New York -- From indie favorites to mass-market British brands, here are seven retailers getting ready to make their U.S. brick-and-mortar debut:
1. Nasty Gal
The fast-growing online retailer of trendy but affordable clothing and accessories for fashion-forward young women is making the leap to brick-and-mortar, with plans to open in its Los Angeles hometown by year-end. (Founder and CEO Sophia Amoruso, 29, announced the news via a tweet: “We are opening stores. District Manager needed for LA region!”)
Founded in 2006 as a shop on eBay, the business launched its own web site it 2008, and has evolved into an indie fashion empire with attitude, adding new product categories and in-house designed lines to its mix of one-of-a-kind vintage pieces and independent designers. Along the way, it has amassed a cult-like following, with fans intimately engaged with the brand on Facebook, Instagram and other social platforms. Nasty Gal’s success has not gone unnoticed as executives from such companies at Lululemon, Sephora and Urban Outfitters have joined its ranks.
Industry experts expect Nasty Gal’s physical store to be as sassy, stylish and irreverent as its creative muse, whose high profile is sure to get an even bigger boost from her just-released memoir, #GirlBoss.
The four-year-old online beauty-subscription service is on track to open its first physical store in May, in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood. (Birchbox subscribers pay a $10 monthly fee in return for which they are mailed a pink box that contains a curated selection of sample beauty items, personalized for each individual member. Full-size versions of the products on sold online.)
According to reports, the Birchbox store will be fashioned as a high-tech lifestyle destination, with touch-screens throughout the space on which customers can view personalized product recommendations and customer reviews. It will feature classes and select beauty services in addition to some 2,000 products (including both sample and full sizes) from as many as 250 brands. And in line with the brand’s signature offering, it will also boost a “build-your-box” section.
H&M’s higher-end, more sophisticated brand, COS (Collection of Style), comes stateside this fall, with a three-level space in SoHo. Expect the store to follow the brand’s clean, simple and minimalist aesthetic, which combines modern and traditional influences. A second location is scheduled to open by year end, in Beverly Hills, California.
4. & Other Stories
H&M newest store brand, the mid-priced & Other Stories, also makes its U.S. debut fall, with a 6,400-sq.-ft. space in SoHo. The store will carry apparel, shoes, lingerie, jewelry, accessories and beauty products. With prices slightly higher than H&M but lower than COS, & Other Stories is known for its fashion versatility. It casts a wide net in terms of appeal, covering everything quirky, bohemian-inspired styles and feminine looks to more edgy, innovative styles. The brand will also launch a U.S. e-commerce site in tandem with the SoHo store’s opening.
5. Yellow Box
DSW will launch a freestanding store format for women’s footwear brand Yellow Box, opening three to five locations this year. The stores will carry the label’s iconic jeweled sandals, along with flats, dress shoes, boots and other exclusive products.
British value-priced clothing retailer F&F is set to make its U.S. debut. The company, a division of U.K. giant Tesco, will open a total of seven stores on the East Coast, with the first opening in late spring, at Holyoke Mall, Holyoke, Massachusetts. The mall-based format will feature women’s, men’s and kid’s clothing.
Another European import, the Dublin-based Primark, has also set its sights on the U.S., with plans to open a flagship in 2015 in downtown Boston. The retailer, known for low-cost, trend-driven fashions, has signed a deal to lease 112,000 sq. ft. in the landmark Burnham Building (previously home to Filene’s) in Boston’s Downtown Crossing neighborhood. Retail will occupy about 70,000 sq. ft. of the space, with the rest used for corporate offices. Primark is reportedly in negotiations to open more locations in the Northeast by the middle of 2016.
Primark, which is owned by retail and food giant Associated British Foods, has more than 250 stores in Europe.