REAL ESTATE

Rue21 debuts new rueGuy banner; 20 stores due by yearend

BY Dan Berthiaume

Warrendale, Pa. — Teen apparel retailer rue21 has unveiled a new retail concept, rueGuy, with stores in Shore, N.Y., Harlingen, Texas, and New Boston, Ohio. The company plans to open an additional four locations by the end of August, and is on target to open approximately 20 rueGuy stores by yearend.

The 6,000-sq.-ft. rueGuy format has an expanded men’s department, with a broader product assortment and more selling space than a traditional rue21 store. The new format also has a different look than rue21, and features open ceilings, a new layout, and design elements selected to appeal to a male customer while complementing the look and feel of the girls’ departments. Updated signage and lighting elements, polished floor and new fixtures provides the entire store with a dynamic and fresh new look.

“We look forward to growing our already successful guys business with this new store format that will allow us to deliver an expanded assortment of merchandise and accessories to our male customers,” said Bob Fisch, president and CEO, rue21, which operates 959 stores in 47 states. “While we originally went into the design process focused on building the guys business, we are confident that the new store layout, colors and fixtures will improve the shopping experience for all of our customers who are seeking the latest trends at competitive starting price points. We see this as just the beginning of building a new store format for the future."

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REAL ESTATE

Silver Jeans Co. to open ‘loft’ format at La Plaza Mall, McAllen, Texas

BY Marianne Wilson

Winnipeg, Manitoba — Silver Jeans Co., the Canadian-based mid luxury denim brand, will open its "loft" concept store at La Plaza Mall on Sept. 13, in McAllen, Texas.

"We put a lot of work into making sure the store environment represents our brand," says Michael Silver, CEO, Silver Jeans Co., which operates several stores in the United States and also sells its good through department stores and specialty stores. “We’ve created an environment that has a comfortable modern feeling but also lets our guests know that we’re a historic brand with a rich 92-year history."

The 1,536-sq.-ft. store at La Plaza Mall is designed to provide consumers with a unique and creative denim experience, with personalized service catering to customers’ specific fit needs. With its sliding loft doors, hanging hammock and eclectic mix of chairs, the space has a playful and fun feel. The rustic wood paneling, craftsman style denim bar and vintage Western Glove Works factory photos reflect the Silver Jeans Co. brand heritage. (Silver Jeans Co. is a division of Western Glove Works.)

The loft will feature the latest in digital technology with an innovative mobile point of sale system. A 6-ft. media wall displaying the latest campaign and breakthrough music videos as well as behind the scenes features from Silver Jeans Co. campaign photo shoots.

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AT&T unveils next-generation store design

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — AT&T unveiled its newest store design, at a new location in LaGrange, Ill. The store is built around the customer experience, with a goal of providing a glimpse of what the future of retail will look like. The new design will be rolled out at new and redesigned store locations across the country, and continuing into 2014. (For a video tour of the store, click here.)

The new store concept is the culmination of more than two years of exploration of how to better meet the needs of customers and embodies the spirit of the brand’s "Rethink Possible" tagline with immersive product experiences and engaging merchandising displays. AT&T tested store concepts by building physical store shells in a warehouse in Milwaukee.

“From the open floor plan to learning and community tables where customers can play and explore, every element of our new store concept was made with our customers in mind — and the experience we wanted them to have once inside,” Paul Roth, AT&T president of retail sales and services, wrote in a blog post. “As I’ve said before, our goal is to provide an extraordinary customer experience at every touch point. Our new store design is helping us do just that.

Key store design elements include:

  • Flexible design and open layout encourage customer exploration and discovery. This is achieved through flexible wall systems and a new adaptable kit of parts.
  • Digital screens are integrated throughout the environment for interaction, education and brand content delivery.
  • New finish palette blends the warmth of wood, with glossy white high tech finishes, both balanced by the bold pop of AT&T’s signature orange.
  • Familiar forms and residential styling of the fixture and furnishings create a comfortable and inviting atmosphere.
  • New exterior design invites customers in with a unique porch feature and large open windows that maximize daylight and views in and out of the store.
  • The store was designed with sustainability in mind with LED lighting and selective material use (such as reclaimed teak wood).

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