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Retail Oshman's Sporting Goods

Prismatic lighting promotes
"fun" image for sporting goods stores

Customers try it, they like it, they buy it. That's the philosophy behind Oshman's Super Store U.S.A. locations, owned and operated by Oshman's Sporting Goods, Inc.

In business since 1919, Oshman's is certainly not new to the sporting goods retail world. But the concept of trying out merchandise in a very real sports setting -- of making an event out of the purchase -- was novel when the chain introduced its first super store in Houston.

"Oshman's stores were typically about 9,000 square feet -- until we had the opportunity to move into an 80,000-square-foot facility. That's when we converted to the larger format," explained Chris Lauritzen, director of store planning/construction, Oshman's Sporting Goods, Inc.

The new format, which features large showroom areas, gives customers the chance to select specific merchandise directly off the shelf and use it in authentic sports areas, such as a full-size, wood-floored basketball court, and tennis and racquetball courts. There's a golf simulator, boxing ring, and a baseball simulator that allows customers to bat against major league pitchers.

Adding to the store's aura is a centrally located video wall -- complete with music system -- featuring continuous-play sports videos. Television monitors stacked three high are also placed throughout the facility.

With these various elements coming into play -- including the store's wooden display fixtures, product showcases and both apparel and hardgoods merchandise, and a curtain wall that runs the length of the store as an architectural element -- the challenge became how to provide effective lighting.

Lauritzen said he wanted fixtures that would illuminate the high areas and open metal deck ceilings while making the clothing and colors in the store visually "pop."

The solution was a combination of Holophane PrismGlo Delphic luminaires with 400 watt clear super metal halide lamps installed in the merchandise areas, and Holophane Prismalume 400 watt metal halide units mounted above the sporting areas.

Because of the different ceiling heights and areas where no ceiling exists, Holopane's Computer Aided Lighting Analysis (CALA) software was used to determine fixture placement and the number of luminaires needed. Footcandle levels through out the facility are 100 average maintained.

"The PrismGlo fixtures were chosen on the basis of their uplight/downlight optics and aesthetics," said David Ellis, project manager, Castles Design Group, who designed the lighting system. "The uplight provides a uniformly illuminated environment while eliminating the cavern effect. In addition, the PrismGlo's unique appearance was preferred over the typical industrial warehouse high bay fixtures typically used by other retailers."

Installed at 13' to 15' above the finished floor to match the dropped floating ceilings, the PrismGlo units provide 50 percent uplight. The units are mounted on an eight- to nine-foot stem, spaced on a 10' x 12' grid.

Although there were no rebates involved, Ellis pointed out that energy was a concern. "The PrismGlo optics provide a 92 percent lumen efficiency and utilize a high efficacy 40,000 lumen super metal halide lamp. This combination gives us the most light for our energy dollar when compared to any other type of lighting system," Ellis explained.

Prismalume luminaires are installed above the adult and youth basketball courts, the boxing ring and children's putting green. Mounted at 22', the units are spaced on the same 10' x 12' grid.

Lauritzen said the high bay fixtures not only effectively illuminate the floor from the greater heights, but are quite durable.

"They can take a direct hit from a basketball without suffering any damage," he described. "These are luminaires that would be found on a professional basketball court." He added that the lighting definitely contributes to the "fun" image the store wants to project.

"Sporting goods stores that utilize fluorescent lighting or fixtures with metal reflectors tend to look like big, dark, boxes," he explained. "Oshman's, on the other hand, strives for a spacious, open look. The prismatic glass luminaires create an inviting atmosphere while providing very adequate light levels."

Lighting fixtures will be group re-lamped and cleaned. Laurtizen said he expects minimal maintenance since the fixtures will not yellow. To date, prismatic fixtures have been installed in seven Oshman's superstores, with three additional facilities under construction.


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