Store Design

Targeting STORY.

Just in time for the Thanksgiving / Christmas season New York concept store STORY has teamed up with big box retailer Target to create a curated holiday gift shop that features carefully crafted items designed to fit an eclectic group of needs. Brand consultant Rachel Shechtman founder of STORY refreshes the store design and the merchandise inside every 4 to 8 weeks, a fairly aggressive schedule for a store overhaul, and the current theme is “Home for the Holidays”.

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To achieve the latest design and product offering Shechtman worked hand-in-hand with the team at Target to create the store look and feel. “Home for the Holidays” features a curated gift guide that is set inside an environment designed to feel like a home. The current theme will be up and running until January 4th 2015.

Working  with the direction of interior designer Jason Bell, STORY, has transformed their 2,000-square-foot space into a mountain retreat. Each section of the store is designed to offer products for the gift recipient. There is a fur-lined section for her that even has a bathtub, a rustic patio with gift ideas for him. A modern living room with a fireplace furnished by HearthCabinet Decorative Fireplaces for entire family.

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Inspired by an image of Aerin Lauder’s Aspen ski lodge, they drew inspiration for the fit and finishes of the space. Wood, stone, create texture and an open airy feeling within the space. Local artists Nick Bakita and Matthew G. Wells created a mountain range installation of wood to anchor the back wall.

By partnering with Target, STORY was able to leverage Target’s favorite private label offerings from Archer Farms, and Target exclusive items from designers like Nate Berkus. The two hundred products STORY is featuring were hand picked directly from the Target headquarters and offer New York shoppers a something for everyone gift assortment from over 100 brands.

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STORY’s curated  collection features has a focus on Made in America items this year capitalizing on this hot trend with buyers. The store is showing Faribault Woolen Mills, Merona, TOMS for Target collection, and a variety other items including gourmet food items from Vosges, hand crafted and embroidered items from Coral and Tusk, and beauty items from Birch Box.

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So Many Doors, So Why Does Only One Gets Used?

There is a phenomenon that I keep noticing that involves store fronts with more than one door, how people use them, or I should say don’t. I started thinking about this today when I went over to the post office at Union Station during lunch.

Union Station has 30 doors in front of it. It has so many doors, because at one point in the 20th century, it was a bustling transportation hub. The architect designed the bank of doors to ease traffic jams, and facilitate quick movement in and out of the building.The thinking is simple, “People are trying to catch their train, give them lots of doors to get in the building with”. It makes sense doesn’t it.

Today after I finished filling out a package address, I sat in my car and watched about 20 people use just two of the doors to enter the building. They were all separate, they were all coming from different locations in the parking lot. They all followed the first two people through two separate doors about 15 feet apart, walking well out of their way to follow the people in front of them. It was like watching sheep being led to the slaughter. By the way, every door in front of Union Station is unlocked during normal business hours.

So, next time you are at a store with at least two doors, take a second and watch the traffic coming and going. I bet 90 percent of the time only one door gets used. This isn’t because some of the doors are locked, it’s more of a human nature thing. From what I can tell there is no design flaw with what the architect created. There is no design flaw in the doors themselves. It’s just the way it seems to work.

If you are standing in a parking lot looking at the front of a building. A larger building like a grocery store, or some big box retailer; a store with a bank of ten or so doors in a row, all lined up. If you stop and watch the foot traffic entering the building you will begin to notice a pattern. People will automatically follow anyone in front of them, and enter through the same door that they used even if there is a door closer to them as they approach the building.

If it is a two door set up, everyone entering and exiting the building will squeeze through just one door. They always seem a little freaked out if you open the second door and exit, or enter through the door next to them.

I wonder if anyone has ever done a study of this? I’m serious. It makes me wonder what architects and designers can do to create a door system that increases traffic flow and reduces bottle necks caused by the herding sheep syndrome.