A Sneak Peek at the New Sprouts Farmers Market

Sprouts Farmers Market opened its first small concept, 25,000-square-foot store on July 21 near Arizona State University’s West Campus, just outside Phoenix

The smaller-sized supermarket has an entirely new grocery store interior design, conceived by Thread Collaborative.

At CIP Retail, we collaborate with design studios all the time. Our manufacturing, engineering, and installation capabilities allow us to take great designs from the conceptual stage to the store without losing impact or breaking the budget.

Here is a behind-the-scenes look at some of the treatments and techniques we used to bring the store’s farm-stand heritage to life:

  1. The grocery store vestibule features whimsically printed wall vinyl with an overlay of dimensional lettering.

  1. Real-wood planking trimmed to precision is an homage to the local and regional farmers that Sprouts prides itself on partnering with to keep its communities strong.

  1. For much of the store department signage, we printed directly onto beadboard paneling, maple veneer plywood, and Oriented Strand Board (OSB), a material that has the look of chipped wood.

  1. For a flattering look on the refrigerated cases, we printed beadboard-looking graphics on magnets. We then wrapped the cases in these printed magnetic sheets

  1. The produce wall features fresh fruit tumbling out of crates created in varying depths, and the Sprouts letters are hollowed out on the inside to allow for the faux grass treatment.

  1. In some instances, hand-stenciling creates the desired effect better than printing, so that’s precisely the approach we took in the store’s dairy and health and beauty sections.

When it comes to retail store signage, there is as much of an art to the manufacturing process as there is to its design. So if you have a retail décor project, we can bring it to life. Contact us today. CIP Retail is your one-stop shop for retail décor, consultation, and signage.

Discover How to Implement State-of-the-Art Décor for a D1 Collegiate Fieldhouse on a Budget

Pittsburgh’s Duquesne University unveiled a bold, modern new logo and mascot for its athletics teams with the help of ChangeUp, a global branding agency in Dayton, Ohio, in 2019.

The reimagined “D” monogram combined with a fierce new Duquesne Duke mascot — portrayed by a lion with a soul-piercing stare — reinvigorated student-athletes and fans alike in the University’s highly competitive NCAA Division 1 men’s basketball program.

Next up for Duquesne Athletics transformative brand experience: the unveiling of UPMC Cooper Fieldhouse, a renovation project 22 months in the making.

In addition to state-of-the-art technology and facilities, implementing the new logo, mascot, and branding throughout the fieldhouse uniquely and powerfully would be vital to firing up the fans and attracting recruits.


  • Bring to life the new visual identity throughout the fieldhouse on a strict budget
  • Make sure the fieldhouse was complete for a nationally televised men’s basketball game


  • 137,600 sq. ft. multi-purpose arena with 3,500 permanent seats, 55 club-level seats, six suites, and four unique fan corners
  • 10,000 sq. ft. Sports Performance Center with training equipment and nutrition center
  • Locker rooms for the men’s and women’s basketball teams and women’s volleyball team
  • Two regulation-size practice basketball courts
  • Athletic staff offices
  • Concourses and concessions stand

Value Engineering

The sheer size of the fieldhouse made value engineering the interior décor elements a necessity. We needed to cover massive arena walls, so we put a lot of consideration into the types of materials we chose. We wanted to incorporate as much texture as possible to create a three-dimensional appearance for the new design elements while still adhering to a strict budget.

Luckily, there are many creative ways to achieve a designer vision while reigning in costs. Instead of cutting out the lettering on natural wood, we can create the same thickness and look with a wood-look vinyl print mounted to PVC or foamboard.

We can also print on thin metal sheeting with plastic standoffs to produce signage with a modern, industrial flair. This process gave the fieldhouse’s signage a metallic look, but without the cost of die-cutting thick metal and without the weight that required additional bracing structures in the walls.

Printing isn’t always the answer, however. The design vision for the fieldhouse also incorporated floor-to-ceiling wall graphics that would have been cost-prohibitive if printed on vinyl or metal. Instead, hand-painted murals offered a viable solution.

One of the most popular features in the fieldhouse is the 10 x 120-foot-long mural in the Sports Performance Center. After covering the wall with rib corrugated metal, we projected an image of the Duke mascot and the Duquesne Dukes phrase onto the wall. Our artist then hand-painted the image onto the metal, airbrushing it for dramatic effect.

“Out of all the signage manufacturers that bid on this project, CIP Retail had the most flexibility to come up with cost-effective ways to bring our design to life,” said James Bacon, associate design director at ChangeUp. “They were the only vendor that suggested hand-painted murals rather than vinyl. They worked with us to get materials that didn’t need additional bracing, and they were super flexible on-site with the client.”

The Timeline Tightrope

Moving from design to installation is a dance in flexibility on nearly every project, especially when construction coincides with décor installation.

In this case, Duquesne University had the additional pressure of hitting a crucial deadline for unveiling its fieldhouse renovation – a nationally televised men’s basketball game on ESPNU.

During the project, there were inevitable surprises, such as corrugated metal for the concession stand that arrived in the color red instead of blue. Rather than stripping down the red metal and re-powder coating it, we were able to repurpose the red metal in the weight room. CIP rounded sheets of corrugated metal, painted it Duquesne blue, and ran it horizontally around the concession stand. We wrapped the entire concession stand with this material and provided outside, inside, and top corner pieces to finish off the product and give it a clean look.

There also were the predictable complexities of coordinating schedules, lead times, turnaround times, and more, with dozens of contractors and technicians working throughout the facility at the same time. Collaboration was key to staying on time and budget. We organized opportunities to use lifts in place for other projects. We worked with the architects to ensure proper studding would exist on the walls where the University wanted signage to hang.

To ensure our installation hit Duquesne’s deadline, we divided the project into Phase I (front of house) and Phase II (back of house). We prioritized installation in the main arena, concourses, and concession areas shown on TV during Phase I. In Phase II, we moved on to installing décor in the locker rooms and athletic offices.

The Results

Duquesne’s new UPMC Cooper Fieldhouse made its national television debut on Feb. 2, and response from the fans and Duquesne’s director of athletics, Dave Harper, was highly positive.

“This is truly a transformation and will better position us for success competitively and academically,” Harper said. “It will be the epicenter of development and growth for our student-athletes. It repositions our brand and our recruiting strategies as well.”

Duquesne University also was chosen to host the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship First and Second Round games in 2024.

In addition, the new UPMC Cooper Fieldhouse will serve as the venue for the 2022 Division III Women’s Volleyball Championship, the 2025 Division II Women’s Basketball Elite Eight, and the inaugural Division II Men’s and Women’s Basketball Festival in 2026.

West Allis and CIP Welcome Festival Foods

The city of West Allis, Wisconsin, welcomed a new Festival Foods supermarket to its community on May 21. It is the second Festival Foods market to open in the Milwaukee area, and the chain now has more than 30 stores throughout Wisconsin in major cities such as Eau Claire, Green Bay, and Madison.

The West Allis location was CIP Retail’s inaugural project with the chain.

Festival Foods chose to partner with CIP Retail because of our ability to design and fabricate under one roof, improving communication and creating cost efficiencies.

At Festival Foods, every business decision they make is based on the question: “Will it bring the customer back?” We took this same approach with every suggestion we made for the Festival Foods décor package.

Festival Foods’ design is clean and simple. It is understated and easy to understand for the shopper. The enhancements we suggested not only were cost-effective and straightforward, but also helped bring consistency and balance to the décor.

For example, we added wood grain paneling behind most department signage, on soffit facia, and perimeter walls to coordinate with the grocer’s flooring choices.

We added trellis work and lighting to Festival Foods’ extensive beer and wine area to create a destination department set apart from the rest of the store. While the hanging trellis system looks massive and heavy, we constructed it from lightweight foam, so it is easy to install and cost-efficient.

We added extra wayfinding signage for navigation of the 73,000-square-foot store. And, working in collaboration with Festival Foods’ internal designer, we experimented with new graphics, fonts, and letter thicknesses to increase the overall punch of the package.

We walked the store with our new client on grand opening day, and we’re incredibly proud of the final collaboration. It is an honor for CIP Retail to work with Festival Foods and help provide their guests with a great shopping experience and exceptional value.

New Supermarket Store Design Unveiled at Tops Friendly Markets

Tops Markets touts itself as your neighborhood store with more, serving customers in upstate New York, northern Pennsylvania, and Vermont. The grocery store chain is in the middle of a $40 million capital improvement plan, completing major remodels at stores across New York.

The refresh has touched nearly everything inside and outside of Tops’ 65,000-square-foot Derby, New York store. CIP Retail is proud to have designed, manufactured and installed all interior décor and grocery signage.

The aisle signs and retail decor guide shoppers toward many new and improved features, like the produce area with a new fresh prep cut fruit and veggie station:

The expanded array of local craft beers:

A warm color palette and updated décor and graphics help support sales of Tops’ always expansive bakery options:

And self-checkouts added during the renovation to help expedite shopping:

CIP Retails has proudly partnered with Tops Markets for all its interior décor and signage needs over the last 10+ years, and we are excited to be a part of their growth and success.

CIP’s corporate commitment to The James

The James is short for The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute.

Yes, it’s a mouthful, and yes, The James has a mighty mission – combining patient care, education, and groundbreaking research to create a cancer-free world.

The James is the only cancer program in the U.S. that features a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center aligned with a nationally ranked academic medical center and a freestanding cancer hospital on the campus of one of the nation’s largest public universities.

CIP Retail founders Tom and Kathy Huff are proud of their endowment to The James to support its mission and proud to be associated with such a prestigious organization.

We encourage others to learn more about the work of this incredible community resource. The Buckeye Cruise for Cancer, June 16-20, 2021, is just one of the many unique events supporters can get involved with. In the last 13 years, the Buckeye Cruise has raised over $25 million.

Lidl lands on the East Coast

Lidl is a popular German grocery market chain that is now rolling out new stores across the East Coast.

The proper pronunciation of the store name is “Lee-duhl, rhymes with needle,” as a spokesperson for the grocer told SCNow News.

But a quick internet search reveals passionate disagreement across the globe on this point. Brits pronounce it “liddle” like little, and then there are those of us who call it ly-duhl like lying down, which is just completely wrong.

No matter how you say it, though, you are welcome to shop.

CIP Retail is proud to partner with the new chain, which recently announced a $500 million new store expansion plan, including opening 50 new stores by the end of this year.

You can already see our handiwork in the Lidl stores in Glen Burnie and Columbia, Maryland, and our third store in Garwood, New Jersey, will open in August.

The National Retail Federation ranked Lidl number one on its Hot 100 Retailers in 2020, an annual ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing retail companies.