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SADI 2011 – Merrell Concept Prototype - Credits

The trick with prototypes is that you’ve got to find a way to take the identity fostered by merchandise and transfer it to the store level. And you have to also come up with a design that can be ported and replicated many times over.

FRCH Design Worldwide’s concept for Merrell achieves those goals. Merrell has a strong brand identity and a devoted following among outdoor enthusiasts—especially in New England. The prototype is consistent with the overall brand identity.

It features some neat design elements to boot. The stocks of shoes sit behind moving walls. A rock ramp where costumers can test footwear lies in the middle of the store, among other features. This design offers an exploration of the senses.

FRCH was challenged with creating a unique identity, different from competing athletic footwear brands, relating the design to the shopper's personal outdoor experience and encouraging the shopper to leave the store and go outside. Reflecting the consumer’s ultimate destination through the use of fixture materials, décor accents, color palette, and product presentation sets this store apart from its competitors. A simple materials palette portrays the outdoor message. Raw, natural materials are used including polished concrete flooring and plywood tables. Rocks made of felt offer a reference for the visual displays.

Merchandise is not only maximized but is highlighted to create an atmosphere of drama and intrigue, suggesting and building to your experience outdoors. It offers an exploration of the senses; come look, listen and touch. The store envelopes the customer and the products through an inspirational and interactive display of elements that change with the seasons while remaining true to the core of the brand, what it stands for and what it believes in.

The design makes the merchandise completely accessible to the customer, encouraging them to try items on, have fun, and find something unexpected. Product is not stored away under lock and key, it is stored behind the perimeter sliding door fixtures, on the sales floor, so the customer has the merchandise at their fingertips. The signature orange Merrell brand color stands out among the muted natural color palette and visual merchandising plan.

The topography wall, comprised of layers of wood to imitate and accent the environment, can be changed to feature the multitude of performance footwear and accessories, giving the customer a new experience with each visit. The curated wall displays product but also offers a testimonial from the user by incorporating items that might have been collected while using the merchandise. Customers’ personal experiences can become part of the store concept and design.

Project Name
Merrell Concept Prototype

Location
Rockford, Mich.

Square Footage
2,000

Architect
FRCH Design Worldwide

Developer/Owner
Wolverine World Wide Inc.

General Contractor
Bozek Building & Remodeling LLC

Construction Consultant
3D Werks

Branding Consultant
Jager Di Paola Kemp Design

Millwork Manufacturer
Nicewood Enterprises

Fixture Manufacturer
B+N Industries

Photographer
vaunduinen photographic

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