The new 40,000 SF marketplace retail facility at the Allendale campus of Grand Valley State University will be open to students this month.
The planning of the store started in 2012 when the University Book Store team researched other university stores to see the trends in campus retail. We weren’t surprised to learn:
- Books are no longer the big seller. If students haven’t converted to electronic books, they probably are shopping online for the best price for used books. The name of the store is now officially GVSU Laker Store, no more “book” store.
- Food and technology are part of the experience. At GVSU Laker Store there will be a department where students can purchase hardware and software for most of their technology needs. Adjacent to the store, outside the door, Starbucks and Which Wich are ready to capture the shoppers on their arrival and exits.
- They are competing with off campus retail experiences for fashion and active wear. For GVSU Laker Store that means competing with product mix, service and store design. That’s where r.o.i. Design comes in.
As part of the Fishbeck Thompson Carr & Huber (FTC&H) design team, we worked with the store staff, GVSU facility managers and FTC&H to come up with a competitive experience. The criteria for design was to create a space that resonates with the student experience of “making unique choices”. We want the student to recognize themselves in some elements or parts of the store through the variety of finishes and graphics. We wanted them to take ownership and be proud of their school store. “Lakers for Life”.
Some of our favorite parts of the design:
- Custom tile: using the universal symbols for academic departments, we created a mosaic of color to indicate all choices of study and types of students were welcome here.
- Media Display: In the taller part of the store, 9 screens create a large display that can either show one large image or up to 9 individual images. The plan is to show real time GVSU athletic games and musical performances while students and their family shop.
- Custom graphics: using the letters G, V, S and U, we created a “cloud” type graphic using different fonts and colors again to represent that the GVSU experience is as diverse as its community and highly connected through technology.
- The Laker Wave: the two story volume holds over 250 translucent blades of cloth that together attempt to create the image of moving water. The gesture of the blades texture the interior but also impact the look of the exterior as they are seen through the wall of curtain glass.
- Reclaimed wood: throughout the interior and exterior there is reclaimed wood siding. The internal staircase in the store is a friendly combination of wood, color and light.
- Color: (Photo) challenging the campus standards of GVSU blue and white, GVSU Laker Store is vibrant as it reflects the many colors of the fashion shown in the store.