New concepts are the lifeblood of retailing. Here are six new stores — three homegrown formats and three imports — that are currently in the works:
Ice hockey equipment manufacturer Bauer Hockey is throwing its puck in the retail arena. The company will open its first-ever store this summer, in Burlington, Massachusetts, followed by a second location in the fall, in the Minneapolis area.
Designed by Toronto-based Perennial Inc., Bauer Hockey will offer an experiential retail experience that elevates the brand and the sport of hockey, complete with an indoor ice rink where shoppers can try out equipment. The stores will put an emphasis on product education and fit expertise, and include an areas to educate new-to-hockey families and welcome them to the sport. The spaces will also be host ongoing events and initiatives for players, parents and the overall hockey community.
Bauer plans to open six to eight stores during the next several years in key hockey markets across the United States and Canada.
One-hundred year-old Florida-based department store retailer Bealls Inc. is developing a specialty store concept — Bunulu — that is scheduled to premier by yearend.
The new banner will target a younger demographic, and feature coastal-inspired active lifestyle apparel and accessories for both men and women. The brand’s website describes Bunulu as the “next generation of outdoor active lifestyle brands. Personalized for the coastal lifestyle.”
According to reports, Bunulu will open three to five locations in the fall. Stores will average about 4,000 sq. ft. and have a casual atmosphere, with wood floors and shelving and beach décor accents.
At press time, the three-year-old online menswear retailer was set to open its first permanent retail space, a showroom at its headquarters in Irvine, California. The move comes after the company tested brick–and-mortar with pop-ups in Los Angeles, and New York City last December.
Similar to Warby Parker and some other online startups, Combatant Gentlemen owns nearly every aspect of its product, from the design and production to the manufacturing. (It even owns a sheep farm.) The strategy cuts out the middlemen, allowing it to offer smart-looking, all-wool suits for as low $160. Specializing in suiting and shirts, Combatant Gentlemen also does a big business in “wedding suits” and tuxedos.
Currently, the retailer ships throughout North America. But the United Kingdom and Australia are expected to come on board by the end of the year.
Famed British toy retailer Hamleys is coming across the pond. The 225-year old company has retained JLL to facilitate a multiple store roll-out throughout the United States.
The retailer, which has some 50 stores across Europe, Asia and the Middle East, including its famed seven-story flagship on Regent Street in London. Most recently, it opened its largest store ever, a 73,000-sq.-ft. location in Moscow. The two-level space is divided into nine themed areas that combine retail and entertainment.
In the United States, Hamleys is reportedly seeking locations in such major markets as New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, and is also looking to open about 20 airport locations.
One of Europe’s fastest-growing apparel chains, Primark, makes its U.S. debut this fall, opening a four-level, 70,000-sq.-ft. store in the former Filene’s space in Boston’s Downtown Crossing. Selling on-trend fashions for at value prices, the retailer casts a wide net in terms of demographics. (The Dublin-based company is owned by Associated British Foods.)
Primark plans to open about 10 stores in America by spring 2016. Most of those locations will be realized via a deal with Sears Holdings Corp. In late 2014, Sears entered into an agreement to lease seven standalone stores in the Northeast to Primark, with the first opening in late fall at King of Prussia Mall, King of Prussia, Pa. Other locations include Danbury Fair, Danbury, Connecticut; Freehold Raceway Mall, Freehold, New Jersey; Willow Grove Park Mall; Willow Grove, Pennsylvania; and the Staten Island Mall, Staten Island, New York.
In total, Sears is leasing about 520,000 sq. ft. of retail space to Primark. Sears will maintain a presence, although with a streamlined format, at six of the seven locations, with the exception of the site at King of Prussia.
Known for its low prices, upbeat attitude and design aesthetic, Danish retailer Tiger will enter the United States in May, opening a 5,000-sq.-ft. flagship in New York City’s Flatiron neighborhood. Expect it to be filled with a quirky, ever-changing and colorful mix of exclusive items — ranging from umbrellas and toys to T-shirts and seasonal goods — at affordable prices. (Most of the products will be priced under $10, according to reports.)
Based in Copenhagen, Tiger opened its first store in 1995, and currently has some 435 locations in 25 countries. (The company operates under the name Flying Tiger Corp. in Asia and the United States due to trademark issues.)