This month we’ve been inspired by the concept of retail concepts, after reading a recent article in Insider Trends, looking at 4 of the hottest retail concept store designs from across the globe. So we decided to find out more about each one:
Fresh STORY, New York
Fresh Story is the result of a collaboration between concept store big hitters STORY and one of the fastest-growing US e-commerce brands – Jet.com. The idea of the new concept store is to merge fashion, lifestyle and food in a new project called Fresh STORY
The original STORY store is a 2,000 sq ft prime retail space, located in West Chelsea, NYC. Here, every 4-8 weeks the store completely reinvents itself – a bit like a pop-up that keeps on popping up – over and over in the same place. Each time STORY changes, the focus is on a different brand, theme or trend and this month it is Jet’s turn to test drive the space.
The in-store experience at Fresh STORY is designed to get customers shopping online at Jet.com, whilst also raising brand awareness with food samples and cooking demonstrations promoting a community- feel which will entertain shoppers and encourage them to champion the brand.
Flora and Henri, Seattle
Lifestyle brand Flora and Henri opened their first store in downtown Seattle in 1998, selling quality items for children aged from birth to 12 years old. In 2012 they took the decision to move fully online, focusing on e-commerce and wholesale. During this time they also branched out into selling other lifestyle products including menswear, ladies fashion and gifts.
The new boutique concept store in Seattle marks a return to Flora and Henri’s roots. The carefully curated selection of items on display are – according to owner and chief designer, Jane Hedreen – essential items for a thoughtful life. She explains the idea behind the store and her motivation for returning to bricks and mortar retail:
“The Flora and Henri concept store is where you will find everything you need to live a thoughtful life, filled with love and beauty, in a unique, artisanal space. We have missed the human interaction and the ability to have the quality of our goods available to touch and feel in full light.”
Alcantara, Shanghai Village
Described as a ‘place where art and fashion meet,’ this new opening is the Italian brand’s second concept store – the first of which is located in Milan. Alcantara describe their stores as a ‘museum in progress’ – a space designed to host creativity and showcase trends, innovations and ideas.
As the Chinese luxury market continues to grow, Shanghai is an ideal choice of location for the luxury material manufacturer to open their second high-brow, high-concept store. The new space in the fashionable Shanghai Shopping Village features a collection of bags, accessories and garments along with more abstract representations of how Alcantara fabrics have been applied – in industries ranging from fashion to interiors and automotive.
New Balance Roppongi 19:06, Tokyo
In May, celebrated clothing and footwear brand, New Balance launched a brand new concept store in Roppongi in Midtown Tokyo. Called ‘New Balance Roppongi 19:06’, the store is a celebration of the footwear giant’s 111 year history and their continuous evolution which has helped them survive in a competitive marketplace since their inception in 1906.
At the grand opening, the store released 44 pairs of the brand’s limited edition 3D printed MS066 trainers. Other high tech WHOLEGARMENT seamless-knit clothing items were also available exclusively to customers on a first-come, first-served basis.
Moving forward, the focus of the new store will be on state-of-the-art clothing and footwear, with 3D printed, collaborative designs and high-concept sportswear being made exclusively available to shoppers. Over time the brand hopes that they will be able to offer unique brand services in store, to create the ultimate New Balance customer experience. And what better a place to do this – than Tokyo, one of the world’s most established centres of innovation.
What an inspiring range of concepts – with an interesting move from online to physical retail for Flora and Henri. Have you visited any of these stores? Or encountered any other new concept stores that you feel are worth a mention? Tell us about them in the comments section below.