New retail design helps Down in the Valley increase retail sales


Down in the Valley, the historic Golden Valley, MN, music store needed to expand their retail floor space to make room for more classic and new vinyl records. The popularity of vinyl has grown significantly over the past decade, and with the upcoming 10-year anniversary of Record Store Day (RSD), Down in the Valley wanted to be prepared.

In addition to more space for records, general manager Scott Farrell wanted to create space that could serve as a mini-venue for visiting artists like glam rockers Flipp, who performed on RSD 2017. All of these changes, however, had to be made while the rest of the store was open, and the finished retail interior design, while giving a face lift to the vinyl department, had to blend in with the rest of the store.

“We needed to give the space a fresh look — something a little bit hip. But it had to meld into the existing design,” says Farrell.

Reconfiguring an Institution

Down in the Valley worked with PlanForce to help turn their business goals into code-compliant, functional, and cost-effective reality. With limited space to work in, PlanForce designer — and admitted audiophile — Peter Mueller knew he would have to be creative. To make room for the extra vinyl, he moved the northwest corner wall back, reducing some of Down in the Valley’s backroom storage area, and built out a new office area to compensate for the lost space.

Out front, PlanForce built a new ticketing counter, using textured metallic finishes to compliment Down in the Valley’s hip, rock’n’roll aesthetic. And for the new retail floor space, Mueller designed custom rolling carts for Down in the Valley’s vinyl collection. The new carts can be easily rolled out of the way to create a small performance area directly underneath the repositioned, historic Down in the Valley wood sign.

Amplifying Vinyl Sales

Mueller and Farrell worked together closely throughout the project, from selecting colors and finishes to determining the optimal height of the new vinyl carts. “It was very collaborative,” says Mueller.

Together, PlanForce and Down in the Valley created a space that looks great and is “tailored to be very functional,” says Farrell. The new design creates a strong focal point for the vinyl collection, and a hub for audiophiles eager to get their music fix. “We’ve gotten lots of positive customer feedback.”

Moreover, the redesign has helped achieve Farrell’s business goals. “Sales in the vinyl department keep going up,” he says. And that’s music to everyone’s ears.

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