With a brand identity study in progress, Bill and Paul’s Sporthaus was on its way to defining the character of their new space. A respected 55-year history in Grand Rapids has attracted a loyal base of four-season outdoor enthusiasts. Guided by passionate employees with one to thirty plus years at the shop, customers know they can trust the quality of the equipment and staff recommendations. The two-level 10,000 sf retail space had potential, but dated finishes, choppy circulation, and claustrophobic ceilings didn’t reflect the long-range vision for Bill and Paul’s. The double-height entry allowed aerial product displays, but low ceilings and bulkheads limited merchandising opportunities.
A conversation pit behind the main stair was a favorite location for workshops and presentations. The relocated clubhouse provides a main level focal point, surrounding a new fireplace, topped by a contoured wood ceiling inspired by the serpentine eastern Grand Canyon. The clubhouse is a place to meet people with similar interests, research equipment for future travels, and share stories of adventures past. New cash wraps promote staff and customer interactions. Relocated storage areas create a contiguous main level, improving access to the elevator. A previously enclosed stair now visually connects the retail floors. With drop ceilings removed, snowboards and kayak displays expand upward. Structure and ductwork are painted to fade into the background. Focused LED lighting replaces 2×2 troffers, highlighting the merchandise and unifying the two levels. The strength of Bill and Paul’s Sporthaus is a dedicated team championing outdoor experiences and sharing the customers’ stories. The renovated space strives to evoke the passion in its staff and customers. A place to share knowledge of the outdoors and guide others to find their people.