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SADI 2011 – Nautica Outlet - Credits

Nautica is inspired by the water, crafted with intention, and designed to outfit the life well-lived.

With this new brand statement, Nautica partnered with Little to reinvent their Outlet store concept to deliver a new shopping experience consistent with the growth of the company and updated merchandise style direction. The new concept explores a more holistic “beachcomber” lifestyle attitude that embraces the brand’s seaworthy heritage to set itself apart from department store concepts and its international stores.

Judges felt that the store didn’t fully live up to its promise, although did appreciate some of the elements. The most popular piece was the feature table set above a piece of driftwood (bottom right photo). The judges wanted more elements like this.

The overall design elements are based on a coastal lifestyle, “beyond the boat”, focusing on the residential aspect of living near the ocean. The direction adopts a language that offers clean simplicity with rectilinear geometries reflecting the Nautica heritage. These more hard-edged geometries are contrasted with materials that are distressed and weathered by the power of the ocean - bringing to life a variety of soft wood tones and rich warm grays.
The Nautica Brand has a unique connection with water. Designing the entry portal with a strong water statement not only sets the brand apart from its outlet competitors, it creates an immersive entrance into this new brand positioning for the company.

In contrast to existing Nautica Outlet stores with perimeter wall cabinets, the new concept opens up the perimeter to allow for flexibility in merchandising and visual displays/graphics. In addition, the new graphic hierarchy focuses its primary emphasis on elements of water, interpreting the Beachcomber lifestyle.

Based on the previous outlet design, Nautica required us to design the concept to meet $125 per square foot (on par with Nautica’s competition in outlet centers). Cost restrictions were a challenge to be more creative and innovative with solutions to remain competitive in this growing market. Certain finishes, lighting and architectural details increased that an effort to deliver a better customer experience. The lighting costs almost doubled that of the older concept - but the bulbs specified are all energy efficient with a $10,000 per year pay back per store. Sustainable considerations were also made to material specifications.

Little worked directly with Nautica’s core general contractor to understand the company’s manufacturing capabilities, material sourcing, and experience with outlet store build outs. In return, they anticipated potential costs early on, sourced and developed custom finishes for fixtures and millwork, and understood and value engineered the concept with us throughout the design process. With limited budgets, we were able to provide a higher-end solution using this turnkey approach. Final costs were $137.50 per square foot.

Overall sales at the new Nautica prototype are trending at least $500,000 yearly higher than their current average store sales. In additional, average ticket sales have increased from $40-50 to $58-60 with units-per-transaction at 2.96 (higher than average). The women’s and kids business has increased considerably due to improved sightlines and visuals supporting this holistic lifestyle brand.

Project Name
Nautica Outlet

Cypress, Texas

Square Footage


Nautica Retail

General Contractor
David A. Nice Builders

Fixture Contractor
Nicewood Enterprises

Carpet Flooring
Entourage Flooring
Lighting Supplier
Benfield Architectural Lighting

Vinyl Flooring
Architectural Systems

Lighting Designer
JDC Lighting

In-Store Graphics
Duggal Visual Solutions, Time Visual

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