NBBJ Design provided retail prototype design and rollout services for Polo Ralph Lauren Factory Stores throughout the US and in Europe. Craig Hardman was the Project Manager and led the design team for the project being responsible for 50 stores over a 3 year period. In the early 1990s, these stores were sought after by developers and used as anchors for outlet store centers. The design level of these stores changed the perception of what an outlet store could be.
The prototype design approach was to have a common simple fixture package and a typical store organization and then to adapt that to have a regional look and feel for specific geographic locations. If the store were near the beach, colors and materials, accent features, and fixture finish and trim were chosen to fit a casual beach feel. Custom lights, doors and hardware were designed or selected to fit the look. Examples of three different stores are shown in the attached images.
The first store shown at Tannersville, Pennsylvania was designed to reflect the look of an industrial loft, common in this northeast location. We provided design direction to the building Architect for the basic building design including location and look of entries, the center clerestory windows and column locations with custom column covers. Fixtures had a light stain and simple trim to fit the utilitarian look. Recycled wood floors, the sisal like carpet, and custom pendant lights added to the factory look.
The next store shown in Lancaster, Pennsylvania called for a barn like building, beautiful simple woodwork and white walls to fit with the Shaker style typical in this area. Standard, but appropriate glass pendant “school lights”, special fixture pieces, displays and accessories were selected or designed to reinforce the look.
The third store shown was located in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, in the heart of “horse country”. Here there was less influence opportunity on the exterior, but the interior was designed with the refined casual country house look. This store is also an example of how we would use Polo branded products like wallpaper in the design of the store. All of the wall coverings we used, when we used them, were chosen from the Polo Ralph Lauren collections which served to reinforce the brand.
The rollout process of stores was a constant evolution of a prototype design, adapted to spaces of all different sizes and circumstances. The challenge was to accomplish construction plans for multiple stores at once and to comply with all sorts of municipal permit jurisdictions, and to have a unique regional design. Bidding and construction for stores was ongoing. Craig Hardman led the team of up to 8 people throughout this process.