The relaunched 3,650 square foot Yorkdale store features a considerably more open and transparent facade, showcasing product from its corner location. RW&CO worked with New York City-based design firm MNA (which has worked with Bergdorf Goodman and Ralph Lauren) to create a retail space of "discovery,” featuring distinct environments throughout the store. RW&CO explains how the designers "looked to residential design that spoke to materiality and workspace projects, which helped them to create the communal aspects of the project.”
The store’s interior includes ample use of natural materials, including stone floors, marble tabletops and wood in various fixtures. Whimsical antiques are placed throughout the space, providing character rarely seen in new store design. Digital signage in the store, highlighting product and concept, were created by Stingray Business.
RW&CO President Lori Tisi explained that adding antiques was part of the design to make the store look as if it was ‘already there’, and is a play on the juxtaposition of old and new. RW&CO’s VP of Marketing and Visual Presentation Marketing director Michele Slepekis explained how the store incorporates a periodic table as part of its ‘Pantology’ campaign — RW&CO is particularly known for its bottoms, utilizing the slogan “we have the formula for your perfect pant."
“Discovery” is key to the store’s design. Instead of the store having a clear path down the centre, Yorkdale’s RW&CO has products hung and laid throughout — customers navigate the store and find new product at every turn. Antiques add a further element of interest to the space, addressing experiential retail design which is a trend among many successful retailers.
Dressing rooms at the back of the store are spacious and modern, featuring clean design elements, flattering lighting and ample mirrors. A salesperson pointed out a unique feature — a cup holder in one of the dressing rooms for those shopping with a beverage.
It’s all part of the experience in the new store, and RW&CO will begin renovating stores in top Canadian malls to reflect the new design aesthetic. The company’s CF Sherway Gardens unit also recently saw the same refresh, with more to follow, according to Ms. Tisi. Walter Lamothe, President of Retail and Chief Operating Officer, Reitmans Canada Ltd. (RW&CO is owned by Reitmans) said that there will be more exciting news about the company’s various banners, as it looks to innovate in order to address increased competition.
*Photos were provided courtesy of ASC Public Relations.