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Higher Ground



Higher Ground Toronto


Higher Ground


June, 2011

The new store design for outdoor lifestyle retailer Higher Ground showcases the brand personality to create an identifiable and memorable look.


Years ago, the appeal of outdoor lifestyle apparel was limited to hardcore adventure enthusiasts but now the active wear market is growing and attracting a wider range of consumers.

Founded in 1987, Higher Ground has been a go-to destination in Toronto for urban fashionistas and outdoor enthusiasts by merging curated “adventure wear” with fashionable men’s and women’s attire.

The Challenge

To attract a broader clientele at lifestyle clothing retailer Higher Ground, Shikatani Lacroix recognized the need to showcase the personality of the store, and give it a branded, identifiable and memorable look.

A memorable retail concept

"This innovative retail space mimics the outdoor environment, where its lifestyle apparel will live, by bringing the outside in" – Jean-Pierre Lacroix, President of Shikatani Lacroix

Our Process


In keeping with the store’s outdoor active lifestyle theme, we brought the outside in. We chose many natural finishes: distressed wood floors, natural slate tile, and exposed brick walls. (Existing brick walls were found during the construction process so we kept them exposed.)

Throughout the store, we leveraged the warmth and natural feeling of wood in many ways. Mennonites made the display tables using reclaimed wood from old barns. Barn board and Kirei board – manufactured from renewable or reclaimed agricultural by-products – are used on the shoe wall. The cash desk is faced with wooden logs cut into slices. More cut logs are displayed in the shoe department (reused from a felled city tree). And there is a stacked wood wall treatment in the display window.

Behind the cash desk we hung photographs of mountain ranges with the same profile as the company logo taken during different seasons, which can be switched out depending on the time of year.


Beyond the monetary measures of increased ROI and higher profits, Higher Ground has also seen a boost in brand awareness and store traffic. The design presents Higher Ground with a compelling brand image, which has resulted in stronger customer recognition, positive word of mouth and an increased interest in the store and brand.

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