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Fantasy World’s Colorful Web

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Fantasy World, a leading Kuwaiti toy and wholesale retailer, has reenergized its brand with a new store design that focuses on the visual—and increasingly high-tech—vocabulary of children. The prototype balances whimsy and technology, utilizing holographic materials, playful graphics and stylized iconic elements.

“Fantasy World has a visually clever approach to marketing,” said Ken Nisch, chairman of Southfield, Mich.-based JGA, which designed the new Fantasy World prototype. “This prototype better matches the brand positioning.”

The 3,900-sq.-ft. store is located in Al-Sharq Mall, an enclosed specialty shopping center in Kuwait. The new design capitalizes on the store’s prominent center-court location with a series of backlit panels that frame the lease line. The panels feature integrated optic elements that provide an ever-changing array of colors and visual effects.

Inside the space, multi-hued ceiling discs are coded to match key departments and to aid in store navigation. Bold, graphic striping dominates interior feature walls and sets off white fixtures in a high-gloss finish.

The interior signing is in English. In fact, the only Arabic that appears is in the facade signage and some of the policy signs.

“We were legally required to produce the facade sign in Arabic,” Nisch said, “but interior signing can be in English.” About one-third of Kuwait’s population is not Kuwaiti, he explained, and English is the primary language.

Indeed, little about the store says “Middle East.” The vivid color palette and energetic design are typical of toy retailing throughout the world, according to Nisch.

“We have ramped up the interactivity, however, in deference to the Middle Eastern shopper,” he added.

Middle Eastern families tend to be younger, they often shop together as a family group, and they largely view the mall as a place to be entertained. Accordingly, the new Fantasy World prototype incorporates a high level of interactivity. Green-topped tables scattered throughout the space serve as sampling surfaces for demonstrating a new toy or game.

Endcap graphics offer information and direction, and impulse areas feature products arranged by price point or purpose. Oversized monitors in each department entertain and inform, broadcasting movies, cartoons and promotional messages.

Fantasy World’s third store—and its second in the new design—will open in November, in a 12,000-sq.-ft. space at The Avenue, in Kuwait.

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Meijer to expand Grocery Express program

BY CSA STAFF

WALKER Meijer is expanding its Grocery Express program that enables customers to order groceries online and then pick them up at select stores.

According to reports, the retailer will offer the program at certain Meijer stores in Chicago, St. Charles and Aurora, Ill., and Westerville, Ohio.

Through the Grocery Express program, customers can order items online and then select a time and date for pickup.

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Toys’R’Us expands Disney offering

BY CSA STAFF

WAYNE, N.J. Toys”R”Us and Disney Consumer Products announced that Toys”R”Us will carry an expanded assortment of exclusive Disney-themed Halloween costumes for boys, girls and babies.

In addition, the two companies have announced that they have made a joint contribution of $50,000 to kick off the 2009 costume program.

 

Beginning in September, an expanded line of 25 costumes based on popular Disney characters can be found at Toys”R”Us and Babies”R”Us stores and online at Toysrus.com ,including costumes resembling Disney Princess characters, Disney Pixar Toy Story’s “Buzz Lightyear” and “Woody”, Power Rangers, Winnie-the-Pooh and Tigger, and Disney Fairies’ “Tinker Bell.” The companies announced that the number of costumes in this year’s program is double that of last year and each bears a recognizable hangtag featuring the CAAF logo and a united mission statement from both companies.

 

Items range in price from $19.99 to $39.99 and are available in a variety of sizes from infant to toddler.

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