Iconic denim brand Wrangler has opened a pilot store in Leipzig, Germany with a new retail concept designed by Checkland Kindleysides. This is Wrangler’s first stand‐alone store in Germany, and the first of a new design that is planned to be rolled out across Europe.
“The store is designed to capture the spirit of the Wrangler brand” says CK founder and creative head Jeff Kindleysides. “Conceptually the store needed to feel impulsive and industrious;this is important for a brand like Wrangler that is full of adrenaline. We also wanted to capture the notion that Wrangler jeans are ‘built for strength and tailored for freedom’ and again this comes through in the finished store design.”
The choice of materials and the way they are used creates an aesthetic which reflects this attitude; from the inherent strength of the aged steel; to the creation of a skylight and use of glass throughout the store, which provide a feeling of translucency and light and a connection that Wrangler is ‘the original American outdoor denim brand’.
Throughout are references to Wrangler’s history and iconography; this includes‘factory window’ frames, which create a flexible graphic mosaic where each pane can have a different character; some plain, tarnished, frosted or mirrored, whilst others carry photos or graphics to create varied and inspiring backdrops.
A key feature display is the ‘denim drawing table’ which creates a focal point showcasing Wrangler’s ‘newness’, presentingthe latest key outfits, fits and finishes. Also reflecting Wrangler’s heritage are the enamel machinists lamps and factory lights which are used throughout the store to highlight the product ranges.
Around the perimeter of the store, the fit out is simple and functional, using a ladder system that feels akin to a storage depot. The bespoke system uses the same hot rolled steel as the ‘factory windows’, with shelving that uses a patchwork of timber, including reclaimed boards, in subtle tonal colours.
At the back of the store is an easy to shop denim wall, with its simple navigation system it provides regular Wrangler customers with a quick way to selecttheir favourite jean; whilst a fit guide, reminiscent of old cinema signage, provides additional navigational assistance. Women’s denim is displayed on fit forms and as outfit collections displayed in supporting bays. Adding both warmth and a contemporary twist to the brand’s American heritage, the store features Navajo Indian rugs, spray stencilled to the raw concrete floor as a graphic, which will develop a worn patina over time as they fade.
The unisex fitting rooms offer a further nod to Wrangler’s American western roots, with modern classic Pony skin Eames lounge chairs placed behind a large ‘factory window’ in the open waiting area. Heavy cotton American stars and stripes flags have been over‐dyed black to form simple curtains for each of the timber clad fitting room cubicles. Outside the fitting room entrance an existing staircase was removed, the void replaced with a factory skylight to create the illusion of natural daylight.
The cash desk is designed as both a functional working kiosk and a key selling space for accessories with two pack T‐shirts, leather belts and wallets. The kiosk is constructed as an open steel framed cage and sits at the heart of the store. Reminiscent of a workshop office, the design continues the industrial aesthetic.
“The store design captures the values and origins of the brand in a contemporary setting, with architectural cues providing a backdrop which bring Wrangler’s denim to life, resulting in a store experience that is pared back, raw and effortless to shop.” Jeff Kindleysides, Checkland Kindleysides
“Wrangler is about building on the past to shape the future. I think CK has done a fantastic job in terms of capturing Wrangler’s unique denim heritage. The store is rich in specific details from Wrangler’s past, but it also has a fresh and contemporary feel.” Frans van Zeeland, president, Wrangler EMEA The new store launches with products from the FW12 Keep True men’s and women’s collection, which celebrates the essential elements of the Wrangler brand.
The Wrangler Leipzig store offers a wide range of product, from stylish classics, to on‐trend contemporary, there will be something for every consumer to choose from, no matter what age or style they have. The 135m² store, which is located on Neumarkt in Leipzig, opened on 30th of August, supported with an exciting launch event.