Nautical details throughout the space include the detailing and soft lines of the fixtures, while materials and finishes reference those
found on boats. The sails above the rigging shop are suspended by actual sailboat hardware. Plastic laminates and vinyl flooring
in the electronics area mimic teak wood.
tures in the apparel area were designed to
resemble storage areas in boats, with plastic laminates and glossy white PVC materials that simulate the gelcoat surfaces on
RETHINKING SIGNAGE AND GRAPHICS
Graphics, messaging, and “how to” content throughout the store reinforce West
Marine’s intent to serve as a trusted advisor to customers. Bergmeyer and West
Marine’s visual merchandising and store
design team, led by Paul Dunnder, worked
side by side with Bergmeyer on brand,
graphics, product signage, and display
development with the store’s vendors.
Following the strict graphic standards
and templates they established, Yunker
Industries Inc., based in Lake Geneva, Wis.,
engineered, produced, and installed many
of the graphics in the store, including large
product and lifestyle graphics, dimensional
headers and interactive displays for the
endcaps of Lozier-provided stock fixtures,
and a wide variety of specialized product
displays. Where necessary, Yunker engineered and fabricated custom brackets,
cleats, and other hardware for mounting
graphics. (Several of the larger endcap displays were provided by Display Boys, based
in Irvine, Calif.) To display about 50 different sizes and types of blocks and tackle
used on sailboats, Yunker created a three-sided acrylic pylon that spins and organized
the blocks by category of use, complete with
lifestyle image and product details.
Yunker hung small sails above the rigging area, using sailboat hardware from the
store. Larger, 16-foot sails provide graphic
interest near store windows.
BRINGING OUTSIDE LIGHT IN
Daylighting, in combination with a highly
energy-efficient lighting program, contributes both to customer and employee comfort and to sustainability efforts. Early in
the project, Bergmeyer worked with the
team at Stiles to modify the plan for the
building shell, moving windows from the
street level to clerestory, and replacing
clear glass with frosted glass in some areas
to allow light into the space without the
need for shades.
Stiles made significant efforts in the
area of sustainability as well, recycling 90
percent of construction debris. “The prin-
ciples were the same as we would use for
a LEED-certified store,” notes Zsembery.
PARADIGM SHIF T
In the two months that the new store has
been open, West Marine has seen a change
in how customers shop. “The traditional
customer is spending more time in the
store, the average order value is up, and the
basic shopping pattern has changed from
a needs-based or targeted visit to a wants-based or experience visit,” Ferguson says.
Just as importantly, he says, boat owners
who traditionally shopped alone are now
bringing in family members and friends
who participate in boating but do not necessarily own boats.
West Marine plans to roll out of many of
the new fixtures and displays developed for
this store into the company’s standard flagship and large-format stores in 2012.
Tracy Dillon is editor of Retail Environments.
Contact her at 954-893-7300, ext. 4832 or