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Retail Sam Goody

Sam Goody prototype creates theatrical quality with lighting

Officials at Sam Goody Music Stores knew who, in addition to their traditional customers, they wanted to target at their retail outlets: more women shoppers and older couples.
When the chain developed its new store prototype, the goal was to create a warmer, more appealing environment that would draw these audiences, while still attracting younger shoppers.

"In the past, we had a disproportionately small percentage of women coming into our stores, which are located in shopping malls," explained John Myklebust, AIA, managing director of design and architecture, Musicland Group, Inc., parent company for Sam Goody Music Stores. "With the new prototype, we eliminated the dark background and neon we had in other stores and made a fashion statement using color, better lighting, environmental graphics and better signage."

Myklebust said that existing Sam Goody stores tended to be too "hard edged" for the general public. Older outlets feature gray carpet and gray slotted wall board, with 2' x 2' black lay-in ceilings and a gray grid.
Illumination was provided by perimeter fluorescent fixtures tucked beneath a metal valance with neon accenting the perimeter fluorescent units. Neon is also used above the main sales floor.

"We wanted our new stores to be so different from anything else in the mall that shoppers would actually stop and say ,'Wow!' To get people into the outlets, we knew we had to boost our curb appeal," Myklebust said.

The Sam Goody Music Store in Circle Center Mall in downtown Indianapolis is the most recent location to incorporate the prototype design. The new 23,000-square-foot store features a wide open store front (which is mostly glass), with purple carpet, purple and orange signage with white letters, maple hardwood floors and an exposed ceiling, painted orange. A dusty jade color is used around the checkout counters and in feature areas. Walls are yellow and orange, colors that are trendy in the fashion industry.

Ambient lighting is provided by PrismGlo® fixtures from Holophane Corporation. The fixtures were custom made with the upper portion tinted yellow to filter out much of the bluish color that comes from the 250 watt coated metal halide lamps. The PrismGlo units provide 40 percent uplight, intensifying the orange on the ceiling and walls.

"Most people who come into the store do not realize the upper part of the fixtures is yellow since white light is produced through the bottom of the fixture," Myklebust said.

The PrismGlo fixtures are pendant mounted 12 to 13 feet above the floor. The units include a quick disconnect power hanger that allows the fixtures to be disconnected while under load, facilitating installation and maintenance. Myklebust pointed out that because of the power hanger, the PrismGlo fixtures were installed early during the project and used for construction lighting.

Fixture spacing is generally 12' x 14', although the units are not installed in a strict grid pattern. The desired height to spacing ratio is 1:1.

Besides the ambient units, spotlights are employed to illuminate displays, end caps on fixtures and feature tables. The ambient light level is 32 - 40 footcandles, with spotlights boosting levels to 75-90 footcandles in feature areas. A 2:1 ratio exists between the feature lighting and the ambient illumination to create contrast.

Above the drive aisle, 8' x 8' lavender panels are installed to guide shoppers to the back of the store, the outlet's focal point. Intense red fluorescent lamps are used for indirect lighting above the drive aisle, with the same lamps throwing light up the feature walls.

"This is entertainment," said Myklebust. "Using these various elements to create different levels of light and shadows helps generate interest and a theatrical quality. The overall effect is wonderful."

Holophane's Computer Aided Lighting Analysis (CALA) software was used to analyze the space and determine fixture placement. Once the system was installed, Myklebust said he realized the store did not need uniform light levels. Some fixtures were then disconnected to increase the sense of drama.

"If the environment is too bright, it has no draw. The various design elements and the lighting work well together to provide contrast and excitement," Myklebust concluded. "This location is one of our leading stores in sales."

The PrismGlo fixtures will be group relamped approximately every 1 1/2 years. The units are illuminated 12 hours a day, seven days a week, and are on contactors.

Musicland Group, Inc., is headquartered in Minnetonka, Minnesota.


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