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In a highly competitive market, retail outlets need a point of difference. At Sylvia Park, designers and shopfitters have explored exciting new ways to tempt the serious shopper

walk this way

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Cars may have queued back up the motorway on the day the new Sylvia Park mall opened, but the centre was just as much a hive of activity in the preceding weeks as dozens of designers and shopfitters worked behind the scenes.

Shears & Mak Shopfitters was one of the busiest companies readying the mall for opening. Working with 11 clients and 11 designers on 11 different retail fit-outs, the company pulled out all the stops to deliver each project on time and within budget. The company was responsible for the Amazon, Max, Line 7, Stax, Mark Richards, Country Road and Crabtree & Evelyn stores, as well as Gloria Jeans Coffees, The Crêpe Café, The Coffee Club and OPSM Eyewear.

Co-director Charlie Shears says Shears & Mak not only project-managed each fit-out, but was involved right from the planning stage.

"An early involvement in the design and planning of each project meant Shears & Mak was able to contribute to the cost management, ensuring clients received the best value for money without compromising any of the design features," he says. "As with all our projects, all design finishes and costs were determined before the projects commenced, so there were no delays or surprises during the build phase."

Co-director Patrick Moyne says that as well as co-ordinating 11 different projects and ensuring they were all completed on time, the use of new and unusual materials posed a challenge – both in sourcing and constructing the various store displays.

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"The Max fit-out, for example, features theatrical seating with a backdrop of velvet curtains and clear acrylic tubing filled with cut crystal beads. The acrylic tubing was imported from Germany, and more than 300m of stringed crystal beads were sourced in China."

Moyne says a circular neon and crystal chandelier, designed and built from a simple sketch from the designer, was also made for the store.

"Transforming concept drawings from designers into actual store fittings is a testament to the shopfitters' skills. We are constantly working to find different ways to meet a designer's brief while ensuring the project stays within budget."

Other special features of the Max store include cast concrete wall panels that feature embossed floral patterns, and bevelled mirror strips, which enhance the glittering interior.

The Stax store fit-out also features a variety of materials used in unusual and interesting ways. These include gold metallic wall tiles and a cross-grained Tasmanian ash veneer screen in a diamond pattern. The OPSM eyewear store has a more subdued, uncluttered interior. Here, a dispensing desk features a hidden drawer, and a computer monitor positioned in the middle of a frameless mirror.

Co-director Anthony L'Estrange says the food outlets were possibly the most complex fit-outs.

"Many of these fixtures, including refrigeration units, were imported for the project."

Shears & Mak has been in business for 21 years, and now has a staff of more than 50, many with extensive industry knowledge and experience. The company has its own joinery shop and CAD drafting and programming facilities.

"The company's success can be directly attributed to the staff and our team approach," says L'Estrange.

For details, contact Shears & Mak Shopfitters, PO Box 14-620, Auckland, phone (09) 527 4720, fax (09) 527 4728. Email: charlieshears@shearsandmak.co.nz, website:www.shearsandmak.co.nz .

First published date: 12 December 2006

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