The lounge space at Horny Toad & Nau Outlet Store in Freeport, Maine is a comfortable place for people to rest their feet. It has a TV and satellite subscription and an old Mac to give kids hours of online computer games (with firewalls to protect access to email and private sites). They brought in magazines that reflect a variety of interests—Outside, New Yorker, Nat Geo — and some fun vintage music and climbing books purchased at yard sales.
Mostly, it’s an extension of their store, their brand, and the landscape they call home.
They used soft lighting to make it feel separate and more restful than the rest of the store. They wanted it to feel like a cool rec room (so if a kid spills his snack it’s not such a big deal) and the table is made from a recycled pallet off of their very own loading dock. Two clocks show the time in Portland, OR (home of Nau) and Portland, ME (home of the store).
A friend of the shop mounted some of their Instagrams on metal plates. The photos were taken during staff gatherings on the beautiful and local Peaks Island. They offer free coffee from a local roaster, and claim that if they had a dollar for every time someone offered to buy that fireplace…
The ways they make their lounge part of the shopping experience:
- Every customer is made aware of the lounge, especially if they’ve found a nice, uncomfortable step to sit on.
- They quietly check with parents before guiding children to the lounge and helping them choose an appropriate channel on the TV.
- Like hosts at a good party they continually check on customers to see if there’s a better channel for them or if they need more coffee.
- Returning customers remember the lounge as a place for their kids to burn off energy or for themselves to take a load off.