OPERATIONS

Lifestyle/Trimco/Viaggio merges with Almax to form Global Visual Group

BY Marianne Wilson

Brooklyn, N.Y. — Lifestyle/Trimco/Viaggio, the Brooklyn, N.Y.-based manufacturer of mannequins, forms, specialty fixtures, fabric applications, seasonal trim and holiday décor, has merged with Almax, the world-renowned mannequin company based in Italy.

The new company, Global Visual Group, will make its debut at A.R.E.’s Retail Design Collective, which will be in New York City, December 4-6, 2013.

“Global Visual Group changes the entire visual merchandising landscape,” said Richard Stolls, chairman. “Wherever a retailer may be, and whatever their needs, Global Visual Group can fulfill them. No longer will they need to rely on numerous vendors with limited capability, capacity or geographic reach.”

Global Visual Group will have headquarters in Brooklyn, N.Y., Milan and Shanghai, with showrooms in New York, Paris, Milan, Shanghai and Toronto. Factories in Brooklyn, Milan and Shanghai provide a combined manufacturing capacity of 300,000 sq. ft.

More than 300 employees worldwide will fulfill the needs of the world’s leading retailers, including Hugo Boss, Dillard’s, Verizon Wireless, Brooks Brothers, Burberry, Aeropostale, Macy’s, Sears, Bloomingdales and many more.

Global Visual Group’s mannequin collection includes a wide selection of options — from Almax’s unbreakable, eco-friendly Polystyrene designs to Lifestyle’s fiberglass mannequins, Poly-Eco mannequins and paper mache upholstered forms.

Retail clients of both organizations will continue to work with their current sales representatives, who will now be able to offer a full portfolio of visual merchandising products and solutions.

“Finally, retailers can now consolidate their visual merchandising vendor base,” said Ken Stolls, president. “With Global Visual Group, they will have a single point of contact for global distribution and be able to leverage their visual budgets in a more meaningful way.”

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REAL ESTATE

RadioShack opens new concept stores in Detroit, Philadelphia

BY Dan Berthiaume

Fort Worth, Texas – RadioShack Corp. has opened a new concept store in Detroit, and another in Philadelphia. All new concept stores in the company’s portfolio feature an upgraded shopping experience, which showcases the company’s new look, and incorporates interactive areas designed to help shoppers improve their technology profile.

Some features include a speaker wall where customers can shop and compare 13 different speakers using music installed on in-store tablets or played from their own Bluetooth-enabled mobile devices, interactive displays that enable shoppers to find and compare products, touch-screens and apps that help shoppers understand the benefits of products, newly configured displays highlighting in-demand brands, and a do-it-yourself area where consumers can plan projects.

RadioShack is opening a select number of these highly experiential stores in neighborhoods throughout the nation. By the end of 2013, RadioShack will have more than 100 concept and brand statement stores open and will have made improvements to nearly all 4,300 stores throughout the nation.

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REAL ESTATE

PBTeen to open in Huntington, N.Y.

BY Dan Berthiaume

San Francisco – PBTeen, a Williams-Sonoma retail brand, will open a new store in Huntington, N.Y., on Nov. 7. It will be the first PBTeen location on Long Island, the 16th in the U.S., and also the first combined location of PBTeen, Pottery Barn and Pottery Barn Kids, with pass-through access to all three stores.

The new PBteen store will be anchored around the PBteen Design Lab, where teens and their parents can engage with the brand and its products by digitally creating a personalized room at no charge. Using drag and drop technology, teens can experiment with different room configurations and color combinations to see their designs come to life on a television screen overhead. On-site design specialists are also available to help teens choose their favorite patterns and styles to create their own distinct bedrooms and lounge spaces. Products available at PBteen.com can be ordered through the store and shipped directly to the customer for ease of shopping.

“We are excited to introduce PBteen at Walt Whitman Shops and complete our family of Pottery Barn brands on Long Island,” said Sandra Stangl, president, Pottery Barn Brands. “This will be our first combined Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids and PBteen location in the world, giving customers the opportunity to find quality home furnishings, for all ages, in one convenient location. We are thrilled to bring this unique shopping experience to our loyal customers just in time for holiday shopping.”

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