With rough-hewn wood, indus- trial accents, and open- plenum ceilings, a new unified look for Mark’s embodies its
heritage of rugged, durable clothing.
A victim of its own success, Mark’s stores
had grown too fast and too big. Originally
based in workwear, the Canadian retailer
had added brands and categories that gave
customers a wide choice of casual and
active garments, but often at the expense
of finding their way through its nearly
400 cavernous stores.
As the footprints had grown (the average
store had doubled in size over the past 10
years), the retailer had added more of the
same fixtures without scaling up. Designed
for smaller spaces, these fixtures cluttered
up larger stores and sent customers hunting through oceans of racks and tables.
Enter Montreal-based Ruscio Studio,
brought on to redesign a flagship in
Winnipeg, Manitoba, as a new prototype
for the brand across the country.
Scale, scalability, and shopability
“The scale was off,” says Robert Ruscio,
president and principal designer of Ruscio
Studio. The design needed to be simplified, and changing the scale of the fixtures
meant changes in logistics as well as looks.
“The new fixtures needed to open up sight-lines, but that means more folding on side
units, so the retailer would need to remer-chandise,” he says.
But the design directive was bigger than
that. The stores had to be easier to shop,
with a look that returned to what made the
Mark’s prototype hearkens back to its industrial roots by Gail Deibler Finke
The casual denim area has a personality
of its own created by plywood shelves
made to look like distressed wood,
gondolas with oversized industrial wheels,
tile floors reminiscent of concrete, and
industrial pendant lights. The varying
heights and styles of the displays
invite customers to explore.
Back to Work
Mark’s | Winnipeg, Manitoba
Size: 18,000 sf
Design: Ruscio Studio
Fixtures: Artitalia and Wm. Prager Ltd.
Brick veneer: Texture Plus
Vinyl flooring: Mannington Commercial
Denim fixture design: Factory Design Worx