Brooks Trailhead store takes “Run Happy” slogan to new level by Gail Deibler Finke
BRAND ON THE RUN
Runners can comment on their favorite races on the community wall beneath mannequins
taking a run break on the “bridge.” Yarn-wrapped supports and rails are part of an installation
showcasing local artists.
When your goal is “unretail,” the more invisible the store fix- tures are, the better. The fixtures at the Brooks
Trailhead store at the running shoe company’s new Seattle headquarters aren’t
actually invisible. But next to the brightly
colored, running-themed decor and even
more brightly colored shoes and athletic
gear, they are as unobtrusive as a timing
chip on a marathon runner’s shoe.
And that’s the way Richard Harman of
Visplay, Allentown, Pa., which produced
many of the store’s display fixtures, likes it.
“If you don’t see us in the store, we’ve been
particularly successful,” he says.
The store strikes a balance between high
concept and high demand. To avoid competing with Brooks’ wholesale customers, the
shop is more of an entertainment attraction
than a shopping destination. It was two
years in the making, with San Francisco-based Gensler starting on the design before
the building was even constructed.
Blazing a trail
Gensler was designing a bright, fun interior
for Brooks Sports’ offices when the company opted to create a destination store.
The distinctive new environmentally forward building is across the street from
the Burke-Gilman Trail, a popular 27-mile
running and biking trail in Seattle’s quirky
Fremont neighborhood. A figurative “
trailhead,” the store attracts people coming
to and from the Burke-Gilman and provides space for casual corporate meetings
and community events. Themed with the
Brooks slogan, “Run Happy,” it suggests the
communal feel of a run and what people do
or see while on one, says Alison Carr, design
director at Gensler.
“Brooks is the anti-Nike,” she explains.
“They’re not about performance, they’re for
everybody. Their idea is that everyone’s a