The Queen City Diaries:
The Blank Canvas

A successful journey starts with a plan. But it’s amazing how many retail merchandising projects begin with only the foggiest vision of the end result? That’s ridiculous, inefficient, and poor service to the client.

At SRS, our business is based on the phrase “From Concept to Completion.” It basically describes the process we use when we take on any new job, no matter how small or big.

This is the first in a series of blog posts that will walk you through that process. It highlights SRS’s latest project: the new Queen City Audio Video Appliance store in Pineville NC. Queen City is a family-owned business with six locations in greater Charlotte Over the years, the company has created an enviable market niche in this affluent and fast-growing region, and we were honored to be part of their expansion plans.

The new Pineville store began as an empty building – a blank canvas if you will. But before we made the first sketches, we set out to learn everything possible about Queen City brand, their customers, and the new store itself.

We start by interviewing the company principles, starting at the top. The questions we ask are pointed and blunt, and we expect, and get honest answers. Here are a few:

  • What are the reasons for your success?
  • Who are your core customers?
  • What kind of customers are you currently not attracting?
  • What products are you most successful with?
  • What makes you different from your competition?
  • Where do you see the business 10 years from now?


Once we feel knowledgeable about the brand, we move on to the physical building itself. If blueprint plans are available, we do an in-depth study. For the Queen City project, blueprints were simply not available, so we had to take our own precise measurements of everything in the building. Countless hours were spent ensuring that every wall, window, door, and electrical outlet was accurately noted and stored away for future use.

After this exhaustive research about the brand and the physical building, we are finally ready for some initial sketches. This process is what I will talk about in the next blog post. Stay tuned, it’s going to be a real insider’s look at the world of professional retail design.

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