Retail Store

Decoded Fashion - Weekly Stories - Nixon NYC
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From high visibility storefronts to customisation bars, plus a new wave of European-originated luxury, we highlight the most inspiring recent US watch retail openings.

  • Window onto the Atelier: Californian watch brand Nixon has opened its debut New York store on Prince Street, SoHo. Designed by British agency Checkland Kindleysides, the space is the latest roll-out of its concept The Horizon, which subtly references the rhythm and flow of the ocean in a nod to its surfer following. To avoid the alienation of encasing the product behind glass barriers, all the watches are displayed on a sculptural centrepiece of undulating plinths, which appear to emerge from an under-lit blue tank. That visibility is echoed in the all-glass frontage of the 279 sq ft store, which gives passersby a clear view onto the brand’s workshop-style aesthetic. It also boasts a customisation bar at the rear of the space.


  • Crisp, Calm & Customisable: Anglo-Swedish contemporary watch label Larsson Jennings has opened its first US concept store in Nolita, New York. Also featuring a predominantly glass storefront, the space includes modular displays hand built in Oxfordshire, England, which replicate the aesthetic of the brand’s crisp, minimal London flagship. The stark white interior showcases its full product range, including the LJX Custom area, where shoppers can choose from a selection of straps and hardware for bespoke timepieces.


  • Cinematic Flair on Rodeo Drive: Two luxury Swiss watchmakers – IWC Schaffhausen and Audemars Piguet – have unveiled stores on Los Angeles’ high-end retail strip Rodeo Drive. IWC’s two-storey destination marks a new retail concept for the brand that reference’s LA’s cinematic heritage via an Art-Deco-inspired interior, film-themed lounge and a gallery of photographs, props and memorabilia charting the brand’s history in the film industry.

Meanwhile, Audemars Piguet’s 1,342 sq ft, three-floor boutique flagship presents a more straightforward ode to luxury in oak, stone and luxurious metallic surfaces.


  • Promoting Domestic Production: Cult Detroit-based watchmaker and lifestyle retailer Shinola has opened its first San Francisco location in Palo Alto, California. Reflecting the brand’s commitment to conveying American heritage, as well as echoing its other destinations, the store design and visual merchandising is rooted in wooden worktables, vintage memorabilia and industrial fixtures. This space precedes a 3,200 sq ft megastore due to open in the heart of the city at the end of February 2016, which will feature an area dedicated to US products.


Guest post by Alison Gough & Katie Baron

Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Nike 45 Grand
Image source: Nike 45 Grand, Soho

To promote its new advanced performance apparel range for women, Nike has opened an ultra tricked-out showroom and fitness studio in New York called 45 Grand – a reference to its SoHo address. All events and services are by personal appointment only, rendering it more covert club than sports shop.

Located in an overhauled former metal shop, the initiative is aimed at the city’s key influencers (press, celebrities, fashion/sportswear buyers and stylists) as well as the brand’s Nike Plus members. These ultra-fit consumers are highly engaged with its digital services, such as Nike+ Training Club, Fuel and running apps.

Designed by NY/London-based Rafael de Cardenas in collaboration with NY-based art director and fashion publicist Jen Brill, the minimal, club-like space offers a distinctly serious yet luxury take on fitness for women. Featuring lots of personalisation and try-before-you-buy experiences, a laboratory-style reception area and tiered seating/stage area surrounded by mirrors overlooking the gym signals a space that means business. Meanwhile, the soft, sci-fi styling of the private lounge on the mezzanine level – with pink banquettes, wooden herringbone flooring and hexagonal gold box tables – serves as a more relaxed meeting space.

Pushing the personal touch, guests are invited to have a gait analysis and to both preview and test the new products during a bespoke personalised training with a Nike coach (who also personalises their apps) – bringing remote digital concepts to life. Individualised welcome messages are displayed on digital panels on lockers, and guests can also join live expert classes.

Guest post by Katie Baron & Stefanie Dorfer

Decoded Fashion - Weekly Stories - Northface
Image source: Green Room Design

American outerwear brand The North Face has created a digitally enhanced, community-focused flagship in London. The store aims to entice the growing number of urban outdoor enthusiasts – according to 2015 research by the Outdoor Industries Association, in the US alone, nearly 50% of outdoor consumers live in or near cities.

Going against the traditional, linear mode of categorisation, the 4,305 sq ft space, conceived by London-based retail consultancy Green Room Design, displays products merchandised according to lifestyles – ‘live’, ‘train’ and ‘explore’. Numerous video screens display footage of adventurous activities to convey the brand’s passion for the great outdoors.

Adding a sense of contextual physical immersion, ‘Sky Windows’ – an additional set of digital screens latched to the ceiling – display changing weather conditions.

Trading on the huge importance a sense of community plays in sport and now also in driving retail engagement at large, one section is dedicated to events including product launches and talks with affiliated athletes, while also providing a space to relax.

The flagship also offers locker rooms, where shoppers who’ve signed up for out-of-store sports classes run by the brand can store their kit.

Guest post by Marta PodeszwaKatie Baron

Video source: Decoded Fashion

Katie Baron, Head of Retail presents a teaser preview of her upcoming presentation for Decoded Fashion’s Milan 2015 Summit, Bricks & Bytes: Evolving Into the Smart Store – reviewing themes including adaptive spaces, subtle tech and brand spatial content made for media.

To see Katie’s full presentation and hear more ideas about the future of retail, join us at the Milan Summit on November 17-18. You can book your ticket here.

Guest post by Katie Baron

 DFMILAN15-register now


“Subscription-based beauty sample box provider Birchbox, which helps consumers discover new products by shipping them samples by mail, today announced its plans to expand its offline retail footprint to at least two more stores in 2016. The additional retail locations will join the company’s now year-old brick-and-mortar storefront located in Soho, New York, and will be chosen following a summer “road trip” involving pop-up shops aimed at evaluating consumer demand and sales potential in the prospective cities.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Birchbox

“A little over two years ago, eyewear e-commerce pioneer Warby Parker opened its first retail store in SoHo with fairly low expectations. “Initially, we only had plans to open one, maybe two stores,” co-founder Dave Gilboa told Fashionista over the phone. “We were just blown away by the response that we received from customers.” That store still occasionally has a line out the door on weekends, and Warby Parker now has 12 retail locations across the country, with plans to open seven more before the end of this year.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily -  Warby Parker

“About 175 underperforming Gap stores will close in North America as part of a comeback plan for the business, which has posted sales declines for five straight quarters and lagged behind its sister chain Old Navy.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Gap

“Opening physical retail stores could be a successful move for Amazon after a survey found that a majority of people want to see the e-commerce giant on the high street.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Amazon

“Frank & Oak, an online retailer of men’s apparel and goods, is today announcing plans to launch six different long-term pop-up shops across the United States. Where? Well, it seems that’s up to consumers.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily -  Frank & Oak


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