CALGARY CYCLE 22X STORE DESIGN AND BUILDOUT
WHAT WE DID
With four premium bicycle shops throughout the city of Calgary, The Calgary Cycle Group has decided to expand their reach and move west. Bragg creek is a small rustic town, south west of the city, set in the foothills of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. It has become an epicentre for mountain and road cyclists as it boasts hundreds of kilometres of some of the best trails in Western Canada just adjacent to the main streets of the small town.
The Calgary Cycle Group, under direction from managing partner Derek Lee, has yet again teamed up with 54blue to tackle this project from the ground up. Each of Lee’s stores has its own identity, and Cycle 22x is not any different. With creative direction from 54blue’s, Jamie Calon, Cycle 22x was born and is positioned to be one of Western Canada’s finest bike shops.
Combined, the team at 54blue has over 50+ years of retail, marketing, and sales experience – and with that comes the understanding of the consumer experience as a whole. Challenged with another small space design, 54blue maximized a constrained retail setting by meticulously thought out concepts and environmental spacing to enable a connection with each individual consumers. With Cycle 22x, 54blue created a space that would be authentic to the outdoors, paying respects to the beauty that lies in Bragg Creek’s backyard, the Canadian Rockies. This retail concept is welcoming to all ages and skill levels, but because of the legitimacy of its environment it attracts the serious and professional cyclist.
Half of the main entryway into Cycle 22X is shared with one of Bragg Creek’s high-end cafés, so immediately 54blue was tasked with creating a working decompression zone for a double entrance. Both a hitch and a benefit, the zone needed to accommodate consumers entering from the two sides. A decompression zone gives the consumer a few seconds to gain composure as they enter the space where it feels natural and welcoming. In Cycle 22X this initial space holds a large custom-built Bragg Creek trail map displayed in full view next to a rounded front retail counter.
The trail map pays its respects to the local community as it is dedicated solely to the area and its trails. The large wooden map is an immediate focal piece as you enter the shop. With both functionality and purpose, the map was digitally printed on wood using a flatbed UV printer to highlight the bike trails in colourful opaque lines adding contrast and visibility to a shaded monochromatic background. The map’s legend is made up of wooden CNC cut-outs that can’t be missed; they highlight the key areas, trailheads, and parking that make up this mapped zone. On the bottom of the map, there are three donation boxes allotted to various associations doing maintenance on the trails. Calon’s creative strategy behind the large map was to engage the community and enable them to give back to the non-profit associations that work tirelessly to upkeep mother nature’s playground!
Next to the map is the rounded front counter that has been wrapped with an all over matte black Calgary Cycle print and finished with a crystal clear glass display case filled with premium accessories and parts. This rounded counter creates a natural flow from the double entrance into the rest of the space allowing an easy transition for the consumer. Flaunted on the front of this front counter is a large, solid wood, CNC carved and hand finished Cycle 22x emblem – matched to the one that was created for the outside of the shop. This bold piece is an eye-catching segment that leads the consumer to the remainder of the shop.
The remaining space filled up quickly. Working with various textures and materials, 54blue created a landscaped internal environment. In the main retail area, twelve live pine trees are scattered between the three large mulch filled planters that act as the base for some of the retail displays. These well cared for pine trees will get pulled on an 8-10 month rotation, transplanted and replaced with new saplings that will grow indoors for a few months until they too will be alternated out (this will happen continuously). The space has an authentic natural appeal with the trees, the wood, and mixed with the glass and then the brushed metal distributed all over the store. Even the unmistakeable smell of forest, from the live pine trees, masks the traditional bike shop smell of WD-40 and rubber. This space hosts ladder bridges, built to a smaller scale and worked into the displays, CNC cut outs and hand finished wood signage. The walls are wrapped with contrasting matte and gloss wall prints boasting visuals of the forests and bike trails. For the back retail and repair shop, 54blue created custom framed pieces of retail slat wall to organize and hold all of the smaller moving parts (ie; mechanical gear and bike accessories). 54blue’s print master, Matt Mcanally, planned the execution of print work thoroughly and was able to place printed collateral and large prints in store with precision and style without overbearing or overwhelming the senses or the space. Mcanally boasts that the quality and flawless installation is due largely the print shop team at 54blue, but also to Roland’s premium equipment and ink.
As the design of the shop evolved, Lee wanted to incorporate a special retail feature that would highlight a premium brand. It was decided that Oakley, as a trusted supplier and long time bike accessory provider, would be the perfect branded fit in the space. 54blue was tasked to design a concept that was authentic to the nature of Oakley and its ties to mountain bike history. 54blue came back with a retail display that would live on an upper level within the store, paying homage to the iconic Oakley Sender that is part of the annual Red Bull Rampage event – an event not to be missed in the mountain bike community. The in-store Oakley ‘sender’ evokes feelings for every mountain biker who is familiar with that momentary feeling of flight.
If the shop alone wasn’t enough to create an amazing consumer experience, Lee also added a bike demo service out of Cycle 22x. With more that 80 high-end bikes to demo, consumers will be able to test ride their potential purchases in Bragg Creek’s backyard to get a real feel before committing to the bike of their dreams. This addition to the overall concept of the Cycle 22x ups- the-ante on the entire retail experience, it is truly unlike anything else in Bragg Creek, Calgary, or Western Canada.
With Derek Lee’s vision and 54blue’s creative direction the Cycle 22x shop is a revolutionary addition to the retail biking community in Western Canada. To bring a new concept shop to a small town or into a small community is not an easy task, Cycle 22x is a perfect model of creating a welcoming shop that caters to everyone and especially to the educated cycling enthusiast. 54blue managed the process through its entirety, from conceptualizing the design and knowing the target consumers, then tailoring the store for those targets – understanding the raw consumer experience in its totality.