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FIRST PLACE: Johnny Cupcakes

Submitted by: Bergmeyer | Photography: Ben Gebo, Somerville, Mass.




2023 International Visual Competition Awards

In-Store Apparel Presentation

WHEN THE OPPORTUNITY arose for Johnny Earle, Founder of Johnny Cupcakes (Weymouth, Mass.), to move his existing store on Newbury Street in Boston to a newer location closer to Mass Ave., he looked toward reinvigorating his brand through a larger, more accessible space that would allow flexibility to host small events or feature new product categories. Driven mainly by sensory merchandising through a mix of sights, sounds and smells, Johnny Cupcakes is known for its immersive customer journey.

“Johnny’s passion for humor, games, playfulness and inclusivity are deeply embedded in his success story and the vision for his store’s design,” says Angela Dewar, Associate, Senior Interior Designer, Bergmeyer (Boston). “We decorated the store like a retro bakery with a checkered floor and scalloped ‘frosting’ details. Our team also designed a custom millwork display that showcases Johnny’s new line of greeting cards and sense of humor.”

THIS PAGE Filled with sights, sounds and smells, Johnny Cupcakes’ latest store combines retro elements and immersive design. THIS PAGE: Filled with sights, sounds and smells, Johnny Cupcakes’ latest store combines retro elements and immersive design.

Divided into four different experiences, customers first enter the “fakery” through oversized, turquoise-colored oven doors. Styled like a retro bakery, refrigerated display cases house apparel. Toward the back of the space, guests collect merchandise through a wall of faux ovens. The center showcases greeting cards, a new offering from the retailer; custom-built TV sets above the greeting cards stream vintage movies and cartoons. The icing on top: Bakery smells are pumped into the store, adding an extra sensory oomph for visitors.

And the best part for the design team? “Working with Johnny,” says Dewar. “He was the brainchild behind this exciting brand, and collaborating with him on this store design was so inspiring. He is also an amazingly kind person, making the process even sweeter.”


Our 2023 judges were taken by the store’s unusual apparel presentation and sensory engagement. If you’re searching for a unique way to merchandise T-shirts, look no further than this winning project.

📷 Ben Gebo, Somerville, MA




MasterClass: ‘Re-Sparkling’ Retail: Using Store Design to Build Trust, Faith and Brand Loyalty

HOW CAN WE EMPOWER and inspire senior leaders to see design as an investment for future retail growth? This session, led by retail design expert Ian Johnston from Quinine Design, explores how physical stores remain unmatched in the ability to build trust, faith, and loyalty with your customers, ultimately driving shareholder value.

Presented by:
Ian Johnston
Founder and Creative Director, Quinine Design

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