Acting as Interior Designer, Environmental Graphics Designer and Architect of Record, the firm’s goal was to develop a store that was saturated with the storied history of the Chicago Cubs and pay homage to the legends both on the field and off. The client requested a retail setting that not only allowed the customers to stock up on the latest and most unique Cub’s gear quickly before the start of a game, but an experiential environment that allowed the fans to view the team’s trophies and create a memory on the second floor with Augmented Reality green screen installation.
In order to satisfy a customer that, at times, would need to check out quickly to get to their seats for the first pitch, the firm efficiently laid out eight cash wraps to meet demand when lines become long. Movable fixtures allowed for space adaptations and reconfigurations to accommodate always-changing and seasonal merchandise: from blankets to backpacks to jerseys. Under the grand central stair, the firm designed glass museum vignettes of rarely-seen memorabilia from the team’s 148-year history with the goal of not only delighting the Chicago Cubs fan, but also to visually drawing the customer
The customer is welcomed into the store through one of two entrances next to Wrigley Park. Drawn in by the gleaming ‘C’ logo lit by LED, the fan is greeted by two monumental hat walls featuring styles only available at Flagship. From there, the stair landing features a spectacular 9-flatscreen video wall streaming up-to-the-minute Cubs content, including live games. Journeying across the second floor, an inviting green screen utilizes augmented reality technology to transport fans to a number of locations throughout Wrigley Field, virtually capturing realistic photos and sharing the photos instantly across social media platforms.
Real ash bats were cut in half for the backdrop of the video wall, while aluminum baseball bats were used as accent pendant lighting. All signage was specified with the custom Pantone of ‘Cubbie Blue’ and the stairs were designed with a nod to the iconic ironwork at Wrigley Field. The firm collaborated with a local Muralist to honor Cubs legend, Ernie Banks, on the reclaimed ash wood wall behind the cash wrap. Additionally, all apparel brand signage on the store perimeter was designed as magnetic, allowing for flexibility in merchandising, adding new brands as partnerships are forged.
Laying out the store for counter clockwise shopping, jerseys and hats were given prime placement in between the store’s two entrances as the top-selling SKUs. Adjacencies were strategically planned with women’s and children’s items occupying the rest of the first floor and higher-ticket, game-used merchandise upstairs. Mobile checkout and cash wrap stations were developed and integrated for peak, game-day sales. Upstairs, next to a second cash wrap counter, a computer-controlled embroidery station creates the perfect, personalized jersey for the die-hard.
All fixtures, with the exception of the slat wall, were custom-designed by the firm and fabricated by the Millworker. Industrial in nature to reflect the materials of the ballpark, the fixtures were designed to be flexible with locking casters at the base and constructed out of wood and iron. Wood, concrete, iron and steel were utilized throughout the store, not only as durable materials for this high-volume store, but also because of their relationship to the ballpark. Additionally, automobile paint was used for the ‘C’ logo hat display to draw reflect the recessed LED-lighting.
On the exterior façade, the team custom-designed catcher’s mask sconces in addition to miniature, backlit baseball bats on the overhang underneath the channel LED logo and store signage. Above the grand staircase, the statement piece is a baseball fixture, resplendent with red accents. The floor fixtures, while custom, were designed simply, so as not to impair sightlines. Along the perimeter of the space, displays were raised in order to showcase merchandise while creating visual interest. In the summer, Renlita doors are opened to allow a seamless shopping experience and bring in the neighborhood.
The Chicago Cubs’ singular goal is to reward generations of Cubs fans’ support and loyalty. The year that the store was designed, the Cubs ‘broke the curse’ and won the World Series for the first time in 71 years – time to celebrate! The Grand Opening of both the store as well as the Park at Wrigley was on opening day of the following year, April 10, 2017. The brand speaks true throughout the store, from the mannequins proudly wearing Cubs gear on the custom-designed ‘home plate’ at the entrance to the colloquial nod to Cubs trivia above the cash wrap.