Brooks Bros. is testing a new retail concept called Brooks Bros. Country Club Collection ,with the debut site at Grand Boulevard, Sandestin, Fla. (followed by additional units in Tucson, Ariz., and Southampton, N.Y.). The 2,188-sq.-ft. shop has a casual, clubhouse atmosphere, and is devoted to the retailer’s Country Club line for men and women. Several other locations are in the works, including stores in Sarasota, Fla., and Myrtle Beach, S.C.… Aeropostale plans to convert 18 stores this year to its new prototype and to renovate 40% of its stores to the same within three years. The format has a cooler, more hip look than the retailer’s signature “white box” and includes updated merchandise displays, new contemporary-styled fixtures and oversized lifestyle graphics. The fitting-room space is accented with bamboo, has seating, and is designed as a lounge area for customers and friends. The individual rooms have see-through doors that cloud over when a customer steps inside.… Playboy will set up shop next spring on Oxford Street in London. The 2,400-sq.-ft. store will carry Playboy lingerie, apparel, cosmetics, jewelry and accessories. The interior will be fashioned around the brand’s iconic symbols, with wall murals of images from Playboy’s archives. It will include a lounge where shoppers can play Playboy video games and watch archived footage on plasma screens.… The new David Yurman boutique in Beverly Hills, Calif., has a modern, glamorous feel, with floating counters and in-wall cases. The design is by Yabu Pushelberg, Toronto.
WD Partners, Columbus, Ohio, has opened an office in Mumbai, India, to assist global retailers seeking to expand in India, as well as multi-unit Indian retailers. It is led by architect and Mumbainative Rajesh Chhablani.… Target Corp.’s property design group has honored MulvannyG2 Architecture ,Bellevue, Wash., as an outstanding consultant of the year for innovation. The firm, which designed 30 new Target stores in 2006, regularly provides architectural consulting services for the retailer.… Callison has promoted three senior staff members to the role of principal: Robin Hold, John Mason and Ron Singler.… Fitch, Columbus, Ohio, has appointed Bryan Gailey as creative director to lead the New York studio creative team. He most recently served as associate principal at Callison.… Pavlik Design Team has relocated to 6451 North Federal Highway, Ste. 1000, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., 33308.
The 2007 International Retail Design Conference (IRDC) will be held Sept. 19-21, at the InterContinental Buckhead, Atlanta (www.irdconline.com).
Long lines greet iPhone debut
CUPERTINO, Calif. The long-awaited debut of Apple’s iPhone was greeted with long lines outside of Apple and AT&T stores on June 29 with some people camping out days to get one. Analysts expected Apple’s new smart phone to sell about 200,000 units during its first weekend in release.
The combination phone and Web browser is selling for $499 for a basic phone and $599 for a version with 8GB of memory. The sleek phone that’s operated with a touch screen also comes with an iPod and a camera. The phones are being sold exclusively at 166 Apple stores and 1,800 stores operated by service provider AT&T. Apple ceo Steve Jobs said he hopes to sell about 10 million iPhones during its first year on the market.
CE vet Callahan passes on
HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. CE veteran Phil Callahan died from what is believed to be a heart attack June 26 at the age of 57.
Callahan spent several years at Mitsubishi and also held positions at Sumiko, Hitachi and Princeton Graphics Systems. In June 2005 he founded a public relations and consulting firm named Callahan Public Relations and Consulting.