Project: Woolrich

Design: Wonderwall
Store size: 700 sq m
Opening date: November 2017

U.S. clothing company Woolrich has opened a flagship on Corsa Venezia in Milan. The 700 sq m boutique was designed by Japanese studio Wonderwall under the guidance of Masamichi Katayaka in order to offer customers a fully engaging experience.

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'Our starting point was the idea of distinguishing the in-person shopping experience compared to online, offering the best possible offline interaction all the while keeping the web integrated,' says Andre Canè, global creative director of Woolrich International.

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The retailer's nearly 200 years of history comes together with a contemporary take on apparel in keeping with the company's focus on coats. The Original Woolrich Arctic Parka, developed in 1972 for pipeline workers in Alaska and now a true icon for the brand, holds a very special place in harmony with the rest of the collection.

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The Lounge Area boasts a museum display narrating Woolrich's history through items and relics. Adjacent to this are the coffee corner and charging station. Furniture mixes vintage touches with clean contemporary lines to represent the two souls of Woolrich: the city and the great outdoors.

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Along the way there are several areas designed to directly engage clients with the brand through innovative and personal experiences, in addition to the lounge area and complimentary wi-fi.

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The Custom Area features a skilled seamstress who helps shoppers wanting to customise their Woolrich items.

Inside the Extreme Weather Experience Room, the walls are insulated and technology allows the store to maintain a cold tempoerature through an energy saving program. The temperature goes down to -20 degrees in the winter and up to +5 degrees in the summer to create a real test of Woolrich outerwear in the severe weather conditions for which it is designed.

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Towards the end of the store, the Green Area is flooded with natural light that pours through the glass ceiling. Curated by Green Fingers, a Japanese gardening company founded by Satoshi Kamawoto, the space offers a unique selection of greenery and marks its first European location following the Tokyo and New York businesses.

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'The end objective goes far beyond a mere selling experience,' adds Canè. 'The Milan flagship store on Corso Venezia is about welcoming our guests, making them feel as it they were in a lounge where they are at ease and can enjoy services and experiences while listening to our story. Everybody on our team has been carefully trained and selected. Our clients can ask questions, explore and interact with our highly knowledgeable staff, because the ultimate difference between online and offline lies within the people.

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