Castered fixtures have helped Juxtapose maximize product display functionality while capturing an industrial mood.

If the intent in designing Juxtapose was to create a sense of industrial flair, the store's fixtures on wheels roll smoothly in line with the design strategy. Both the Duluth, Minn.-based junior apparel retailer and the store designer, James Mansour Design, New York, wanted to see the prototype store through to an energized, eclectic conclusion. The fixtures, they say, play an important role in setting that mood, while also affording the store mobile display options.

"We felt that casters added to the look of the fixture as it pertains to the rest of the store," explains Kathy Bakke, Juxtapose's store planning director. "But from a functionality standpoint, we also realized that the casters would be beneficial for the store associates if they needed to move fixtures around to accommodate product turnover, cleaning and other maintenance issues."

The rolling modules, fabricated by Ontario Store Fixtures, Westin, Ontario, are made from a mix of natural wood, galvanized pipe and vinyl and offer more to the store than image-conscious functionality. Mansour Design used the fixtures as a forum for eye-catching lifestyle graphics that would normally be relegated to the store front, cash wrap or wall space.

Minon Zinzell, project manager with James Mansour Design, agrees with Bakke, emphasizing how the fixtures continue the design strategy. "The reason for these fixtures being on wheels was to capture an industrial look," she says. "The design of the store and its fixtures comes from the New York club concept, where old warehouses and buildings have been transformed into night spots with a raw, unfinished design."

The store design may remind shoppers of a cavernous, music-thumping dance hall, but it also offers shoppers interactive elements, such as a juice bar and lounge, interactive kiosks, and pay telephones. The store also is appointed with customer-controlled sound domes that allow visitors to select and hear many types of music.

"We recognize that the customer wants to be entertained in and pleased by the environment she's shopping in," says Ron White, Juxtapose's general manager, adding that the more engaging the store environment the longer the customer is apt to stay. "But the store design is not just for our customers, it's for their friends and family who are looking for something to do in addition to shopping."

Zinzell says her firm conducts market research and preplanning so the design will match how the retailer wishes to connect with its customer. The fixture implementation, she notes, was essential in establishing a mood that catered to Juxtapose's main customers.

"We check everything we do with strategy and key word brainstorming to make sure the brand image is enhanced," she explains. "For Juxtapose, our design intent was directed at the teen-age girl. She likes to go to clubs but isn't old enough yet, so that's where we chose materials and fixtures on wheels to create that look and feeling for her."