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R&D store at Skullcandy HQ gives direct line to customers

Audio brand Skullcandy has launched an ‘R&D playground’ retail experience at its head office in Park City, Utah.

The space, conceived as a one-of-a-kind place of pilgrimage for fans of the brand and Utah locals, has been designed by Checkland Kindleysides. It is one of only two standalone retail spaces that the brand has worldwide.

Visitors can test new products and see new retail displays before they go into general circulation. Feedback will be taken directly from visitors to sound engineers and retail teams, who are based in the same building.

Modular components have been used so that the space can be constantly adapted to try new products.

An ‘urban playground’ aesthetic has been adopted, with the objective of creating a premium yet irreverent environment.

The materials used, along with spatial design cues, provide frequent references to board sports. Examples include using the same plywood for fixtures as is used to make skateboard ramps, while the cash desk resembles the large speakers found at concerts.

Suspended product displays, with an illuminated campaign canvas, draw attention to merchandise.

An immersive sound bar is designed to let shoppers explore products in their own time, while feeling like a DJ standing at their decks.

A service counter provides repair and exchange services, and limited edition merchandise is available.

The test store operates under Skullcandy’s BORN IN PC give-back scheme, which sees a portion of profits from all products sold locally invested into non-profit programmes in Park City, with a focus on music, mountain, and board sports.

“Skullcandy was born in Park City in 2003, and we’ve always remained. We wouldn’t be here without this community that inspired us from the beginning, so it makes perfect sense to plant our flagship store right here to honour the Park City community,” says Skullcandy CEO Jason Hodell.

“Our creative vision was to invite people into a backstage experience, bringing to life’s Skullcandy’s ‘music you can feel’ mantra in a multi-dimensional way,” says Checkland Kindleysides creative director Joe Evans. “The visceral spatial design reflects the independent and irreverent attitude of the brand and its fans.”

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