Design: Lauckgroup; Lake Flato; McGarrah Jessee
Opening date: February 2016
Store size: 740 sq m
Despite it's urban setting, the new Yeti store in Austin, Texas is designed to immerse visitors in the outdoors. The American premium cooler and drinkware brand opened its first physical retail space on South Congress Avenue in February, offering live entertainment, an expansive indoor/outdoor bar, production customisation zone, outdoor-themed installations and an array of historical artefacts.
'The Yeti flagship store is a convergence of the lifestyle we stand for, the products we offer and the community we live in,' says Yeti CEO, Matt Reintjes. 'It's a gathering spot for locals and out-of-towners to enjoy a cold beer, listen to music, watch a film or learn from a pro.'
Working with design firm, Lauckgroup, architecture firm, Lake Flato, and brand agency, McGarrah Jessee, Yeti has created a retail and community event space that feels more like a museum than a shop.
'It's meant to be much more of an immersive Yeti experience than it is to be a transactional space,' Yeti's vice president of marketing, Corey Maynard told Fast Company's Co.Create ahead of the launch. 'Yes, we're selling coolers, and you can get drinkware and shirts and hats and stuff, but it was much more important to us that people could have fun with the Yeti brand and see it brought to life in the three-dimensional world than just be a place that's driven by transaction.'
The store takes customers on a journey where they can learn more about the brand and the products they offer. 'The flagship is different from traditional retail spaces and intended to inspire people to go out and enjoy the wild through experiential installations,' says a spokesperson for Lauckgroup. The design team has fused everything from the founding family's story, to the city of Austin's rich roots, to the building's history (it was one of the only building's in the area to survive the 1930s flood).
From the front porch, the lines between indoors and outdoors are blurred. Inside, numerous eye-catching showpieces, such as a 750-pound stuffed bear, a grill once owned by the founder of Franklin Barbecue, and several decorative sharks suspended from the ceiling, showcase the brand as a go-to for outdoor enthusiasts.