MJBizMag March 2021 - 68

BestPracticesInRetail | Solomon Israel
Minimalist High Design in Toronto
Cannabis retailer Edition opened in
Toronto in December with fanfare
from a variety of design-focused
publications. Elle D├ęcor declared at
the time, " This may just be the world's
chicest cannabis shop. "
Edition founder and CEO Ryan
Roebuck said he " wanted to break that
stigma of what the traditional cannabis
retail dispensary should look like. "
Roebuck said the design of Edition's
first location was meant to make a
high-end retail experience available
to cannabis shoppers-particularly
an older, more affluent demographic
that's used to shopping at other luxury
stores-without intimidating other
customer demographics.
" Luxury, to us, doesn't necessarily
mean white gloves, silver trays (and)
expensive prices. Luxury, to us, is an
experience, impeccable quality and an
overall beautiful environment, " he said.
Roebuck describes the store as light,
open and airy. A custom scent, made
in collaboration with Murphy & Jo
Candle Co., pervades Edition's space.
" When you deal with good designers
and good architects, the questions that
they're asking at the beginning of the
process shouldn't necessarily be, 'How
do you want it to look?' " Roebuck said.
" It should be, 'How do you want it to
feel? How do you want it to flow?' "
A Touch of Detroit in Flint, Michigan
Michigan cannabis retailer Common
Citizen's store in Flint won a 2019
Gold Award for retail store design
from the International Council of
Shopping Centers.
Chief Operating Officer Joe Jarvis
describes the location as " warm and
welcoming, " with a design that puts
customer experience first.
" Just from the aesthetics and from
the material selection that we use, we
want to be inviting, and, most importantly,
we really want to capture a broad
audience. We want people to be able to
see themselves in our store, " he said.
Common Citizen in
Flint, Michigan, uses
design and color
to differentiate
product categories.
Courtesy Photo
Jarvis said materials including metal,
glass and finished, unpainted wood
reflect the revitalization of Detroit, the
largest city in the state. " It's got that
warm aesthetic, but it's got a little
Detroit grit in it as well, " Jarvis said of
design at the store, located an hour
northwest of Detroit.
Common Citizen categorizes its
cannabis products by the " common
states " they satisfy, such as " unplug "
or " sweet relief. " The retailer uses
design elements and colors to illustrate
those categories on the sales floor.
An in-store cafe serves as an
opportunity for shoppers to slow down
and relax. (Or it did when there wasn't
a pandemic.)
" We don't want people just to rush
in and rush out the door. ... We really
want to connect with our customers, "
Jarvis said.
Budgeting Considerations
Stone said design fees from a
reputable firm such as High Road
can range from roughly $20,000 to
$100,000, depending on factors
including the scope of services needed
and the project timeline.
But store operators without that kind
of budget can still benefit from a brief
consultation with a designer, she said.
" If somebody came to us with a
$500 budget, we'd be happy to sit
68 Marijuana Business Magazine | March 2021
down and have a conversation and a
consultation and at least help them
make some really important decisions
about where they should spend their
money, " Stone said.
For store operators set on a do-ityourself
design, Stone identified
display fixtures as a critical area that
could benefit from professional input.
She also offered an important
reminder: Money spent on designers
is just one step in a comprehensive
construction process.
" Your average interior designer is not
a contractor. It's not HGTV, where we're
going to be the ones coming in and
helping to demo the space and paint
the walls, " she said.
" Designers are experts in doing the
plans, specifying materials, making
sure that the space is going to be built
in a way that serves your business, "
Stone said. " We require solid
professionals (who come in) after us
to make sure that what the client paid
for in the design process actually is
what they're going to get to enjoy for
years to come. "
Solomon Israel is a reporter
for Marijuana Business
Daily International. You
can reach him at solomon.
israel@mjbizdaily.com.

MJBizMag March 2021

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