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STORE SPACES

New sunglass concept debuts

BY Marianne Wilson

A new retailer has made its debut, at Orlando International Airport.

The store, Sol Shades, is modern, bright and upbeat, with a compelling runway design and a layout designed to facilitate easy customer engagement. The merchandise selection combines function and fashion, bringing classic brands like Ray-Ban to high-fashion lines like Prada together in one place.

Sol Shades was developed by api(+), Tampa, in a continuation of its relationship with national airport retailer Stellar Partners.

For more slideshows, click here.

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DSW bets smaller is better in Vegas with new store format

BY Marianne Wilson

DSW’s new store in Las Vegas is half the size of the retailer’s typical location, but it’s strong on experiences and innovation.

Located in the Showcase Mall on the Las Vegas Strip, the just-opened location is based on the retailer’s “lab” store concept, which opened in fall 2017 at Polaris Fashion Place, near Columbus, Ohio. Along with the new store design, it includes nail bars, repair services, and custom in-soles.

Befitting the Las Vegas setting, the store features a video-covered entry way that creates a sensory experience of light and sound on three sides.

“Our ‘video tunnel’ is an immersive and exciting feature that makes customers feel as if they’re flying over a city, swimming under water, or walking through a desert,” said Roger Rawlins, CEO, DSW. “In reality, they’re travelling down an escalator into the new DSW sales floor, where more unique experiences await.”

The store features a one-of-a-kind “shoevators,” or shoe elevator. The display wall of shoes includes three elevator lifts, serviced from a mezzanine over the sales floor. Customers order shoes from the wall via the DSW app or a tablet located at a nearby kiosk, which alerts an associate on the mezzanine. The associate receives the order, picks the ordered shoes, and sends it to the sales floor in a numbered bin via the shoe elevator, where the customer picks it up.

“It’s essentially a giant shoe vending machine,” explained Rawlins, “inspired by the assembly line-style mechanisms that we use to move product around our actual warehouse.”

Despite the store’s smaller footprint, it offers a full assortment of shoes and accessories. In a fun add-on, customers can win a pair of special sneaks by playing the “Heat V ault Keymaster” machine. Reminiscent of an arcade classic, the game challenges players to retrieve sneaker swag in just two moves by inserting a key into a keyhole using a joystick.

DSW operates more than 500 stores in 44 states. It is a division of DSW Inc., which operates several value retail concepts under the DSW and Town Shoes Limited banners. DSW also supplies footwear at leased locations in the U.S. through its affiliated business group and franchised international locations.

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Bottletop opens first 3D-printed store

BY Marianne Wilson

A small store in London is attracting a lot of attention for its unusual design.

Sustainable luxury accessories brand Bottletop broke new ground with the opening of its first permanent store, on Regent Street in London. The space, which has been called “the world’s first zero-waste” store, boasts a futuristic, immersive environment that reflects Bottetop’s commitment to sustainability, collaboration and technical innovation. (Bottletop products are made from the pull tabs of discarded soda cans, recycled metals and zero-deforestation leather.)

The interior, designed by Krause Architects, is entirely 3D printed from Reflow recycled plastic filament using proprietary technology from AI Build. (The 3D printing was done by an industrial-sized Kuka robot-printer that was on site during the process.) The ceiling has a hanging canopy made from thousands of recycled soda can tops in a 3D-printed mesh structure, while the flooring is made from recycled tires. Overhead lighting and changing digital wall projections envelop customers in the brand.

In addition to the unusual design elements, the store has its own scent, created in partnership with perfumer Timothy Han.

Speaking about the new store design, Bottletop co-founder Oliver Wayman said: “For the first time, visitors to our store will be able to witness the sustainable use of this technology first hand while shopping the Bottletop collection and learning about the mission of the brand.”

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