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Form, Function and Aesthetics

BY Katherine Boccaccio

The new fixture plan at Edwin Watts Golf Shop offers the perfect balance of form and function, not to mention visual clarity. The fixtures, a key component in the 70-store chain’s updated store design, stand in contrast to what was formerly a hodgepodge of different units.

“The existing fixturing plan was a house of brands vs. a branded house,” explained David Nelson, VP client strategy, JGA, Southfield, Mich. “By that, I mean Edwin Watts contained a mismatch of vendor-supplied fixtures, from Calloway to Nike to Adidas and more. The result was visual clutter and a shopping experience that was more complicated than it needed to be.”

To launch a new store prototype with an overhauled fixture schematic meant that Edwin Watts would have to discontinue its supplied fixtures—and, likely, the vendor allowances that came with them.

“It was not an easy decision to make,” Nelson said, “and prompted a great deal of discussion.”

Ultimately, however, Edwin Watts agreed to a new fixture system that didn’t rely on vendor contributions.

The prototype debuted in May 2007 in the chain’s 9,700-sq.-ft. Concord Mills location in Concord, N.C. Since May, six new stores and three existing units have been outfitted with the new look.

“Going forward, we have four-to-six new locations slated for the rest of 2008,” said Dennis Sarp, director of visual merchandising, Edwin Watts Golf Shop, Fort Walton, Fla. Sarp is serving as project manager for the new stores and renovations.

Sarp’s overriding goal for the fixturing plan in each new-build and remodeled store was to retain the cachet of recognized golfing brands while still establishing an ‘Edwin Watts’ feel to the environment. JGA’s answer was a variety of fixtures designed to both build the retailer’s brand and showcase vendor offerings in a functional and attractive way.

Because golf clubs are now evaluated based on the shaft as well as the head, it was imperative that the entire club be visible to shoppers. JGA designed a fixture, coined the “rocket launcher” by Edwin Watts, which reveals the clubs’ heads and shafts. The fixture openly displays the retailer’s supply of golf clubs.

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“Besides being functional, the fixture gives a sense of airiness as opposed to the closed wooden box the clubs used to be displayed in,” Nelson explained, adding that the fixture is flexible enough to allow for varying sizes of heads and shafts.

A strike zone that received special attention was the shoe wall, which needed to make a big statement. The wall accommodates an expanding and contracting supply of shoes, while allowing apparel flexibility on either side.

“The shoe wall not only says that Edwin Watts is an authority in shoes, but it serves as a bridge between men’s and women’s apparel,” Nelson said.

Nesting tables provide merchandise focal points throughout the store, and an equipment zone features flexible-divider bay walls along with an adjustable graphic rail system. Two box risers positioned just inside the store’s entrance elevate products such as golf balls off the floor and provide impulse or promotional display space not available in the previous store design.

“Edwin Watts loves these fixtures, because now they have a place to stack the golf balls instead of selling them off the floor,” Nelson added.

The customers have responded just as positively to the overall look of the updated store design.

“We hear comments that it is a comfortable, non-intimidating atmosphere,” Edwin Watt’s Sarp noted. “And customers say that the new interiors have a modern feel that encourages them to hang out, relax and enjoy the shopping experience while interacting with our staff and our products.”

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Survey: Businesses want to go green, but afraid of costs

BY CSA STAFF

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. According to a survey of 2,500 business professionals by Office Depot, half of all respondents are interested in making their offices “greener.”

While 50% of those surveyed said they’d like to have a greener office, more than half (55%) said they did not associate going green with saving money.

According to Yalmaz Siddiqui, director of environmental strategy for Office Depot, There is actually a range of cost scenarios that a business could face when deciding to go green, he explained. Some choices, like remanufactured cartridges, cost less; some require an upfront investment but come with long term cost savings, like compact fluorescent lights; some products entail no price difference; and some green ideas do cost more. The trick is to understand the different options and not assume that going green will always result in higher costs.

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Toys ‘R’ Us to be exclusive retailer of ‘Soul Bubbles’ Nintendo DS game

BY CSA STAFF

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. Toys “R” Us will be the exclusive retailer of Soul Bubbles, a new game for Nintendo DS created by Eidos Interactive.

“Creative and refreshing, Soul Bubbles is a unique game that DS owners won’t want to miss,” said Robert Lindsey, evp of sales and marketing for Eidos Inc. “This is a charming story combined with gameplay that pushes the capabilities of the Nintendo DS is sure to engage all puzzle gaming fans.”

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