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Putting down Roots in Chicago

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In North American terms Chicago is one of the closest big cities to the Canadian border and it is therefore perhaps no surprise that Roots, the retailer and brand that makes much of Canada, opened its largest US store to date on the city’s grand Michigan Avenue.

This is an 11,448 sq ft, two-storey shop and it is the first to open on the shopping thoroughfare in six months. For those walking through the door the interior is a striking example of Roots’ ‘cabin meets the city’ ambiance, with piles of logs, wooden fixturing and toffee-coloured leather seating. There is even the almost inevitable canoe, inverted and suspended from the ceiling, acting as a base for a raft of pendant lights.

The store is supposed to be experiential, which perhaps turns out to mean staff in t-shirts and checked shirts and a large space devoted to personalisation.

Also worth noting is the crushed river rock at the store entrance and a tree, imported from Canada, all intended to remind the visitor of the store’s Algonquin Park heritage, which is where the first Roots cabin opened in 1973.