Posts tagged with "Retail":

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Taller KEN infuses color into Costa Rican fashion brand Hija de Tigre's new San José boutique

New York and Guatemala-based architecture practice Taller KEN has transformed a formerly unimpressive modernist block in San José, Costa Rica's trendy Escazú neighborhood into a multi-volume boutique for local fashion brand Hija de Tigre. Evoking the label's ethos and business structure—being run by women of different generations—the architecture and interiors project incorporates a full-color spectrum. Renovating an existing building, the firm added additional concrete volumes and did away with obstructive ornamentation to render a more perfect cluster of boxes. Inspired, in part, by Latin American architects Luis Barragán and Ricardo Bofill, the facade is clad in a tropical gradient that ties all components of the architecture together. “The facade is a consequence of the context," Taller KEN co-founder and principal Inés Guzmán said. "Until very recently, suburban San José was farmland. Today it is gated communities of houses and convenience malls and shopping centers. For us, the project was an opportunity to make the stand-alone building “stand out” and bring a fresh, hip and colorful vibe to the surroundings and break from the standard palette of new constructions you see around.” Read the full article on our interiors and design website, aninteriormag.com.
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Foster + Partners tops Apple Aventura with wavy white precast roof

Foster + Partners has broken out of its traditional glass-box bubble and designed a different kind of Apple Store—one that’s arguably distinct because it wasn’t built in a major city center, or within another development (and doesn't resemble a Macbook). Apple Aventura in Aventura, north of Miami is a piece of actual mall architecture that ripples above and beyond its predecessors in terms of design.  Located in a new wing of the posh Aventura Mall, the two-story building isn’t a huge departure from the firm’s other work for Apple. It is, in fact, boxy and of course includes trees inside. But the undulating white concrete roof evokes a certain feeling of fluidity in the bayside shopping center that doesn’t exist elsewhere.  “We love the honesty and purity of the concrete,” said Stefan Behling, head of studio at Foster + Partners in a press release.  Behling and the design team worked closely with Jonathan Ive, the former chief design officer of Apple. They said the building’s exterior design mimics Miami’s white art deco-style architecture, as well as its nautical design scene. “This store is very ‘Miami’ to me,” said Ive. “Its special trees, the light, and the new roof. It is also quintessentially Apple, marrying the outdoor lifestyle with a sense of freedom and creativity that is intrinsic to the way we work.”  According to Foster + Partners, the wavy roof design was made from seven precast concrete arches that together form a barrel-vaulted ceiling. The entire structure is held up by steel columns each covered with another thin architectural precast column that's also painted white. Per other Apple stores, this one boasts floor-to-ceiling glass windows, revealing all the activity within the stop.  The result is a light-filled Apple store that actually breaks a big design boundary for the tech giant: Of all its retail spaces, the building is the only one to use precast concrete as a predominant structural material. The idea was first introduced within Apple’s Cupertino headquarters, also known as Apple Park, in 2017. Inside Apple Ventura, the ground-floor is decked out with rows of elongated wooden tables that serve as Apple’s signature product displays. A large terraced seating area anchors one end of the store, allowing guests to relax while waiting for their Genius Bar appointments or to secure space for an in-store event. The flight of interior steps is outfitted with leather seating and charging stations.  Outside the store, a densely planted garden features teak tables and chairs that seamlessly reference the interior architecture. Customers can also hang out in the shade of the outdoor “Genius Grove” while they wait for assistance.  The Apple Aventura store is situated just steps away from the spiraling Aventura Slide Tower by Carsten Höller, a 93-foot-tall piece of public art that's among the most famed parts of the 2.8-million-square-foot shopping campus. The entire site is the second-largest mall in America.
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Retail is getting reimagined with augmented reality

Retail is dead. Long live retail. With the ubiquity of online shopping, brick-and-mortar retail has become more competitive. Good deals and low prices aren't enough to draw customers into stores anymore; today's customers are looking for experiences, according to developers and retail prognosticators. Canadian outdoor goods retailer Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) has teamed up with creative technology from Finger Food to offer an in-store—or in-home—experience that bridges the digital and the physical: augmented reality tent shopping.  "Retail has gone through significant disruption and it's only going to get faster," said David Labistour, CEO of MEC. The outdoor company sees this disruption as a unique opportunity for growth. MEC offers more tents than can fit in their stores. Rather than hanging excess tents from the ceiling, MEC asked Finger Food to develop an application that would allow customers using a phone, tablet, or AR/VR goggles to see and explore a full-scale, fully rendered (inside and out) 3D version of every single tent that MEC sells. What's special about this particular use of the increasingly common AR technology is the unprecedented level of detail Finger Food was able to achieve.   Finger Food create their ultra-realistic 3d models in an enormous room they call the holodeck — named after the high-tech virtual reality rooms in Star Trek. Using a proprietary photogrammetry rig and accompanying software, the company can take thousands of photos of any object to capture its geometries and textures at extremely high resolution. In addition to the realism, Finger Food's solution is distinguished by its speed—scanning an object requires less than an hour, compared to days that could be spent creating a 3D model from scratch—and the system has proven its capability to capture objects of any scale, from a pair of sunglasses to a semi-truck.  Their work for MEC isn't Finger Food's first foray into the retail space. The group has previously worked with Lowe's home improvement stores to develop two augmented reality apps. One lets users see what products look like in their homes—everything from accent tile to a six-burner stove—and easily make a purchase afterward. The other app guides users through Lowe's 1000,000-square-foot stores to find the exact products they're looking for; it also notifies employees when an item needs restocking.  Customers can currently use the AR application at MEC's flagship Toronto store, with a larger rollout planned. "We believe the future of the customer experience will be significantly changed through the integration of technology," said Labistour. If these technologies prove successful, the retail experience and store design could be changed as well. In a future with augmented reality and next-day delivery, less space may be needed in stores as fewer items would be kept on display and in stock.
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Fashion brand BLDWN taps Montalba Architects for Melrose Place flagship

A true American clothing brand that draws influence from the country's most iconic artists, BLDWN identified a kindred spirit in firm Montalba Architects. Calling on the Los Angeles and Lausanne-based practice to design it's latest 1,100 square foot Beverly Hills boutique, the label sought to create a space that would evoke it's bold yet tasteful aesthetic; a vocabulary Montalba translated in an almost symbiotic fashion. The compact retail space is defined by a series of framed vignettes, positioned as a curated series of snapshots depicting the brand-story and projected lifestyle image of BLDWN. Montalba implemented a minimalistic material palette, one it has become famous for in numerous projects, that is both structurally sound and functional in providing ample display space. Custom-built white-oak millwork and strategically-placed black-steel volumes combine in a multi-layered shelving matrix. Read the full article on our interiors and design website, aninteriormag.com.
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Dutch design duo OS ∆ OOS outfits its third Ace & Tate store with nods to Hieronymus Bosch

The sleepy Dutch city of ‘s-Hertogenbosch, colloquially known as Den Bosch, might not be on your radar. But during the early 15th-century, this former ducal capital played host to a fury of artistic activity. Inspired by the humanist ideals cropping-up in Italy and other parts of Southern Europe, the Northern Renaissance saw the emergence of many influential talents, hailing from the different mid-sized urban centers, that help define the Low Countries' prominence during the Early Modern era. Among the long list of masters was Dutch/Netherlandish painter Hieronymus Bosch; posthumously named for his native town Den Bosch. Championing the fantastic illustration of religious concepts and narratives, Bosch is perhaps most recognized for his seminal The Garden of Earthly Delights triptych altarpiece (1490 and 1510). Much like the similar Last Judgment (1482) and The Haywain Triptych (1516) works, this iconic piece explores the duality of heaven and hell, with the depiction of perilous earthly-temptations in between. Read the full story on our interiors and design site, aninteriormag.com.
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Abruzzo Bodziak Architects designs first U.S. store for British fashion brand maharishi

Gliding right into place is the new maharishi boutique in New York; the British clothing brand’s first store outside of London. Celebrated practice Abruzzo Bodziak Architects (ABA) developed the retail space as an insertable grid of wood cabinetry. Clad in the fashion company’s own iconic olive-green hue and pine plywood surfaces, the two-level structure at 38 Lispenard Street in Tribeca does not obstruct or alter the listed building the store occupies. Rather, the new cubic and minimalistic building-within-a-building infix works to frame its historic features. “We left the existing space, with its historic facade and ceiling, as a found condition,” ABA principal Gerald Bodziak explains. Read the full story on our interiors and design site, aninteriormag.com.
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Amazon may have canceled its NYC headquarters, but its footprint is everywhere

For many of the people opposed to Amazon establishing a second headquarters (HQ2) in Queens, New York, casting the company into total exile was never the point. At its heart, opposition lay with the terms of the deal that wooed the company—its massive tax incentives, the process that had created the deal (without input or oversight from the New York City Council or local communities), and the dramatic impact such a real estate development project would have on the city's working class, especially by aggravating its gentrification and displacement crises. Facing a groundswell of local opposition, Amazon announced that it had canceled its plans for a new Queens campus on February 14, just three months after announcing its selection. While HQ2's optics and scale made it a legible enemy to rally against, Amazon's less splashy development projects have already become part of the fabric of many cities, including New York. Taking inventory of Amazon’s existing physical footprint in the city, one begins to perceive a shadow infrastructure at work which reshapes urban environments more through privatized logistics and information systems than through campus construction. In Manhattan, Amazon’s physical presence might best be recognized in retail. It was at the company’s 34th Street bookstore that protestors demonstrated on Cyber Monday following the HQ2 announcement. Indeed, like HQ2, the company’s retail stores serve as useful rallying points. But inside the same Midtown Manhattan building that hosts the bookstore sits a more explicit locus of Amazon’s presence: a 50,000-square-foot warehouse and distribution center for the company’s Prime Now delivery service. It might be helpful to state here what Amazon actually is: a logistics company misrepresented as a retail company misrepresented as a tech company. Over time, the types of products the company sells have expanded beyond books and bassinets into less obviously tangible commodities like data (via Amazon Web Services), labor (via Amazon Mechanical Turk), and “content” (via Twitch and Amazon Studios productions). Ultimately the company’s appeal isn’t so much in the stuff it provides but the efficiency with which it provides stuff. Computation is obviously an important part of running a logistics operation, but Amazon’s logistical ends are frequently obscured by the hype around its technical prowess. And while Amazon is increasingly in the game of making actual things, a lot of them are commodities that, in the long run, enable the movement of other commodities: Amazon Echos aren’t just nice speakers, they’re a means of streamlining the online shopping experience into verbal commands and gathering hundreds of thousands of data points. Producing award-winning films and TV shows gives the company a patina of cultural respectability, but streaming them on Amazon Prime gets more people on Amazon and, in theory, buying things using Amazon Prime accounts. Amazon’s logistical foundation is most blatantly visible in the company's nearly 900 warehouses located around the world. Currently, the company has one fulfillment center (FC) in New York City. The 855,000-square-foot site in Staten Island opened in fall 2018 and had already earned Amazon $18 million in tax credits from the state of New York before the HQ2 deal was announced. Additionally, a month before the HQ2 announcement, Amazon had also signed a ten-year lease for a new fulfillment center in Woodside, Queens. The same day that Amazon vice president Brian Huseman testified before the New York City Council about HQ2, Staten Island warehouse employees and organizers from the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union (RWDSU) announced a plan to form a union at the Staten Island FC, citing exhausting and unsafe working conditions better optimized for warehouse robots than employees. These conditions are far from unique to Staten Island—stories about the grueling pace, unhealthy environment, and precarity of contract workers at fulfillment centers have been reported regularly as far back as 2011. And yet, when the Staten Island FC was first announced in 2017, a small handful of media outlets made note of this record. Unions and community leaders weren’t galvanized against the Staten island FC the way they were by HQ2 or the way they had been when Wal-Mart attempted to come to New York in 2011. In some ways, the HQ2 debacle gave new life and momentum to an organized labor challenge previously hidden in plain sight (or at least in the outer boroughs). Of course, Amazon’s logistics spaces aren’t solely confined to far-flung corners of the New York metro area: There are two Prime Now distribution hubs in New York, one in Brooklyn and the other at the previously mentioned Midtown Manhattan location. Same-day delivery service Prime Now originated from that Midtown warehouse in 2014 and spawned Amazon Flex, an app-based platform for freelance delivery drivers to distribute Prime Now packages. (Ironically, one of the reasons Amazon has been able to become so effectively entrenched in the city is because of this kind of contingent labor force—any car in New York City can become an Amazon Flex delivery vehicle, any apartment a Mechanical Turker workplace.) The art of logistics also depends in part on the art of marketing. To support that marketing endeavor, Amazon has a 40,000-square-foot photo studio in a former glass manufacturing plant in Williamsburg that produces tens of thousands of images for Amazon Fashion, the company's online apparel venture. The company's forays into fashion, while less publicized, may also position it to become one of the largest retailers of clothing in the world. New York is also home to 260 Amazon Lockers: pickup and package return sites for select products typically located in 7-Elevens and other bodega-like environments. Like Prime Now, the Lockers streamline and automate a process that would normally involve lines at the post office. First appearing in New York in 2011, the 6-foot-tall locker units can range between 6 and 15 feet wide, with the individual lockers in each unit capable of holding packages no larger than 19 x 12 x 14 inches (roughly larger than a shoebox). While early reports indicated that store owners received a small monthly stipend for hosting the lockers, the main sell for store owners is the possibility of luring in more foot traffic. But a 2013 Bloomberg article noted that smaller businesses were frustrated by the limited returns from installing the lockers and increased power bills (lockers use a digital passcode system, requiring electricity and connectivity). There is an irony in the fact that for almost a decade before the HQ2 debacle, small businesses have been ceding physical space to Amazon only to be stuck with monolithic storage spaces serving little direct benefit. Following its acquisition of Whole Foods in 2017, Amazon installed Lockers in all of the supermarket’s locations in the city. Whole Foods was already associated with gentrification and had an anti-union CEO before the Amazon acquisition; if anything, Amazon upped the ante by attempting to bring Whole Foods more in line with Amazon’s logistics-first approach. Reports that Amazon has plans to open a new grocery chain suggest that early speculation about the Whole Foods acquisition was correct: Amazon wasn’t interested in Whole Foods in order to sell produce so much as to gain access to the grocery company’s rich trove of retail data, which Amazon could use to jump-start its own grocery operations. A data-driven approach has been at the core of Amazon’s logistics empire: The company was one of the first to use recommendation algorithms to show consumers other products they might also like, and Prime Now relies extensively on purchasing data to determine what items to stock in hub warehouses. It’s unsurprising, then, that the most profitable wing of Amazon’s empire is Amazon Web Services (AWS), its cloud computing platform. AWS’s physical footprint in New York City is relatively small, with a handful of data centers within city limits. Its most visible presence may be the AWS Loft in Soho, which opened in 2015, part of a small network of similar spots in San Francisco, Tokyo, Johannesburg, and Tel Aviv.  Part coworking space for startups that use AWS and part training center for AWS products and services, the Loft inhabits a kind of in-between space between data services and marketing. The space is free for AWS users and is full of comfy seating and amenities like free coffee and snacks—ironic considering Amazon's reputation for being absent of the kinds of perks expected at tech companies. Belying its small spatial footprint, AWS is a major part of the city’s networked operations. The New York City Department of Transportation and the New York Public Library are both presented as model case studies of successful AWS customers, and AWS has signed contracts with multiple city agencies, including the Departments of Education and Sanitation and the City Council as far back as 2014. AWS is also a major vendor to municipal, state, and federal agencies—and, increasingly, has come under scrutiny for its multimillion-dollar contracts with data mining company Palantir Technologies, which works with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to track and deport migrants, and for peddling its face recognition technology to police departments across the country. Some of the criticism of Amazon's campus deal with NYC came from New York City Council members, apparently unaware their office was paying Amazon for hosting web support. To be fair, New York City’s AWS contracts (including the City Council’s) are a fraction of the kind of revenue Amazon is vying for in federal defense contracts. And at this point, AWS is the industry standard upon which most of the internet runs. The situation reflects the depth to which Amazon has insinuated itself as a fundamental infrastructure provider. New York may have dodged a gentrification bullet with HQ2, but as with so much of Big Tech, Amazon’s impact on cities might look more like death by a thousand paper cuts. A new campus might be more visible than the hidden machinery of a city increasingly reliant on delivery-based services, but both impact local economies, residents, and living conditions. Amazon’s long-standing logistics regime also inspires an infinitude of Amazon-inspired niche delivery startups familiar to New Yorkers as a pastel monoscape of subway ads hawking mattresses, house cleaning services, and roommates, to name just a few, along with the precarious jobs that are their defining characteristic. There have been continued efforts in New York to challenge Amazon’s frictionless logistics regime since the HQ2 withdrawal. Pending City Council legislation banning cashless retail would affect far more businesses than just Amazon’s brick-and-mortar operations (which have automatic app-based checkout), but it would certainly stymie any expansion of its physical retail footprint. State Senator Jessica Ramos has joined labor leaders in calling for a fair union vote at the future Woodside fulfillment center. These sorts of initiatives are often more drawn out and less galvanizing than those to halt a major campus development. But they’re crucial to a larger strategy for making the tech-enabled systems of inequality in cities visible. In 2019, the premise that the digital and physical worlds are mysteriously separate realms has been effectively killed by the tech industry’s measurable impact on urban life, from real estate prices to energy consumption. Comprehending the full impact of companies like Amazon on cities and seeing beyond their efforts to obscure or embellish their presence (glamour shots of data centers, anyone?) requires a full examination of these infrastructures outside of the companies' preferred terms. By demanding public accountability, New York's elected officials and community groups may have demonstrated the beginnings of just how to do that.
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Detroit's House of Pure Vin lets visitors wine in style

1433 Woodward Avenue Detroit, 48226 (313) 638-2501 M1/DTW House of Pure Vin is a minority-owned wine shop in downtown Detroit contributing to the revival of the city’s historic Woodward Avenue. Architect Christian Unverzagt from M1/DTW helped transform the 3,000-square-foot space into a sophisticated wine tasting shop and tourist attraction. Unverzagt converted a twisted and irregular retail space into a series of smaller rooms—including a climate-controlled champagne room, recessed retail nook, and tasting room—to provide a sense of visual clarity and allow the space to slowly unfold to reveal new activities to visitors. The shop holds over 4,000 bottles of wine, displaying the majority of them within a wall of cardboard tubes typically used for manufacturing. The tubes serve as wine racks, an eye-catching way to store the bottles sideways and shield them from light. Cork is used for various surfaces within the shop, including the walls and cash wrap, acting as a warm contrast to the black steel and industrial materials elsewhere in the store.
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OMA drops a chromatic escalator in the Saks Fifth Avenue flagship

The ground floor of New York's sprawling $250 million Saks Fifth Avenue flagship renovation is complete, and OMA and Rem Koolhaas have designed a splashy, technicolored centerpiece for the midtown Manhattan shop. The luxury department store has embarked on an ambitious reorganization ahead of competitors moving into New York City; as Bloomberg notes, both Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus are opening their first N.Y.C. locations in 2019. Saks Fifth Avenue’s new ground floor is all about handbags. The previous first-floor tenants, the beauty and fine jewelry departments, have been moved upstairs. The Saks Store Planning and Design team and Gensler collaborated on the 53,000-square-foot first floor, installing custom terrazzo flooring from Italy, “experiential” handbag displays with appropriate signage, and wide, runway-inspired aisles. The centerpiece of the new handbag department is the escalator, which changes color as shoppers ride between the lower and main floors, and up to the beauty department on the second floor. UUfie, one of the Architectural League's 2019 Emerging Voices, also used a dichroic effect for a department store escalator, in that case Paris's Printemps Haussmann Verticalé. The second and third phases of the Saks renovation—the “vault,” which will showcase high-end jewelry, and the new menswear section—are both expected to open later this year.

Future Pharmacy - Interior design contest (award increased and deadline postponed)

New interior design contest on Desall.com: Th.Kohl and Desall invite you to suggest innovative concepts for the pharmacy of the future, meant as a “retail space” dedicated to the person, his/her wellbeing and to the relationships.

Th.Kohl is looking for new furniture/architecture concepts for the realisation of the pharmacy of the future, meant as a “space dedicated to the customer experience” where relationships between people and attention to the person is at the core of the whole design.

For more info: http://bit.ly/FuturePharmacyDesign

Contest timeline

Upload phase: 29th November 2018 – 04th March 2019 (1.59 PM UTC)

Community Vote: 04th March 2019 – 13th March 2019 (1.59 PM UTC)

Client Vote: from 04th March 2019

Winner announcement: approximately before the end of May 2019

Total awards

€4000

Participation is free of charge and open to all creative people (at least 18 years old).

TH.KOHL

Th.Kohl is the Italian leader in the design and realisation of interior architecture for pharmacies. The company, born as a branch of the home – founded in Germany in 1919 – is completely independent and has offices also in France and Spain, and some agent offices in Greece and Croatia, serving over 33,000 customers.

The high quality of the proposed solutions is guaranteed by the decision of managing in-house all the phases needed for their realisation, from the design to the production and installation of the furnishing elements, ensuring maximum control and highest flexibility.

DESALL

Desall.com is an open innovation platform dedicated to design and innovation, that offers to companies a participatory design tool involving in the creative process an international community coming from all over the world. To date Desall gathers more than 100000 creatives from over 210 countries and has collaborated with international brands like Luxottica, Whirlpool, Electrolux, ALESSI, Enel, Leroy Merlin, KINDER, Barilla, illy, Chicco, Mondadori and many more.

Thanks for the contamination of different cultural backgrounds and creative industries, the Desall community is able to provide high-quality project solutions for every product development phase requested by the client, from concept to product design, from naming to packaging.

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Swatch's new store embraces delicate craft and crude informality

  Spanish firm TAKK, led by Mireia Luzárraga and Alejandro Muiño, recently completed a new space for Swatch that doesn't neatly conform to what people might typically associate with Swiss watchmakers. Grotto, as the designers call the project, is an unconventional retail space that can also be used for "public activities such as lectures, workshops, or debates," according to the architects. The project is meant to be informal both programmatically and aesthetically. The cave-like spaces are roughly finished with highly-textured white walls that bend and slope over the interiors, deforming to create seating in some places and openings in others. The domed spaces are capped with lace-like grills that, along with ornamental chains draped throughout the space, add a "feminine" touch, according to the designers. The overall look is meant as a sort of rebuttal to highly-polished environments typically used to sell goods to "virile" consumers.
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New Jersey's megamall prepares a water park, ski slope, and VICE food hall for launch

Canadian mall developer Triple Five has bet big on bolstering brick-and-mortar retail this year; first, it was a pitch for a $200-million waterpark at Minnesota’s Mall of America, then approval of their 500-acre American Dream Miami, set to become the largest mall in the country in May. Now Triple Five has released new details of its American Dream mall in East Rutherford, New Jersey, which is finally set to open in March of 2019 after 16 years of delays. At a whopping 4.5 million square feet, American Dream will be smaller than its Miami-based cousin but still large enough to contain the western hemisphere’s largest indoor ski slope, a 253-foot-wide “observation wheel," a regulation-sized skating rink, and an eight-acre “Nickelodeon Universe” park. The mall will sit right next to MetLife Stadium, just a stone’s throw away from Manhattan and eastern New Jersey, and Triple Five is expecting 30 to 40 million visitors a year and will run direct buses from the Port Authority in Manhattan and NJ Transit stops. As the opening date approaches, new details about the mall have been coming progressively faster; earlier this week, it was revealed that there will be a MUNCHIES-branded food hall in the complex (MUNCHIES is VICE’s food vertical), alongside a separate kosher food hall and several other standalone restaurants. The mall will also play host to Big Snow America, an 800-foot-long, 16-story indoor ski slope complete with a chalet and ice-climbing wall to be open year-round. Triple Five is also matching their Nickelodeon theme park with an eight-acre Dreamworks-themed water park, both of which will sit inside climate-controlled glass domes. Still, it remains to be seen if American Dream can capture shoppers’ imaginations in the same way that the Mall of America does, which attracts over 40 million visitors a year. Physical retail has been in a downslide for years, especially malls, which are sitting abandoned or being converted to other uses.