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Editor's Note

Editor’s Note: Eileen McClelland: Welcome to the Club!

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This year’s America’s Coolest Stores showcase spaces that are pretty and practical

BY EILEEN MCCLELLAND

This article originally appeared in the August 2015 edition of INSTORE.


I’m honored to introduce the 2015 lineup of America’s Coolest Stores. Every one of the 20 stores recognized this year deserves the title of “coolest,” and I look forward to getting to know all of them. Welcome to the club!

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Both No. 1 stores are excellent examples of how form and function can mesh to achieve remarkable results in store design.

George and Debbie Fox’s first store in Ventura, CA, was 600 square feet. So from the beginning of their retail endeavors they realized the importance of making every square inch count. For their dream Fox Fine Jewelry store, Debbie Fox worked with store designer Jesse Balaity to plan every bit of it. She spent days just figuring out what every shelf and drawer behind the counter would hold and just how wide and deep it needed to be. Balaity convinced the Foxes to stop tying up valuable space with giftware and concentrate on what actually made them money: the jewelry. He also found a way to integrate the art gallery aspect of the store without taking up space for showcases.

Christina Medawar and her father, Pierre Medawar, designed the concept store Veloce in Portage, MI, to appeal to millennial women. Displays are automated and interactive, glass cases seem to float. As it turns out, the merchandise appeals to women of all ages who like to treat themselves to fine silver jewelry. Customers enjoy playing with jewelry without having to engage in a lot of preliminary interaction with salespeople. “They can shop at their own leisure, and they like that,” Christina says.
In both cases, the results are pretty and practical. And so cool.

Wishing you the very best business,

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Eileen McClelland

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