California Retail: Trends and Details
March 30, 2012 2 Comments
On a recent journey to the west coast I saw some interesting trends in retail developments and some well thought out details. Above is Blends at The Lab in Costa Mesa where their stunning collection of limited edition sneakers is displayed “on ice” behind glass cooler doors.
The Lab advertises itself as the anti-mall and focuses on flexible outdoor areas for the community, where store spaces blend together and people congregate and socialize. The bricks and mortar stores and restaurants share the environment with several retro teardrop style trailers that have been beautifully restored as rolling pop-up shops. The variety of formats and carefully selected merchandise create a wonderfully organic shopping experience that is filled with surprises.
The Camp is just across the street from from The Lab and shares a similar mission. Meandering walkways are sprinkled with local vendors and camp inspired graphics and signage. The anchor store, Seed Peoples Market, leverages a quality product assortment with found and antique fixtures, DIY signage and seasonal displays. The cashwrap was a particularly clever focal, the desk appeared to be constructed from plies of old library books and the back wall was collaged with framed patterns and chalk board paint with new daily messages.
The final thing that really caught my attention as I was exploring were these fitting rooms in the Free People store in Carlsbad. The walls of each fitting room and the public space were adorned with a lush hand drawn mural of cascading flowers. The murals added to an abundance of texture throughout the store in their selection of materials and finishes, and contrasted the simplicity and attention to fine detail in the apparel.