The Laura Petites store in Toronto's Yorkdale Shopping Centre was doing well selling its merchandise to existing customers. But the retailer (part of Laura Canada, a well-established Canadian retailer) wanted to attract new customers and so it sought a new, spruced-up store environment as the answer.
Since cost was an issue, designers from Ruscio Studio (Montreal) decided to salvage as much as possible from the existing store – including a large part of the existing ceiling, tiled flooring and two fitting room areas – while refinishing and reusing many of the lacquered floor fixtures, wall panels and 95 percent of all of the existing recessed standards.
The new look was then delivered with updated finishes, fixtures and a more efficient lighting design. Starting at the store entrance, designers turned two existing 6-foot openings into one large 20-foot entryway. Adding to the drama is a new signature element comprised of a large custom-colored back-lit cantilevered arch that intersects with a white lacquered tower.
Inside, designers sought a boutique setting, eliminating large merchandise racks in favor of lower metal fixtures. A collection of nesting tables, two-way racks and mannequins replaced tall hanging racks that previously blocked shoppers' views. Anchoring the store is a translucent white skylight running the entire width of the store and illuminating the cashwrap and accessories areas.
A final fresh look was created by an 18-by-12-foot graphic vinyl flower burst hanging at the back of the store. This wall had been used to display dresses and coats. But now, it demands attention as a backdrop for a mannequin display.
Client: Laura Canada, Laval, Que.
Charles Fisher, director of construction
Roxanne Villeneuve, designer
Design: Ruscio Studio, Montreal
Robert Ruscio, principal designer
Yvette Casia, project manager, designer
Gabriela Moszczynska, designer
General Contractor: Belle Interiors, Oakville, Ont.
Ceilings: Barrisol, Quebec City, Que.
Fixturing, Millwork: Ebénisterie Les Boisseuers Inc., Terrebonne, Que.
Flooring: Tapitec, St. Laurent, Que.
Graphics, Wallcoverings: Metro Wallcoverings, Montreal
Lighting: Futura Lighting, Ste-Therese, Que.
Mannequins/Forms: DK Display, New York
Patina-V, Rexdale, Ont.
Signage: Media Modul, Laval, Que.
Photography: Carmelo Donato, Montreal