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Schmitt Music Hits a High Note with Latest Store Concept

Concept: Here are five standout design features from the retailer’s new location in Bloomington, Minn.



TRANSFORMED FROM A former industrial office space, Schmitt Music recently opened a new concept for curious browsers and serious musicians alike.

📷: Brennan Photo, Saint Paul, Minn.

📷: Brennan Photo, Saint Paul, Minn.


Aiming to ensure the ease of merchandising, the design team utilized slatwall. “The versatility allowed for creative merchandising from small accessory displays to covering a wall in hanging saxophones,” says Cori Kuechenmeister, Director of Design, Shea, the Minneapolis-based firm charged with the new flagship’s design.


Finding unique ways to display instruments of varied shapes created a VM challenge. “We solved this by designing custom fixtures and cabinetry that was incorporated into the store design,” says Kuechenmeister. “There is a display of custom shelving that holds trumpets, which is now referred to as ‘the trumpet wall.’ ”


Furniture in the space is purposely comfortable, lounge style seating. A variety of seating options encourages customers to dwell and relax while waiting for a repair, or to simply take a break when shopping. “The Sax Shop has a special tufted booth inspired by styles you might find in a jazz club,” adds Kuechenmeister.


The countertop has a shiny look, reminiscent of piano keys. “We needed a product that was very durable and able to handle the various transactions and large [instrument] cases that would be sliding across the counter,” says Kuechenmeister. She adds that the warm wood throughout the space was incorporated to create an inviting atmosphere.


Kuechenmeister says sightlines were “absolutely important,” throughout the space, which is dominated by a range of instruments, practice rooms and tactile materials. Upon entry, customers can easily see across the different galleries around the store.

Makaela Mertic is VMSD's spring 2023 Editorial Intern. She is currently a student studying journalism at the University of Cincinnati. In addition to holding the position of Treasurer for the University of Cincinnati Association of Black Journalists (UCABJ), Makaela is also an active member of Cru Cincinnati and the University of Cincinnati Mountaineering Club.



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