Performance Bicycle’s target customers are the type of cycling enthusiasts who know what they want before they even walk into the store. The problem was that the retailer’s store environments (which average 7200 square feet) lacked organization and visual excitement making it difficult to fulfill those needs, say James Hilyard, vp of visual merchandising and store design, Performance Bicycle.
Working with L & P Studio (Chicago), the team completed a fixturing overhaul, including perimeter, floor and display fixtures that put its bikes in the spotlight while clarifying the shopping experience with integrated navigation, messaging and hierarchy within the displays.
“We wanted to position more bikes on the floor to bring merchandise up front and center to tell compelling stories,” Hilyard says. “And we needed the fixturing display to better showcase our assortment and the complexity of the bike components.”
The new fixturing program – which has been rolled out to 13 new stores and a handful of remodels – calls for a universal hardware system for flexible change-outs, a sign holder system to highlight promotions in the apparel department, vignettes to showcase bikes, and entrance platforms and displayers in the front of the store.
The merchandising display pieces provide the needed background to make the product – bikes, shoes and accessories – work together as feature elements, says Marty Locke, director of design, L & P Studio. “The function of the displays was critical,” she says.
Three new vignettes are used as feature lead-ins to the apparel department and incorporate signage, graphics and a platform base that can accommodate sign holders, mannequins and bikes using a puck-based system. A new, universal sign holder works with faceouts and floor fixtures to make it easier for customers to understand current promotions and messaging.
In the shoe department, a “hero wall” along the back stages all the shoe offerings, while displayers at shelf level guide guests to specific models and sizes. Designers also integrated new seating, endcaps, mirrors and recycling receptacles for used socks in and around the shoe aisles.
In addition to a clarified shopping experience, the retailer discovered that customers wanted the opportunity to try out bikes before purchasing them. So Performance Bicycle introduced a Spin Zone, where shoppers can take any bike off the floor and test drive it in front of a virtual screen with a mock view of a mountain or park trail. They also reconfigured the Spin Doctor area, where customers take their bikes for maintenance and repairs, with a check-in platform for consultations and an impulse p-o-p area on the side of the counter.
Just as cyclists are always looking to improve their speed, the entire design and development process of the Performance Bicycle fixturing program eased to the finish line within six months.
Retailer: Performance Bike, Chapel Hill, N.C. – James Hilyard, vp, visual merchandising and store design; Ken Brugh, vp, real estate and construction; Ken Tunnell, director, construction; Marvelyn Albert, manager, graphics and visual; Cathy Blair, creative director, marketing
Design Firm: L & P Studio, Chicago – Marty Locke, director; Tim Copeland, senior product designer
Audio/Visual: PlayNetwork, Frisco, Texas
Fixtures, Furniture: Leggett & Platt, Ft. Worth, Texas
Acrylics: Color Brite, Cincinnati
Flooring: Store Floors, Atlanta
Lighting: Villa Lighting, St. Louis
Mannequins and Forms: Mondo, New York
Signage and Graphics: SGP, Dalton, Ga.
Exterior Signage: Advanced Sign Group, Columbus, Ohio
Architect: Cowan + Associates, Worthington, Ohio – Tony Crawford
General Contractor: Building Constructions Solutions, Sandy Springs, Ga. – Gordon Singer, president