O.C. Choppers Rides into Retail Expansion

When your client is known to millions as a the TV show with attitude, you’d better design their new retail store with plenty of of the same.

That was one of the challenges GRANT Display was up against when Orange County Choppers asked our design team to come up with a layout for their 27,000-square-foot retail showroom in Stewart, New York. The motorcycle store and its colorful owners were the inspiration for the series “American Chopper” on cable network TLC.

When the show took off a few years ago, visitors began flocking to the store, looking for gifts, clothing and anything else with the O.C. Choppers imprint on it. To accommodate them, a 10,000-square-foot gift shop was built on site. The show’s popularity soon necessitated a larger store, which is being incorporated into a 100,000-square-foot company headquarters and machine shop nearby.

“We outgrew our original garage and gift shop after the TV show caught on, so we really needed to expand both,” said Joseph Puliafico, senior vice president of retail operations. “We knew we needed help in the store-design area, so we did some web research and found that GRANT was known for quick turnaround on tight budgets. Even though we’re on opposite coasts, we handled almost everything by phone and email, with GRANT’s staff only making a few visits to our site.”

“We knew we needed help in the store-design area, so we did some web research and found that GRANT was known for quick turnaround on tight budgets.”

“Our challenge was to carry the excitement and attitude of the show into the new retail space,” said Jeff Grant, president of GRANT Display. “We knew customers related to that, so we wanted the store to exude that lifestyle.”

Because the bikers on the show tend to be larger than life, the GRANT team wanted the store’s interior to be likewise. “It’s all about branding, so we specified oversize graphics and large video monitors,” Grant said. “The monitors not only show episodes of the TV show, but also information about the O.C. Chopper dealership on site. It all adds excitement to just being in the store, which puts already predisposed customers in even more of a buying mode.”

With such a huge space to fill, Grant said, another challenge was presenting the combination of bikes, clothing, accessories and core bike parts in a manner that drove traffic through the store and encouraged shopping. To facilitate that visual presentation and to keep the visual merchandising flexible, GRANT worked with Joe to specify fixtures, shelves, racks, showcases, mannequins and counters that could be moved in and around the two-story showroom as needed. They also outfitted an indoor stage and seating area for special events.

While this store was in process GRANT also helped design the 5,000-square-foot O.C. Choppers dealership in Palisades, New York and the layout for O.C. Choppers dealership roll out.

“It’s always gratifying to be associated with a popular, well-known client, especially one that’s achieved iconic status,” Grant said. “But with a good floor plan and the right fixtures, any retailer can start on the same path, even if it’s just to local popularity. You never know when opportunity will knock on your door, so you might as well be ready for it. O.C. Choppers certainly did, and they’re insuring their status now with a firm commitment to exciting retail design.”

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