Seeking to elevate the awareness of its brands, Just Born Inc., hired RTKL to create a new retail flagship for its line of candy products including Peeps, Mike And Ike, Hot Tamales, Teenee Beanee and Peanut Chews. The resulting design is a fully-customized and branded retail environment that communicates each product’s uniqueness while still positioning them under a central Peeps and Company identity.

The 3,700-square-foot flagship opened in National Harbor, Md., in 2009. The design team came up with a “storyboard concept” set for the store. Within this concept the design team carefully selected all resources, from lighting, sound and video technology to interior finishes and materials, to bring the candy products to life in an integrated sensory retail experience.

The story begins the moment a customer walks through the front doors as shoppers are greeted with a giant glowing Peep centered in a white backdrop punctuated by individual brand colors. The store is then divided into four zones. The giant Peep is flanked by a Mike And Ike bulk candy wall housed in a giant graphic equalizer on one side and a Hot Tamales “How Hot are You?” thermometer on the other.

The company’s brands are also seasonal, so the theme of the retail environment transitions with the help of thousands of color-changing LED lights as the year rolls by. The lights help tell the story while the sounds help sell the various brands with through music and video.

The store is also built to LEED-CI Silver standards and is currently seeking certification from the U.S.reen Building Council.

Sustainable design elements include:

  • Energy efficient appliances and lighting fixtures
  • Green power to off-set energy emissions
  • Regionally-manufactured and recycled materials
  • Efficient water and plumbing fixtures
  • 75 percent of construction waste diverted from landfills
  • FSC certified wood
  • Low VOC paints, adhesives, sealants

The combination of innovative branding, environmental graphics, interior design features and integration of technology with the architecture work to create a successful and compelling retail experience for the visitor and consumer.

Project Name: Peeps and Company
Location: National Harbor, Md.
Square Footage: 3,700 square feet
Architects: RTKL
Owner/Client: Just Born Inc.
Design Consultants: M-Retail Engineering, Cooper Retail Consulting Group
Audio/Visual: One Solution Lighting Control
Ceiling: Ceilings Plus
Fixtures/Signage/Graphics: Fleetwood Fixtures
Fixtures: B&N Industries
Flooring: Cuccia Consulting Services
Lighting: Lighting Management Inc.
Signage/Graphics: Visual Graphics Systems Inc.
Wall Coverings: Innovations
Custom Wall Tile: Adriana Baler Studio
Sonic Branding: Senti