Riding High Harley-Davidson Breaks All the Rules of Store Design
December 17, 2019
GREENSBORO, N.C., DECEMBER 17, 2019 – Harley-Davidson is an enduring, all-American brand with monumental history. Their iconic motorcycles are synonymous with quality, freedom, and rebellion. Mark Wheelihan, owner of Riding High Harley-Davidson in High Point, NC, knew when he built his store that he wanted to honor the legacy of the Harley-Davidson brand. That didn’t mean that he wanted to stick solely to tradition, though.
Enter ATI Decorative Laminates and MirroFlex wall panels and ceiling tiles. “We were trying to go for something that would be more cutting-edge and more appealing to the younger customers we’re pursuing as the older customers age out,” he told ATI. By using MirroFlex throughout the showroom, the shop, and the offices, Wheelihan was able to add the architectural interest he desired in patterns and finishes worthy of the world’s most famous motorcycles—all in a way never previously seen in a Harley-Davidson dealership. From the custom items in the showroom, from the ceiling tiles in the conference room to the bathrooms, MirroFlex was used in every way imaginable.ati decorative laminates
While the installation in Riding High Harley-Davidson has only been up since 2017, Wheelihan has plenty of experience with the product. He’s found plenty to love about MirroFlex. “The main feature to me is architectural interest,” he told us. “It allows you to do some things that I haven’t seen before, especially in my industry. It’s an incredibly good product, especially for commercial use, or in places where you have high-volume touch. In my case, there are customers that put their feet against the walls. This stuff is indestructible.”
Even project designer Paul Huizar from Designwork Studios was in awe of MirroFlex. After working with Wheelihan to create his unique retail concept, Huizar told us, “No one has been able to pull off the scale and customization of this store. MirroFlex’s ability to handle heavy traffic is unbelievable. Other decorative applications we’ve used at other stores were basically wallpaper.”
MirroFlex performed so well in the front-of-house at Wheelihan’s previous store, he decided to use the product in the back shop areas in his new location. In the past, there was nothing unusual about repainting the tech area two or three times a year. All of that changed when he swapped out wall paint for MirroFlex Wall Panels. He chose Argent Silver, a MirroFlex finish with color all the way through, which conceals bumps and scratches. “It’s not just decorative to me. There’s a cost savings in normal maintenance from normal wear and tear, even in our shop area,” said Wheelihan. “Within 12 months, it’s paid for itself.”
The response to Riding High Harley-Davidson’s store design has been overwhelmingly positive. While they originally modernized with Millennial customers in mind, older customers loved the concept as well. Wheelihan credits the success of the design to the design and flexibility ATI’s products gave him and his architects. When asked what he wanted the world to know about MirroFlex, Wheelihan’s reply spoke volumes.
“I think that everyone should explore what’s possible”, he told us. “Creating an identity that is unique to you and doing it in an affordable way can be a game-changer. If you can create something that’s interesting to the public, they will come to it. They will talk about it, and that’s what your product has allowed us to do. We’re still just a Harley store, as we were at the old location, and the products are the same. The only thing that’s changed has been how we present them.”
Interprint USA, a worldwide leader in décor design and printing, recently announced Eric Schwartz as the new Vice President of Operations responsible for the company’s manufacturing at its facility in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.