Point A

A Samsonite luxury store
Posted April 12, 2004

Samsonite wanted a luxury store, called Point A, for the Mall at Columbia (Columbia, Md.), that would highlight the company's luggage, travel accessories and gift brands. It gave GRID2 (New York) 10 weeks to turn that vision into reality by creating a store with a clean and bold design that cut through the clutter of typical luggage retail stores.

Starting with the exterior, designers created a transparent façade of bronze and glass that communicates the luxurious nature of the brand, while allowing shoppers to see the merchandise before they enter the store. Overhead frosted glass panels complement the storefront, while new signage, comprised of a laser-cut glass panel with inserted backlit Plexiglas letters, illuminates the doorway and increases the store's visibility within the mall.

Inside, designers created a comfortable, home-like environment with decorative hanging lamps and an eye-catching flooring system, comprised of 36-by-36-inch Milliken carpet tiles in a colorful striped pattern.

"We increasingly recognize the floor surface as a huge canvas that often goes unutilized," says Steven Derwoed, Grid2 director of projects/designer. "With Point A, we saw it as an opportunity to make a bold statement about the brand and its perspective on fashion and style."

To showcase the merchandise, designers employed a modular fixturing system that is adaptable to seasonal displays. In addition, coffee tables and bookshelves house an array of luggage products, while smaller designer items, such as pens and travel goods, are displayed on accessory towers.

Client: Samsonite, Warren, R.I. - Paul Ouellette, vp, store development; Mike Zucker, vp, merchandising; Bob Farone, president

Design: Grid2 Intl., New York - Martin Roberts, president; Akka Ma, executive vp; Betty Chow, vp, creative director; Steven Derwoed, director of projects/designer; Valerie Buchheit, junior designer; Dimitri Vermés, director, marketing and communications

Outside Design Consultant: Lighting Management Inc., New City, N.Y. (lighting)

Suppliers: IZIT Leather, Long Island City, N.Y. (fabrics); Spectrum Display, Tiverton, R.I. (fixturing); Milliken Carpet, Spartanburg, S.C. (flooring); Visual Graphic Systems Inc., New York (signage); Quarella, Verona, Italy (tile)