Founded in 1935, the renowned brand Sperry is synonymous with high-quality footwear, clothing and accessories designed for a nautical and outdoor lifestyle. Among the company’s range of signature styles introduced over the past 80-plus years, Sperry Top-Sider® was named one of the official boat shoes of the U.S. Navy during WWII, as well as the official shoe of the America’s Cup in the 1980s. Sperry shares parent company Michigan-based Wolverine Worldwide with such famed brands as Saucony®, Hush Puppies®, Merrell® and Chaco®. A new generation of global consumers ensure that Sperry stores remain diligent in projecting the brand’s image in a way that is relevant and reaching. Thanks to recent lighting upgrades involving highperforming LED products from Solais, Sperry has updated its image and is more sustainable.
“My team manages the design construction and maintenance for our fleet of over 300 stores nationwide,” shared Heather Dietrichson, Director of Store Design and Construction for Wolverine Worldwide, who has been with the company since 2010. While many of the stores already incorporated newer LED technology, she said, “We are always looking to implement the latest and greatest in LED advances, so that we can further improve our stores’ aesthetics to ensure the highest-quality and most consistent lighting.”
According to Dietrichson, “We were looking for a general improvement in our stores’ lighting quality, as well as a more dramatic lighting scheme overall, because our previous LED fixtures weren’t highlighting our merchandise well – they appeared very flat. It was important that the team elevate the impact of its lighting with this new design, which features “raw, natural materials and a salty palette of colors with reflections of the deep blues of the ocean.” The new design, which demonstrates an ability to drive increased traffic and sales, was launched in locations such as the brand’s three-year-old Natick, Mass., store in late 2015. “We’re now building all new stores to this design and want our lighting to highlight our merchandise, be an extension of the brand’s image, set a mood and enhance the shopping experience, while being invisible and unobtrusive to customers,” she said.
A STYLISH AND SEAWORTHY SOLUTION
According to David Foss, Vice President of Specifications for Villa Lighting – a leading St. Louis-based provider of lighting products and design services, and longtime lighting design partner to Wolverine Worldwide – Solais’ Xi24, of the Xi Series LED trackheads, and LR38 and LR30LN, of the LR Series lamps, were used throughout the stores to highlight both the general retail space and shoe displays against walls. “They produced the same or improved light output with better color-rendering properties than the previous manufacturer’s and in a smaller housing, delivering a brighter aesthetic and higher lumen output per fixture,” said Foss.
“We wanted our lighting to have dramatic highs and lows that accentuate merchandise – and we achieved it with Solais,” Dietrichson said of the products installed. “Solais offers an outstanding combination of superior lighting quality, ideal color temperature and unique technology to keep the LEDs cool. The housings themselves, with their simple and elegant design, were also a perfect fit with our new store layout. In addition, based on their light output and efficiency, we were able to use fewer trackheads and lamps without sacrificing light output or quality” – an appealing proposition given restrictions on watts consumed and the number of LEDs allowed by 2014 lighting codes. “Thanks to Solais’ products,” she said, “we were able to improve our light quality and aesthetics, while also reducing the cost of operating and maintenance in our stores.”
Dietrichson said that the proactive support her company received from the Solais team has been an equally important and rewarding part of their relationship. “From a customer service standpoint, the Solais team was extremely responsive and was great about providing technical guidance regarding mounting heights and distances from the wall, as well as when to use a 15-, 25-, or 40-degree beam angle on a spot or flood,” she said. “We also love their excitement and enthusiasm about what’s happening in the industry and appreciate that they continue to introduce us to new advances in LED technology and provide ongoing design expertise.”
“Solais’ high-quality, high-performing products and outstanding customer service reflect their brand. They’ve made a huge impact in the national lighting arena,” Foss said. “They’re a great team with great products, and they’re truly doing it right.”
As a result of Solais’ performance, quality and efficiency, “we’re using Solais LED products in our new Sperry-branded stores going forward and plan to incorporate them in all of our new stores and store refreshes in some capacity,” Dietrichson confirmed of the 40 to 80 Solais LED Xi24 fixtures to be used within each store’s 1,100- to 4,000-square-foot space. “Our experience with Solais has been wonderful. We’re thrilled with our upgrades and partnership and are excited to continue down the path with them.”