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Umpqua Unveils New ‘Neighborhood Store’

Umpqua Bank opened what it describes as a “boutique store” last month in Northwest Portland, Oregon. Umpqua calls the 1,385-square-foot store its first “neighborhood store” offering “banking, innovation and a place to connect with the community” to both businesses and the general public.

umpqua-bank-logoUmpqua’s says it wants its stores to feel like neighborhood hubs. “Every square inch is maximized to provide personalized, community-focused experiences,” the bank says.

“Similar to cafés and other gathering places, Umpqua’s neighborhood stores provide people with an engaging space to browse local merchandise, shop online, enjoy a cup of coffee and learn about community events and resources — in addition to banking.”

Umpqua Bank’s neighborhood store strategy is designed for stores approximately 1,500 square feet in size which can be built in 45 days, compared to the industry average of 120 days, reducing the bank’s construction costs and building time by more than 50%.

All of Umpqua Bank’s neighborhood stores are fully equipped to offer personal banking, mortgage lending, small business banking and commercial lending.

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Umpqua’s neighborhood stores have Discover Walls. These multi-screen displays deliver a choreographed video experience in an interactive, sustainable presentation of products and services. Customers can print and takeaway only the materials they want and need. Umpqua’s neighborhood stores feature electronic bulletin boards providing community information and neighborhood event calendars.

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There is access to computer cafés called MyBooth that support community and provide connection to online resources. The stores also incorporate enhanced banking automation technologies, including cash recyclers that maximize space and improve store associate efficiency and security.

For the last 5-6 years, Umpqua’s retail branch concepts have been widely celebrated for challenging conventional banking practices and design. The latest location is one of three equally-notable neighborhood stores Umpqua has in Portland.

Umpqua Bank has 153 branch locations in Oregon, northern California and Washington.

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  1. Umpqua is also very dog friendly. You’ll notice the dog friendly floor and they have the universal symbol for “dogs welcome” — an Umpqua water dish outside the front door.

    I’m a native Oregonian and grew up in Northwest Portland. This works in Portland because people a. care about coffee, good coffee, b. care about the environment and c. it rains all the time so anytime you can loiter (get out of the rain) is a good thing.

    This may not work in Cleveland or Miami or Omaha. Too many times I see CUs R & D a concept (rip off and duplicate) without thinking it through. Is it relevant and remarkable to our target audience? Or is it weird and a waste of space?

  2. Some great idea’s here…and some we’ve integrated into our client spaces for several years. The R&D (mentioned above) is a good point. It has to be about how you are focusing your development of the relationship with your members, if your culture is “comfortable” with the open feel of some of these designs (as well as your members feeling comfortable using them if they’re your target for those branches. Great deal to consider for sure — but still…it’s where credit unions should be looking as the future of their branches.

    Great piece Jeffry!

  3. Jen, that’s a great quote from Ray Davis. I’m a big fan of the Umpqua brand. Every financial marketer can learn a lot by studying Umpqua.

    According to the press release I received, Umpqua hinted that this latest branch represents some milestone in its design. Maybe it’s not anything more special than just another snazzy branch in their newer retail style. This one looks different than the ones I’m familiar with. — different layout and feeling.

  4. At risk of being considered a credit union heretic, I admit, I pretty impressed with Umpqua, especially when it comes to design.

    The neighborhood branches aren’t really breaking news. Umpqua started opening neighborhood branches in 2006. According to a US Banker article from 2006 the neighborhood branches cost half as much as a traditional Umpqua branch.

    Umpqua has a neighborhood branch just a few blocks from my office, and strategically placed next to Farmers Market. Yes, it feels more like a boutique than a traditional bank. An island in the center of the colorful store displays an assortment of children’s toys – merchandise that Umpqua is selling on behalf of a shop just down the street. A scrapbook of event photos sits next to a plate full of cookies under a bulletin board with local goings on. And an associate once told me that people wander into the branch because they don’t realize it’s a bank.

    I love this quote from Umpqua’s CEO. Perhaps we should pay attention?

    “If you don’t understand design and you compete against me, I am going to kick your butt. Let me repeat, I am going to kick your butt.” – Ray Davis

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