RW&Co., a new concept by Canadian retailer Reitmans, is for hip young shoppers whose appetites for fashion are unlimited, but whose budgets are not. II BY IV Design Associates (Toronto) designed a hangout that's cool enough to appeal to kids, but non-threatening to shop-along parents and wary landlords.
The store at Limeridge Mall, Hamilton, Ont., balances such rustic elements as painted tongue-and-groove panels, recovered barnboard and aged saddle leather with more contemporary materials like Plexiglas, satin nickel and textured glass. Huge backlit lifestyle photographs and oversized framed posters illustrate the desired fashion-forward tone. Fixtures are multi-functional. Two-foot-square, glass-topped floor displays can accommodate single or double hang, accept shelves for folded products, become jewelry cases when finished with slide-in walls and doors, or house a center panel-belt display. Overscale, armoire-like fixtures have interchangeable supports for side-hang, front-hang or folded product, all centered on built-in layout tables. Amenities like a listening lounge with comfortable club chairs, a help-yourself refrigerator stocked with store-branded water and an Internet station make RW&Co. seem just like home -- only way better because it's not.
Client Team: Reitmans, Montreal -- Sue Vovko, president; Stephen Reitman, executive vp of Reitmans Canada Ltd. Design Team: II BY IV Design Associates Inc., Toronto -- Dan Menchions and Keith Rushbrook, partners; Yvonne Ho and Judy Robbertsen, design team
General Contractor: R. Mac Contracting, Scarborough, Ont.
Suppliers: Ebenisterie G.D. Pro Inc., Montreal (fixtures, fitting room chairs); West Lincoln Barnboard and Beams, Winona, Ont. (wood floor); Vi Flooring, Saanicton, B.C. (carpet); Olympia Tile, Toronto (ceramic tile); Litemore, Toronto, and Eurolite, Toronto (lighting); Avantec Metal Inc., St. Leonard, Que., and Fermos Inc., Montreal (metal); Design Emphasis, Montreal (lounge chairs); Metro Wallcoverings, Concord, Ont., and Crown Wallpaper, Rexdale, Ont. (wallcoverings); Bronte Design, Toronto (fabric treatment on lighted columns); Paint Fx, Toronto (false beams); Scythes Inc., Toronto (canopies)
Photography: David Whittaker, Toronto