Upon entering the 7,000-square-foot CAMP flagship at Westfield Century City in Los Angeles — the brand’s first West Coast location — visitors encounter a vintage green convertible International Harvester Scout II off-road vehicle featuring “CAMP” license plates that sets the tone for an adventurous in-store journey. Kids (and adults) can travel to a sleep-away camp that includes a Barbie-branded disco cabin, a Mess Hall where they can make an artistic mess with paints and other art supplies, and a Radio Lab to stimulate their musical talents (or just make some noise).
Retail sales opportunities are woven into all the spaces within the store. For example, displays featuring seasonal goods such as activity kits, apparel, outdoor gear and home items that promote quality time and exploration surround the off-road vehicle.
While guests are encouraged to spot signs of the retailer’s design “magic” throughout the store, the big prize is behind the cash wrap of the 2,500-square-foot front retail space, where a wall filled with small goodies hides CAMP’s signature speakeasy-style door. With the help of enthusiastic store associates, children summon their own magic to open the door, which leads under a canopy of trees and into the 4,500-square-foot CAMP tactile play and shopping experience.
Designed to evoke nostalgia through its resemblance to sleepaway camp, the space features a picnic table and benches placed outside an RV Share-branded play camper. A bulletin board with Basecamp Rules, directory and event listings informs kids — and their guardians — about the space. The retailer also hosts events such as birthday parties and CAMP-sponsored concerts in its multipurpose room.
Bordered by green carpeting that resembles grass, the path leads visitors through each area within the CAMP play experience. Children can have fun as they learn through hands-on play, while toys, games and kits related to each specific subject matter are displayed within each area. The retailer features a single theme like “space camp” or “art camp” that is reflected throughout the entire CAMP play experience, with the focus changing every few months.
The yellow Camp Bunk structure houses a bottom bunk-bed style play area, with the top bunk featuring a tube slide that sends children zooming into the cabin next door. Children land in a Barbie-branded disco cabin designed with reversible sequins that change from pink to blue with a swipe of the hand for a visual and tactile sensory experience that was developed with the iconic brand. A doorway leads to a hidden play nook with furry pink carpeting, Barbie-branded camp wallpaper, pieces from the Mattel character’s camping collection and a plush campfire playset.
CAMP’s Mess Hall features walls splattered with paint and visitors are encouraged to contribute to the communal paint space. Additionally, take-home canvases are available for $35 with paint and supplies provided for the in-store artistic experience. A separate Arts and Crafts space allows children to engage in additional activities such as spin art, ceramics and creating night lights.
Touch points within CAMP’s Radio Lab allow children to experiment with different elements of music, beats and rhythm. Retro pieces of sound-engineering equipment and tools are displayed on shelves alongside products to cultivate musical interest such as keyboards, guitars and a mini band set.
Beyond the Radio Lab, tucked away near the exit of the play experience, is a forest scene, surrounding a lake painted on the floor, which is illuminated to resemble a moonlit night by lighting fixtures from above. A dock features wooden planks, but with each step, children hear piano notes as they make music through a step-on keyboard that lies beneath.
“When we open new locations, we are doing more than just opening a store, we are entering a new community,” said Ben Kaufman, Founder and CEO of CAMP in a statement. “Families have very few places that become part of their routine where they can have fun, escape, and build memories together. Los Angeles has been at the top of our wish list for several years, and we are incredibly excited to build our community on the West Coast.”