Business travelers and tourists visiting the Las Vegas Hilton can have a sweet trip to the candy shop without leaving their hotel. Candymania, a retail store located off the hotel lobby, was designed to satisfy the sweet tooth in people of all ages.
"The Las Vegas Hilton is not a children's market," says Steven Shaiken, senior vice president of the Hilton retail and licensing division. "Regardless of what people are doing, they like to buy candy, they like to eat it."
When Oakbrook Terrace, Ill.-based Schafer was chosen to help Hilton develop its own retail concepts and brands, the design firm came up with the Candymania concept and design. Shaiken, who had past experience with Schafer, says Hilton chose the company because of its proactive approach.
Because hotel guests buy candy for their children, for gifts and even for themselves, a candy store seemed appropriate.
"The inspiration was classic candy, like star mints and gumballs," says Beth Howley, a principal at Schafer. "It's all about the celebration of candy."
The next challenge for the Schafer team was designing Candymania so it would draw people in. Hilton wanted to make sure people would not just walk by but walk in, Shaiken says. To grab the customer's attention, Schafer used striking colors and shapes reminiscent of classic candy.
Perhaps most noticeable is the brightly colored Sherwin-Williams ProMar 200 paint. The colors Schafer chose included Green Parakeet, Novelty Purple, Deco Coral and Midas Touch. The paint also was beneficial because of its durability and depth of color, Howley says.
"The store explodes out into the corridor, which brings in the customer," Howley says. "Sherwin-Williams paint best depicted the bright colors that were part of the candy."
Other aspects of the design including flooring, fixtures and lighting were inspired by the shapes and colors of classic candy. The Schafer design team wanted Candymania to radiate a "kid in a candy store" enthusiasm, Howley says.
To achieve this, Schafer decided on vinyl flooring in a large purple-and-white swirl pattern similar to that of traditional red-and-white peppermint candy. Also, the Candymania logo over the storefront has more than a dozen colors. A huge gumball tower wraps around the corner of the entrance, marked with the repeating tagline, "I want candy I want candy I want candy." The store's self-select bulk and pre-packaged items are presented in large, clear-acrylic dispenser tubes and bins topped with giant colorful gumballs.
The lighting, says Shaiken, highlights the store's graphics and is one of the best aspects of the design. The design team used incandescent light in quartz capsulate fixtures to illuminate the store, which allows the colors to pop out.
Candymania targets mostly adult shoppers but distinguishes itself by appealing to all kinds of people in all age groups.
"It has universal appeal," Howley says. "Some candy stores lean toward the juvenile in their attitude. Candymania has classic candy as well as candy that children like."
The Las Vegas Hilton is currently the only Hilton to have a Candymania store, but another is being built in the Chicago Hilton and Towers.