The Brand

J•Avenue is a Japanese goods boutique that opened in north Columbus this past July.  We at Sidecar, engaged with Pacific Food Inc. (Akai Hanna) to redevelop the existing retail shop "Hana Gifts". The goal was to transform the overall guest experience into one that further engaged with their core Asian guests, as well as generate new interest from western and younger shoppers. We started the process with logo development around the name J•Avenue. We were looking to evoke a friendly and welcoming connection to the Japanese culture, so we took inspiration from the art of Origami and created a folded paper "J" icon. We also wanted to elevate the guest perception of the product offering, so we altered the description from a "gift store" to a store of "Japanese Collections." Utilizing primarily a light and natural color palette, and accented with a soft green, we have created a brand that is both calming and friendly, while still illustrating a quality in craft.

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The Experience

We developed a deliberate customer journey that encouraged exploration, and crafted key visual impact areas to highlight organized product categories. The result is a seamless in-store experience that is as fun to explore as it is easy to shop. Further, the consistent use of natural colors and materials provides a warm atmosphere and our careful use of the brand color green strengthens it's effect as a branded space. 

Click images to view concept renderings.


In order to deliver an elevated product offering we started by reducing the everyday items, leaving the overall product quantity in-store to about half. Further, the product procurement process was made more selective by seeking products that would be unique to the area and exclusively Japanese. With the added space on shelves and the new products of higher visual impact, the merchandising of the store became simple and dynamic.

Here are shots of the store we took when we kicked off the project.