Retail Showroom Branded Experience: River of Goods

CASE STUDY = RIVER OF GOODS

REMEDIATED GROUNDS: A MODERN GALLERY

ROG - Creative Center | PureAlchemy Design Minneapolis commercial interior design, workplace design, retail showroom design

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CHAPTER 1. HOW IT BEGAN

INITIAL CONSULTATION: This was a new construction project and PUREALCHEMY DESIGN was asked to come in to design and project manage the build-out of the new showroom portion of the building.

CONCLUSIONS FROM DISCOVERY MEETING: The initial meeting was held to determine how to accommodate and showcase the large variety of products that River of Goods imports and has manufactured for them. During the discovery questioning it came up that it was a good time to infuse a more contemporary approach to things and with their move came the opportunity to refresh the brand. This was particularly important as much of what River of Goods sells has an old world quality to it and because of this the idea of being innovative in that field was a challenge. To support this concept, company management wanted to be certain that guests to the showroom were offered a unique experience when they visited.

CHALLENGES: The primary challenge here was to shift the way in which employees of River of Goods really thought of themselves as a company to help support their own transformation. The desire was to first create a space that embodied their desired brand experience first to be followed by the logo, website and ultimately the company culture itself.

In parallel to this brand revitalization came the company’s remediation of the very earth the new building was being built on. The site, once a contaminated site from the petroleum based railroad products required a necessary clean-up to make the land workable prior to building construction could even take place.

 

CHAPTER 2. THE PUREALCHEMY DESIGN FORMULA and RESULTS

OBJECTIVE: To develop a never before seen presentation in this market in the form of a “Modern Gallery Showroom”. The name “River of Goods’ brings to mind an amazing flow of interesting products from around the world. To bring that idea to life visually we wanted to create an actual flowing experience for showroom visitors allowing them to almost “feel” their way through. The experience needs to have a contemporary edge to keep the products themselves from feeling “old” and a sophisticated slant to make them consider every piece special and a real find or art piece. To showcase pieces as they might in a modern art gallery, a River of Goods Gallery showroom will be created.

LAYOUT: To keep the concept modern and sleek the use of white displays with hints of soft abstract curves (waves) to boldly exhibit pieces. Using the idea of islands, we can keep the categories of products grouped in ways that will make the buying experience easy and naturally organized.

ATMOSPHERE: To furthering the island theme, the general center of the showroom will be home to an island that can be “truly visited”. This island will contain the work/design center, coffee bar, and the intimate presentation area for clients. From this central location much of the showroom will be visible and feel like it is almost flowing around you. It is from this position that buyers will be introduced to the various categories of offerings that River of Goods has to share and further investigation can be initiated.

The white display island fixtures have a strong contrast with the warm floor (a stained warm sand brown with areas of translucent blue done in a way to look like shallow water rippling over the surface). Here we have the unexpected element, while the subtle wave references of the white display have the movement of the water they do not have the color and the stationary floor emits the color that the water should. Doing the color story in this way we can make a strong statement while maintaining versatility in what is showcased and making the experience an ever-evolving one.

CHAPTER 3. SUSTAINABILITY THROUGH REMEDIATION

Here's a great turnaround story: What was once a city waste site is now a beautiful home furnishings wholesale showroom, beaming with beauty and light with goods from around the world. As part of a city restoration, the site was excavated to depths of 12 feet in some areas to remove the waste and contaminated soil.

The new construction is a home accent and furnishing showroom, where beauty and light reside. Delicate pieces, such as Tiffany lamps, art, rugs, furniture and other exquisite pieces are displayed in a modern, gallery-like setting. Contemporary display islands contrast with the warm curves and old world aura of the antique inspired lamps and their modern cousins composed of custom stained glass.

Showcased much like museum or art gallery displays, each piece is given the attention it deserves by playing up the sharp contrast of a clean backdrop to an intricate piece. The custom designed and crafted white display islands are a mix of stationary and movable and modular in design, giving the owner’s creative reign when updating the space with new products.

Not to be overlooked, in this case the new branding was developed based on the design of the showroom itself. The hired marketing team came in to see what the new feel was and asked me about the ideas behind the design and from there their new branding strategy was developed.

AWARDS AND TESTIMONIALS

Winner of the Minnesota Brownfields Economic Development Impact Award, Constructed on a remediated former city waste site.

Testimonial:

“Stephany has great vision for visual, creative planning, and at the same time, she really listens and understands our business needs.” - Lavina Lau, President & CEO, River of Goods and Terrybear Urns & Memorials

 

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