Shop & Merchandising Inspiration: Terrain, Pennsylvania

I’ve often remarked to my husband (any anyone else who wants to talk with me about some of my favorite subjects: plants, shops, branding and merchandising) that Terrain is my Disneyland. The shop which is part of the Urbn umbrella that also runs Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters and Free People has my number.

Everything about the space is merchandised impeccably and branded in that subliminal organic, natural, high end way that sets if apart from a lot of other retail out there. The plants are also very well maintained. It is also, like any of the stores under the Urbn umbrella brands, very of the moment. It is aspirational and inspirational to mere mortals like myself who, with currently a team of one, do all the photographing, blogging, lease management, event coordination, upfitting, product purchasing, shipping, designing, email responding and so on and on and on (though a few years ago I did manage a team of 8 at Gather – even then something of this scale felt unfathomable).

Regardless, it is inspiring to see what those teams of thousands do when they are focused exclusively on color ways, on finding the most perfect product, on creating custom display fixtures and so forth, into their space.

We have family that lives near their nursery/store in Pennsylvania so we always take a detour to stop in every time we are in the vicinity. As with many things these pictures don’t really do it justice. It’s really about the in store experience and really needs to be walked in person to appreciate it in full.

The outside grounds are like any other plant nursery and filled with trees, shrubs and other large plants and outdoor decor and seating. Inside is where the magic really happens. It is as you would expect from walking into any Anthropologie store only change the palette to muted greens, the subject matter to plants and related ephemera versus clothing.

Here air plants are merchandised in front of a large display wall of moss. Though it is a fine line between this and say The Rainforest Cafe, somehow it works, and though very very heavy-handed, manages not to feel that way.

An azalea topiary forced to bloom early.
Their onsite cafe in a solarium style space.
A cluster of blooming kalancho.
Blue and white china interspersed with cookbooks and a large spray painted faux floral installation above a concrete utility sink.
The front cafe area skewed a little too theme park/lodge for my tastes but I bet in the evening it doesn’t feel quite so kitchy.
I like the blade sign here against the dark shed with of course tall tropical plants surrounding it.

What stores do you think really nail what they do across the board?

iphone photos by Michelle Smith for Gather Goods Co

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