EWI Worldwide unveiled last week its new store design for Play N Trade, one of the world's fastest growing video game retailers. Developed by the company's Interior Works service group, the store represents the next generation retail experience for the gaming industry, featuring an engaging interactive environment, exclusive Player's Club area, intuitive way-finding and improved category management.
"We believe that our experience-based store design raises the bar for our industry, and will set new standards in gaming retail," says Larry Plotnick, chief executive officer, Play N Trade. The company plans to launch its first prototype store in Chicago, this month, and roll out a total of 140 stores by the end of this year. By 2013, Plotnick projects 750 showrooms nationwide, tripling the number currently in operation.
Driving its design development, EWI Worldwide conducted extensive field research in multiple video game retail venues and launched a multi-market study which engaged four different segments of consumers (male and female 17-25, male 25-40 and parents of kids 8-15). By using observational, survey and consumer ideation methodologies, the research provided insight into the minds of today's gamers, leading to design solutions that balance and meet the needs of new video game shoppers, as well as Play N Trade franchise owners and managers.
"Although the profile of gamers has changed in the last few years, we discovered through our research that the retail venues have not. Until now," says Ric Sorgel, vice president, client services, Interior Works. "Social gaming was a common theme that surfaced, leading us to introduce the Players Club area for tournaments and parties."