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HDI completes Century 21 project in Brooklyn. (Retail Scene).

Century 21, has just opened its first full-line cosmetics department in the Bayridge, Brooklyn store as part of its major renovation and expansion of the 105,000-SF facility with all the interior design by Horst Design International (HDI), Cold Spring Harbor, NY.

Responding to the customer's demand for high end cosmetics, skin care products and fragrances, Century 21 is offering such well known, prestigious brands as Lancome, Chanel, Lauder, Clinique, Kenneth Cole and much more. Until now customers had to shop at Kings Plaza for these lines.

"For the past several years, we had hoped to include a comprehensive cosmetics department but lacked adequate space," says Raymond Gindi, owner, Century 21. With the renovation, we added 23,000 SF to the second floor allowing us to relocate merchandise and place the 3,300-SF cosmetics section near the front entrance for high street level visibility."

Sales have been tremendous as lipsticks, creams and perfumes fly off the shelves soon after the doors open at 10 a.m.

HDI's challenge was to create a strong interior concept that would highlight the designer fragrances and cosmetics yet conform to the new contemporary image they've developed for the rest of the store. Using high quality, rich materials like marble as well as modern lighting, a palette of peach pastels and upscale fixturing, shoppers respond well to the elegant, subdued yet inviting environment.

"As a way to promote traffic to the cosmetics area, we opened up two large passageways with wide aisles that direct customers to this department before they walk through the rest of the store," says Fidel Miro, design director, HDI. Cosmetics is connected to women's accessories and the junior department. In addition, HDI opened the display windows along 86th Street so passersby can easily view the variety of showcases and products inside.

HDI designed a series of unique vendor islands for the displays and etagere towers of metal and glass. "Some of the displays are freestanding so customers can easily walk around them while others are affixed to the walls," notes Miro. The department was planned according to the square footage assigned to each vendor. While the vendors designed their own showcases, they were required to conform with the HDI interior standards.

In keeping with the open space plan and avoiding a confined feeling, HDI hid existing walls at the entry by placing cases in front of them and creating low height back walls. The design team interspersed mirrors between the cases that also diminish the appearance of massive walls and allow customers to try on cosmetics. For the flooring, 18" x 18" polished porcelain tiles in a simple checkerboard pattern gives the sense of a wide open area.

To unify the department and break up the space, HDI used plexiglass banding that floats from the walls around the perimeter and above the displays. In the fragrance area, HDI developed an exposed back lit superstructure with transparencies highlighting major vendors.

An architectural dropped grid ceiling with fluorescent and incandescent lighting creates a strong visual statement in this department and throughout the store. Huge coffers with a center grid in an off white color add a sense of drama to the space.
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Title Annotation:Century 21 opens its first full-line cosmetics department in Brooklyn store as part of major renovation and expansion
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Geographic Code:1U2NY
Date:Feb 19, 2003
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