Design: Hudson Bay Store Planning & Design)

• Hard­Line Specialty Store
Jins, San Francisco (Design: Kwan Henmi Architecture and Planning)
Outstanding Merit: Ponto Frio Premium, Sao Paulo, Brazil (Design: GH Consultoria de Varejo LTDA0)

• Hard-Line Specialty Store | Jewelry and Watches
deBoulle Diamond & Jewelry, Houston (Design: Gensler)

• Hard-Line Specialty Store | Beauty
Outstanding Merit: Caudalie, Washington, D.C. (Design: Caudalie USA and TPG Architecture)
Outstanding Merit: Beauty Brands, Kansas City, Mo. (Design: Kiku Obata & Company)

• Soft-Line Specialty Store
Primark, King of Prussia, Pa. (Design: Gensler)
Raymond Ready to Wear, Bangalore, India (Design: Gensler)

• Soft-Line Specialty Store | Footwear
The Frye Company, Atlanta (Design: The Frye Company)

• Large-Format Specialty Store
First Place: Leroy Merlin, Le Havre, France (Design: Dalziel & Pow)

• Supermarket
Whole Foods Market, Playa Vista, Calif. (Design: DL English Design)
Outstanding Merit: Primo, Tangerang, Banten, Indonesia (Design: rkd Retail/iQ)

• Specialty Food, Gourmet Grocer & Delicatessen
LCBO, Toronto (Design: II BY IV DESIGN)

• Fine Dining Restaurant
Kabuki Sushi Lounge, Toronto (Design: dialogue 38)

• Quick Service Restaurant
eatsa, San Francisco (Design: eatsa)

• Quick Service Restaurant
Outstanding Merit Quiznos Grill, Denver (Design: Tesser)

• Casual Restaurant
Reggie’s Bar, Montreal (Design: Ædifica)

• Bar, Coffee, Tea Shop
Neo Coffee Bar, Toronto (Design: dialogue 38)

• Telecommunications
Outstanding Merit: Studio Xfinity, Chicago (Design: ESI Design)

• Pharmacy
I+ Pharmacy, Sevilla, Spain (Design: Marketing-JAZZ)
El Puente Pharmacy, Granada, Spain (Design: ariasrecalde taller de arquitectura)

• Common Area Retail
ShopWithMe, Pioneer Plaza, Chicago (Design: Giorgio Borruso Design)
Outstanding Merit: kikki.K, London (Design: Dalziel & Pow)

• Brand Spaces
Olympia Tile + Stone, North York, Ontario, Canada (Design: II BY IV Design)
Outstanding Merit: Stearns & Foster Showroom, Las Vegas (Design: dash design)

• Financial Services
Desjardins Marche Central, Montreal (Design: Ædifica)

• Innovation | Merchandising
Charming Charlie, New York City (Design: CallisonRTKL)

• Innovation | Facade
Primark, King of Prussia, Pa. (Design: Gensler)

• Innovation | Graphics
Leroy Merlin, Le Havre, France (Design: Dalziel & Pow)

• Innovation | Concept and Experience
The Inutilious Retailer, New York City (Design: Adrian Wilson)

• Innovation | Technology
eatsa, San Francisco (Design: eatsa)

• Innovation | Visual Merchandising
kikki,K, London (Design: Dalziel & Pow)

• Innovation | Materiality
PNC GingerBranch, Pittsburgh (Design: Design Compendium)

To see photos of the awards event, click here.


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Grocery delivery app taps major chain veteran to develop business


Starbucks knows a thing or two about developing business across channels, and on-demand, app-based grocery delivery service Shipt is bringing that expertise in-house.

Birmingham, Alabama-based Shipt has named Joe Manning, former Starbucks director of business and channel development, to lead business development. Shipt is looking to Manning to establish and grow partnerships with grocers and CPG companies as the company expands.

“The Shipt marketplace and logistics platform allows grocers to serve the growing demand for grocery delivery,” said Bill Smith, founder and CEO of Shipt. “With the addition of Joe, we are positioned to forge additional partnerships and further our mission of simplifying lives for families and helping grocers grow their incremental sales.”

Manning held several business development, channel development and licensed store management positions at Starbucks and Starbucks Canada between March 2005 and December 2015. His most recent title at the coffee retailer was head of business development and channel development for Starbucks Canada.

During his 10-year tenure at Starbucks, Manning’s accomplishments included leading the integration of Starbucks licensed stores into national chains including Safeway, Kroger and Target. He also led the consumer packaged goods (CPG) integration of Starbucks coffees onto supermarket shelves on the West Coast.

“For the past year, I have been watching Shipt closely, and I am thrilled to now be a member of the team,” said Manning. “Based on Shipt’s emerging priorities, we are ready to pursue partnerships aggressively with grocers, retailers and consumer products companies. The Shipt platform enables grocers and manufacturers to extend their brand promise through delivery all the way to the customers’ homes.”

Through the Shipt app, members shop for groceries, note any preferences, choose a one-hour delivery window for delivery and pay for their order. Shipt connects members with local Shipt shoppers to shop at partner grocers, pick their items and deliver them to home or office. Shipt’s grocery delivery service currently operates in 24 cities.

Shipt is operating in an extremely competitive niche which includes established players such as Instacart, AmazonFresh and Google Express, as well as startups such as Wholeshare and even non-traditional entrants like Foursquare. The company will need the all the help it can get to establish position, and knowhow from a retail/CPG juggernaut like Starbucks could certainly prove beneficial.


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Rent the Runway offers its own take on fast-fashion with new service


Fashion rental company Rent the Runway wants customers to view it an option for everyday apparel and accessories and not just fancy clothes for special occassions.

After a beta test, the company is rolling out “Unlimited, ” a cloud-based “endless closet” service featuring designer sportswear and accessories for work and weekend wear. For a flat monthly fee, users can rent items from a constant rotation of more than 350 designers, ranging from Tory Burch to Derek Lam. New designers will be added to the service on a regular basis.

Users can select three items and keep them for as long as they want or swap any or all of them out for new selections, with no limit to the number of times they can swap. The subscription costs $139 per month and shipping, dry cleaning, and insurance are included.

The retailer is making Unlimited a true omnichannel offering. Members can return Unlimited items via mail or to one of Rent the Runway’s store locations. They can also arrange to pick up their Unlimited orders in the stores. And if a customer really likes a particular item, she can purchase it at a discount.

Rent the Runway has also updated its mobile app with new features for Unlimited members. New functionalities include:

• Personalized home screen that displays items users are currently renting through their Unlimited subscription.

• If members have returned an item and need to pick out another one, there will be a blank space with a call-to-action to add a new item.

• Search functionality for new items by style, color, body type, or curated assortments.

• Members can click into an item and land on the product page, which includes customer reviews.

• Free shipment confirmations.

"With Unlimited, we are putting the closet in the cloud and allowing women to experience and cycle through thousands of designer looks for their everyday work and weekend wear," said Rent the Runway CEO Jennifer Hyman. "Your closet no longer has to be a graveyard for questionable purchases and bad trends. Unlimited provides the variety and quality that the modern woman's wardrobe requires, allowing her to have fun with fashion without the commitment of purchase."


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