As El Portal (Maple Grove, Minn.) embarked on a 30-store expansion across the U.S., it decided it needed a fresh setting for displaying its multi-branded line of luggage, handbags and leather accessories. In addition, the design had to be versatile enough that it could be applied in any new El Portal store, regardless of size or market.
SCA Design (Henderson, Nev.) created a 3500-square-foot store at the Shops at South Point (Durham, S.C.), with the idea that the design could work in other store and mall locations. According to Sheldon Colen, SCA's principal-in-charge, El Portal wanted to carry over several elements from existing stores into the new design, including the sculptured travel scene and logo displayed above the entryway, the walnut travertine used on the storefront and the sandblasted El Portal logo in the tile entryway. The designers matched these perennial favorites with modern touches, including a uniform finish for all of the casework, as well as one wallpaper finish. "The wallpaper actually has a leather feel to it, which is what we tried to introduce into the store to match the leather feel of the product," Colen explains.
Around the perimeter of the store, undershelf fluorescent light fixtures highlight products featured on shelves, while recessed lighting and 2-by-2-foot parabolic lenses placed in an acoustic ceiling illuminate the sales floor.
A modular floor and perimeter fixturing system was chosen that could easily be rearranged depending on the store's size or particular merchandise focus. Colen adds that metal floor fixtures carry out the fresh, new look and the modern image of the store's many accessories vendors, such as Kenneth Cole, Coach and Oakley.
Sheldon Colen, SCA Design, Henderson, Nev.
Client Team: El Portal, Maple Grove, Minn. - Donny Borsack, ceo; Janie Taylor, visual merchandising; Chris Unick, design team member.
Design Team: SCA Design, Henderson, Nev. - Sheldon Colen, principal-in-charge; Tari Fowler, project manager
Suppliers: USG, Chicago (ceilings); Woodmasters, Bolingbrook, Ill. (fixturing); Collins & Aikman, Dalton, Ga. (flooring); Capital Light, Hartford, Conn. (lighting); LCS, Los Angeles (signage); MDC, Vernon, Calif. (wall coverings)