NYC Retail: Must-See New Stores

New York -- As the Big Apple gets ready to host the National Retail Federation’s “Big Show,” which kicks off Sunday, Jan. 11, the city’s retail scene is buzzing. Here are 10 must-see new spaces:

• Birchbox: The four-year old online beauty subscription brand goes brick-and-mortar with a two-level store that brings its digital experience to life. Technology is used create a personalized shopping experience via touch-screens that enable customers to source customized product recommendations and iPads on which they can view customer reviews and video demonstrations. Select salon services are offered, and yes — there is a B.Y.O.B (build your own Birchbox) section. (433 West Broadway)

• Bond No.9: Fragrance marketer Bond No. 9’s redesigned flagship is opulent and rich on atmosphere. It’s modeled on a 21st century version of the Palace of Versailles’ Hall of Mirrors, complete with glittering chandeliers and smoky mirrors. Be sure to check out the 16-ft.-long consultation and custom blending table. (9 Bond St.)

• Express: The three-level, 22,500-sq.-ft. store is the chain’s largest, and most dazzling to date. The interior has an ultra-contemporary look, with marble checkout counters, chandeliers and tall glass display vitrines. Its 150-ft.-high exterior LED billboard is a showstopper. (1552 Broadway)

• H&M: The Swedish fast-fashion giant hit the trifecta in 2014, debuting two new retail brands (the pricey, sophisticated COS, and the more affordable, European-influences & Other Stories) and opening its largest namesake store to date, a 57,000 sq. ft. flagship on Fifth Avenue. The flagship is sleek and upscale with marble tiles, leather furniture, stylized mannequin groupings and such extras as a free personal shopping service. (H&M, 589 Fifth Ave.; COS, 129 Spring St.; & Other Stories, 575 Broadway)

• Oakley: From its tectonic-plated exterior to its floating digital ceiling, Oakley dazzles with its combination of technological innovation and personalization. The 6,800-sq.-ft. store includes a custom eyewear bar where customers can use touch-screens to build their own eyewear, choosing from lens tints, frames, etc. The ceiling is made up of nine rows of screens suspended across the entire length of the space. The content mixes branded storytelling, art pieces, animations, and footage of Oakley athlete. (560 Fifth Ave.)  

• Polo Ralph Lauren: The first-ever Polo flagship reflects the brand’s new, more youthful sensibility, and has a modern American feel. Showcasing the full range of Polo menswear and women’s clothing and accessories over three levels, the 38,000-sq.-ft. space also features a coffee shop — with the designer’s own personal blends — and a full-service restaurant. (711 Fifth Ave.)

• Rebecca Minkoff: Fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff teamed up with eBay Inc. to open a store as playful and forward-looking as her brand. The entire space is layered with touch-screen technology, starting with what looks like a mirror but is actually a connected screen that lets shoppers view some of the designer's favorite looks plus footage from runway shows. It also allows them to use a touch-screen to select items to be brought to the fitting room-or to order a beverage. RFID-enabled touch-screen mirrors in the fitting rooms automatically recognizes the items that are brought in, identifying other sizes and colors that are available in the store. If the shopper needs a different size, a touch of the mirror submits the request to a store associate.
(96 Greene St.)

• Topshop: The British fashion brand’s new flagship is big — 40,000 sq. ft. — and dazzling, with a cool vibe and plenty of on-trend merchandise. It promises to replenish its stock weekly, with 300 new pieces delivered every seven days. (608 Fifth Ave.)

• Under Armour: The activewear giant’s two-level Soho flagship is an immersive brand experience, and houses its most comprehensive assortment of men's, women's and children’s apparel, footwear and equipment to date. Check out the upfront video wall that features Under Armour-affiliated athletes engaged in various sporting activities. (583 Broadway)

• Urban Outfitters: Urban Outfitters steps out with a “lifestyle store” in the heart of Herald Square. The 57,000-sq.-ft. space — the brand’s largest to date — is big on independently-operated branded in-store shops and includes such extras as a hair salon, bookshop, eyewear department, coffee bar and photography shop (with a booth for printing Instagram snapshots). There is even a vinyl records department curated by the legendary Ameoba Music. (1333 Broadway).  

And if you have some extra time, journey to hipster Williamsburg (in Brooklyn) and check out Urban Outfitters’ other new concept, Space Ninety 8, which includes a full-service restaurant, bar, a rotating pop-up shop and a market space for local artisans.

Login or Register to post a comment.