American Greetings’ wanted to introduce Recycled Paper Greetings as a boutique store and stand-alone shop, different than other card lines in its portfolio. They approached Richardson in collaboration with TWIST Creative to define and design this experience. What would it look like? How would it feel?

We began by introducing mood boards, then progressed to plans, storefront and interior renderings. The result is a store design Richardson introduced that caters to an audience that likes to “stop and grab unique gift ideas,” which was the client’s goal. That includes attention to displays, floor plan, fixtures and overall branding.

Capturing the Essence of Creative Boutique Shoppers
The target customer of Recycled Paper Greetings is Generation X and Y (specifically women) who love giving unique and memorable gifts but do not have time to hunt. They want to give memorable, thoughtful gifts—and most of all, to find those items in an energizing, rewarding environment that offers personalization and premium customer service.

Stores are intended to provide the type of service one normally experiences with exclusive, high-end brands. And, each boutique is curated to speak to its community by supporting local artists, artisans and events.

Richardson and collaborators dedicated time to discovery—diving in to what the audience would expect from the store experience and how to deliver on a desire to access the products and service, and also feel creative, giving and treated with generous care. Visual concepts were presented to American Greetings.

Defining an Artisan Grab-and-Go Experience
Richardson included features in the designs that speak to American Greetings' customer persona. That includes an inviting entry zone that draws customers into the store to explore. And, various sections of the store support a story-focused environment while delivering a personalized, boutique feel.

Flexible displays allow for including an evolving collection of curated objects. Lighting and openness in the floor plan offers merchandising flexibility.

Because a key part of the design intent is localization and tying store to community, Richardson’s plans incorporate social activations: community activities, a magnet board for shoppers to share events, local artist features, and classes. There is a mix of locally found objects and artisan offerings, emulating a cultured flea market experience. All of these elements organically flow into the overall store design.

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