Las Vegas (March 19, 2014)—The 69 awards recognized last night by the Association for Retail Environments (A.R.E.) at a ceremony at the Four Seasons Hotel Ballroom in Las Vegas, honored all aspects of retail design from around the world. Winning projects were located in the U.S., South Africa, Chile, China, Turkey, Italy, Singapore and France.
This year’s Store of the Year Award was presented to RH Restoration Hardware in Boston, Mass. Celebrating its evolution from a traditional hardware retailer to a lifestyle brand, this 36,670-square-foot store — the retailer’s largest to date — is an immersive environment set in the original home of the Museum of Natural History, which was renovated to resemble its former glory. Decades of structural modifications such as a mezzanine level have been peeled away and original details were reinstated to match old photographs and architectural drawings.
Apple Stores won the Visual Presentation of the Year for its Apple 5s and 5c window displays worldwide. Created to mark the arrival of the iPhone 5s and 5c in stores, the windows epitomize the company’s innovative, modern reputation. They feature unique sculptures reflecting the material properties, precision manufacturing and attention to detail that go into the new iPhone models. Filling the windows of 325 Apple Stores on launch day, the company used 4.6 million injection-molded balls arranged into gradated grids, delivering a visual experience that encourages viewers to investigate different angles and points of view.
The Sustainability Project of the Year’s grand prize was awarded to Whole Foods Market in Detroit, which meets green building goals and creates an instant connection with shoppers in the urban neighborhood. To reduce energy needs, the store was built with 24 skylights, LED illumination for signage and frozen cases, low-e glazing and a white roof with high sustained reflectivity. Low-flow faucets and toilets reduce water consumption. The elimination of unnecessary finishes cut raw material impacts, while the ensuing exposed concrete, exposed duct work, exposed studs and open, unpainted ceiling enhance the store’s urban vibe.
Finally, Fixture of the Year was presented to Under Armour’s Well-branded Cashwrap in Baltimore, Md. The fixture left shoppers with a strong brand impression by utilizing a backlit logo reinforced by a logo icon behind the checkout counter. Also, adjacent to the point-of-sale equipment is touchscreen technology that allows for easy online shopping.
The Design Awards also presented 17 grand prizes, 16 outstanding merits, 32 individual awards for flooring, in-store communications, lighting, store fixtures, visual presentations, wall treatments, window displays and sustainability.
Judging the overall competition were: Sherif Ayad, id&Design International; Bevan Bloemendaal, Timberland; Tracy Dillon, Retail Environments magazine; Rob Jordahl, Belk Inc.; Chuch Luckenbill, OfficeMax; Fred Margulies, LEED AP, Herschman Architects; Patricia Sheehan VMSD magazine; Marianne Wilson, Chain Store Age.
In addition to the awards for retail design, recipients of the following prestigious industry awards were announced during the ceremony: A.R.E. Above & Beyond Award and the design:retail Markopoulos Award.
For full coverage of award-winning projects, visit www.aredesignawards.com, where you can also search award-winning projects and companies dating back to the year 2000. Print and digital versions of A.R.E.’s Winners Book will be available online and to magazine subscribers in early April. Copies of the Winners Book also are available at GlobalShop at A.R.E.’s booth No. 1207.
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A.R.E. (the Association for Retail Environments) is a non-profit trade association advancing the retail environments industry and our member companies. These international leaders include store fixture suppliers, retail design firms, suppliers of visual merchandising products, suppliers of materials and equipment for the industry and service providers such as 3PLs and installers. Through on-site, online, and on-target venues, A.R.E. connects retailers and brand marketers with the professionals who bring their brands to life.
A.R.E. is sponsor of GlobalShop, the annual industry trade show, and producer of Retail Design Collective, the annual industry showroom event in New York City. A.R.E.'s educational events for retailers and designers also include regional Shoptalks, while educational events for members include the annual Industry Summit.
A.R.E.’s magazine, Retail Environments, provides proprietary research and business information. A.R.E. connects members with buyers through its online, mobile and print directory known as Supplier|Connect. In social media, the association operates the industry's largest discussion forum.
For more information log on to www.retailenvironments.org