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Simons victorious

The 2014 EuroShop RetailDesign Awards were handed out late Sunday evening at the Capitol Theatre in Dusseldorf, Germany.

Figure3, the Canadian design firm behind the La Maison Simons store concept, was awarded top honours, with Simons West Edmonton Mall named one of the world’s top-three best retail stores of 2013. This is the first time a Canadian design firm has been recognized for the top design award.

Other shortlisted projects include Karl Lagerfeld, Paris; Montreux Jazz Cafe, London; and Whole Foods Market, Detroit.

Says Figure3 principal Chris Wright, “To represent Canadian design on this level feels incredible. We are thrilled to be a one hundred per cent Canadian team working with an iconic Canadian retailer. This award helps bring international attention to the amazing design work coming out of Canada.”

La Maison Simons has been an iconic Canadian fashion retailer for over 170 years.  In the midst of an ambitious national expansion, the Edmonton store represents Simons’ first foray outside francophone Quebec. Given Canada’s diverse demographic and geographic profile (over 3,000 kilometres separate the two provinces), comprehensive ethnographic research was undertaken by Toronto-based figure3 to identify consumer types in this distinct market. 

The 10,684-square-metre store designed by Figure3 and realized by Quebec’s Lemay Michaud, invites shoppers to explore the fashion environment by cultivating moments and “touch points” for each of the consumer types established – including developing a custom fitting room experience for each consumer type. Departments are punctuated by key design features that include serpentine wood-screened areas in the women’s department, a tongue-in-cheek men’s club and a “skater-boy” cave.

Inspired by the aurora borealis, Canadian artist Philip Beesley created Simons Aurora – a stunning canopy of crystalline columns that form a gently swelling and rippling ocean of light.

On the exterior vertical, sinuous titanium blades lighten the facade while a nine-metre cube of glass cuts into the corner of the building – illuminating the entrance and drawing people inside.

The influence of digital media is pervasive in Figure3’s design. From digital tablets interfacing with the e-commerce site to a “Photostar” booth for real-time social media photo sharing, the Simons in-store shopping experience is fully wired.

ABOUT FIGURE3

Toronto’s largest independent multi-disciplinary design firm, FIgure3 is committed to creating spaces that are functional, inspired and authentic – meeting the needs of people at home, at work and at play. For more info, visit www.figure3.com

ABOUT EUROSHOP

EuroShop is the world’s biggest capital goods show for the retail business. The EuroShop themes range from shopfitting, store design and architecture to lighting and refrigeration, from visual merchandising, displays and POP marketing to IT and security technology. Initiated in 1966 by EHI, it has since been organised by Messe Düs¬seldorf with the expert assistance of EHI. For more info, visit www.euroshop-tradefair.com

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