| JGA, Inc. |
29355 Northwestern Hwy.
Southfield, MI 48034
| Location: |
Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies,
Size: 3,815 sq. ft.
Firm: JGA, Inc.
Developer/Owner: Robert Masterson
| The gift shop is designed as the cargo hold of a sunken ship. More than a room filled with souvenirs, the Cargo Hold Gift Shop becomes an extension of the aquarium experience. Signage, custom fixtures and finishes are shiplike in character, complete with metal rivets, wooden crates, portholes and oil drums. |
Thematic elements, such as a wall of wood crates sporting graphic emblems Great Barrier Reef and Ship to Ripley's, emulate the shiplike feel and become the slatwall merchandising system. A massive ceiling height highlights mezzanines of catwalks with rusted railings and bolts displaying thematic elements. "Fragile" crates hang from the ceiling with giant octopi draped over the top. Porthole display windows house pole systems to merchandise crystal and giftware, visible from the aquarium side and within the store.
Inside the entrance, a group of three yellow "specimen tanks" display fine crystal and gifts. Connected by tubing which emulates the aquarium system, a backdrop of specialty bubble glass in the tanks provides a realistic underwater feel to the display. Oil drums with specialty graphic emblems hold plush merchandise. The children's department features a lower ceiling with steel trusses and hanging "warning lights" serving as beacons to draw shoppers inside.