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To celebrate 35 years of inspiring imaginations with its timeless toys, Melissa & Doug embarked on a venture to open its first-ever retail store in White Plains, New York. To bring the brand to life, Melissa & Doug desired a space that would delight visitors of all ages, demonstrate the quality of the toys, lean into its position as the #1 preschool brand for wooden and sustainable toys, and inspire open-ended play. NELSON Worldwide, experts in creating immersive retail experiences, created a designed-to-inspire store that draws both adults and children into the essence of the Melissa & Doug brand and the toys that have become a mainstay in the industry for nearly four decades.

Melissa & Doug’s first brick-and-mortar store embodies the brand’s mission for its toys: to ignite imagination. The space features engaging moments throughout, such as a spot where kids can measure how many “scoops of ice cream” tall they are, offer whimsical activity and encourage exploration. Showcased in prominent display pedestals topped with acrylic covers, toys are freed from their boxes, giving shoppers a closeup view of Melissa & Doug’s attention to detail, quality, and kid-powered toys.

The design team took advantage of every square foot of retail space. Wooden puzzle-inspired fixtures fill the perimeter, while spirited graphics that enliven the walls and cascade from the ceiling act as informative wayfinding elements and add to the playful atmosphere. The Fresh Mart section of the store transports kids into a real-life supermarket, while allowing adults to envision what one of Melissa & Doug’s larger play centers could look like in their home.

Drawing from its primary and secondary color palettes, light tones of green, blue, and purple create a vibrant, lively environment where the Melissa & Doug brand comes to life through graphics. This harmonious synergy of visuals and color allow the space to proudly narrate Melissa & Doug’s captivating brand story, immersing visitors in its timeless and imaginative world.