Before Nordstrom came on the scene, Marshall Field's State Street store prepared for battle by practically doubling the size of its shoe department to almost 34,700 square feet, to accommodate 50,000 pairs of shoes.
A key part of the strategy, explains Jack Houston, principal of Houston Wein Associates Inc. (Chicago), was to create a more modern, residential environment. The shoes are mostly merchandised out on the floor, with several walls reserved for art and furnishings -- what Houston calls "ambience and visuals."
In addition to fanciful displayers, original art and stylized light fixtures, the spacious area includes private VIP rooms for special customers. (Oprah, perhaps?) Cross-selling, or lifestyle merchandising, occurs on several full-bodied mannequins dressed head-to-toe -- a rarity in shoe departments, Houston says. Currently, Target Corp. is rolling out the shoe department prototype into other Marshall Field's stores. The locations may include former Dayton's and Hudson's department stores, now being converted to Marshall Field's.
Initial Design Conception: Pucci Intl., New York -- Phillip Cozzi, design director Design Team: Houston Wein Associates Inc., Chicago - Jack Houston and Nancy Wein, principals; Jeffrey Stompor, senior designer; Robert Soderholm, project manager
Client Design: Target Corp. Department Store Division, Minneapolis - Paul Calderon, design director; Brian Dowd, project coordinator; Jamie Becker, visual coordinator; Len Larson, project manager with Marshall Field's, Chicago
Outside Consultants: Pepper Construction, Chicago (general contractor); Craftsmen United, Milwaukee (perimeter fixture contractor)
Suppliers: Armstrong World Industries Inc., Lancaster, Pa. (ceilings); Glant Textiles, Seattle, Donghia Textiles, New York, and HBF Textiles, Hickory, N.C. (fabrics); Lees Carpets, Glascow, Va., and Emser Tile, Los Angeles (flooring); HBF, Hickory, N.C., and Baker Furniture, Minneapolis (furniture); Maharam, Hauppauge, N.Y. (wallcoverings); Renato Bisazza, Miami (wall tile); Rudy Art Glass, York, Pa. (specialty glass); Veneer Specialists, Chicago (veneers); Wilsonart Intl., Temple, Texas (laminate)
Photographer: Susan Kezon, Chicago