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Storeage, the Amsterdam-based retail design and strategy agency, has created new design and visual merchandising concepts for Bever Outdoor & Travel, the Dutch outdoor retailer. A newly designed premium store in Rotterdam is the first of many redesigns in the Dutch market.Founded in 1978, Bever is the leading outdoor retailer in the Netherlands. When canoeing the Yukon river in Alaska, Bever’s founder, Fred van Olphen, had the epiphany to bring the thrill of outdoor exploration and the beauty of the rugged to the Dutch audience. Since then, Bever’s passion for the outdoors has made it the number one retailer in outdoor sport and travel gear.

Sensing that their stores did not convey this passion, Bever asked Storeage to rekindle the company’s rich heritage with a new store design and lay out, a new VM plan and the integration of digital tools throughout Bever stores. “Having worked extensively in sports retail and with performance brands like Nike ACG, we know that the spirit of the outdoors resonates not only with high performance adventurers but also with those looking for fashion appeal,” said Leendert Tange, partner and co-founder of Storeage. “Our design for Bever caters to both audiences, and the overall effect is a retail environment with the look and feel of an urban landscape.”

With these two groups in mind, Storeage decided to split the store design into two VM areas; one featuring a technical presentation of the performance brands, and the other a lifestyle oriented presentation of outdoor inspired brands. Working intensely with the VM team, Storeage designed a light structured floor fixture that resembles a pitched tent pole, and most important, is open enough to reveal all product features. The agency created ways to present interesting product combinations around the idea of performance and outdoor inspiration and designed all service units like wooden logs held together with angled legs similar to the tent pole fixtures.

Most strikingly, the agency designed ceiling lights at the three-storey Rotterdam store to pull you from one discovery to the next. These light-boxes on the ceiling create interesting rhythms of light and dark and give the consumer the feeling of walking under an abstracted version of the sky. Storeage baptized this feature ‘the urban skies’.

Furthermore, to connect the three floors, Storeage created a huge display wall that dominates the store like a mountain face. This feature, combined with a pattern of height lines, gives the feeling of shopping in a national park. Storeax, the retail production company, was responsible for production and installation of elements such as lighting and wall units. Storeage will continue to work with Bever to refine the store experience and dive deeper into the integration of the digital connection to the outdoors. The next store will open in approximately one month in Arnhem. Stay tuned for more.

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