This tag is associated with 21 posts

Architecture + Branding: Dealership design leans to luxury in lockstep with Mazda’s increasingly premium positioned product portfolio

1-Aiming higher In the last decade or so, the luxury vehicle marketplace in the United States has been in transition as traditional luxury brands, especially the German triumvirate, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi, have been chasing down every niche, and moving steadily downstream in search of increased volume. Conversely, mass-market automobile manufacturers have been making attempts … Continue reading

Architecture + Branding: Divergent branded store portfolio imitates one of Nike’s long held axioms

1-Global powerhouse Few would have believed that a gamble on importing Japanese-made running shoes into the US market would pen the opening chapters on what would become the story of the dominant name in sports apparel. In 1964, Phil Knight and legendary track coach Bill Bowerman founded Blue Ribbon Sports with the initial mission to … Continue reading

Architecture + Branding: Few vestiges remain from basic big box store design as Walmart experiments with expressive new design language in denser urban locales

1-Dot-com bubble replay? It feels like we’ve seen this movie before. US stock markets are making all time highs (ATHs), the Euro is making fresh lows against the dollar, and a Clinton is running for the highest office in the land. When the Nasdaq first broke through 5000 through the late 1990s into 2000, justaboutanything.com, … Continue reading

Architecture + Branding: Curvaceous facade of Porsche dealership design prototype emblematic of German brand’s “form follows function” mantra

1-More common, still exclusive If you find yourself seeing more Porsches on the road, at the mall, on your commute, or in the Costco parking lots, you are hardly alone. A product onslaught has seen sales continue to grow as the brand entered new uncharted market segments. Derided by purists, the introduction of the Cayenne … Continue reading

Architecture + Branding: Sparse American Apparel retail store design shifts focus squarely on merchandise

1-Twin streams After a disappointing Christmas holiday shopping season, many retailers, and especially fashion retailers, tend to dominate the business headlines for several weeks into the new year. However, for L.A.-based American Apparel, the troubles began much earlier. On October 5, 2015, after tumultuous years, the company filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in the United … Continue reading

Architecture + Branding: Price Chopper attempts to shed old labels and recast the grocery store for what’s next

1-Industry under siege The grocery business has generated significant press in recent months, and not necessarily for similar reasons. In the summer of 2015, Whole Foods’s New York City weight debacle surfaced, tarnishing the brand’s enviable reputation, and putting a dent in its esteem on both Main Street and Wall Street (source: cnbc.com). Internet retailer … Continue reading

Architecture + Branding: Customization and personalization, MINI brand hallmarks, evident across their dealership portfolio

1-Hello! Again. When MINI burst back onto the scene in 2001, it was an automotive revolution. A spiritual successor to Alec Issigonis’s iconic 1960’s era Morris Mini-Minor/Austin Mini models, the new MINI Cooper combined British cult car nostalgia with modern German engineering and manufacturing. Small, quirky, funky, the new MINI combined unique style with tossable … Continue reading

Architecture + Branding: Payless ShoeSource ties up its expansive store portfolio with colours

1-We aren’t (just) in Kansas anymore Located in malls, shopping strips/power centres and street-facing addresses, Payless ShoeSource stores are common across the nation. The undisputed “specialty family footwear retailer” in the Western Hemisphere, Payless eclipses other national footwear/shoe retail chains, doubling or tripling rivals such as Famous Footwear, Footlocker, Journey’s, Shoe Show or The Shoe … Continue reading

Architecture + Branding: Inconsistent design and location first approach ultimately dilutes GAP’s questionable built design equity

1-Tough slog It has been rather difficult slog for fashion retail in the last few quarters. Canadian retailers MEXX, and Jacob, have shuttered their operations. In early 2015, Wet Seal, Aéropostale, and Deb Shops have announced that they will be shuttering stores, or will be ceasing operations altogether. (source: retailndustry.about.com, cnbc.com). Photo: MEXX, front 3/4 view, 4190 Rue St-Denis … Continue reading

Architecture + Branding: Chevrolet driving dealer body towards a future under the blue arch

1-Narrowing the focus In the post-WWII era to around the Nixon presidency, General Motors (GM) dictated much of the American automotive scene. In the decades since, GM has stumbled and squandered much of their legacy and goodwill through mismanagement, general unresponsiveness to changing market demands and lacklustre product quality. Import brands had chipped away at … Continue reading