Japanese retailer to enter the United States
A leader in the secondhand clothing market in Japan is setting up shop in the United States.
2nd Street USA, a subsidiary of Tokyo-based GEO Holdings, will open on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles, on Jan. 12. The store, which will sell and buy goods, will offer men’s and women’s clothing and accessories. The assortment will feature such well-known designer labels as Supreme, MCM and Burberry, along with such ‘big-in-Japan’ brands as Comme des Garçons, A Bathing Ape, and Porter. It will also include “Kurofine,” a clothing line produced by Kyoto Montsuki Co., which recycles used clothing items as new by dyeing color-faded or stained clothing to a deep black through a special dyeing process.
The Los Angeles location will be 2nd Street’s first ever outside of Japan, where it operates 578 stores. The company has plans to open two additional stores in California by March 2019, and aims to expand to 10 stores in the United States by 2020.
“2nd Street is committed to offering — in a way people have come to expect from Japanese culture — reliable quality goods that have been carefully selected, and customer service with attentive hospitality (Japanese-style hospitality),” said Masahiro Kikuchi, CEO of 2nd Street USA. “I am eagerly looking forward to seeing how well Japan’s inspiring reuse concept, ‘to bring about good things from objects,’ is able to flourish in the American market.
No let up in expansion of convenience stores
Even amid today’s evolving retail landscape, convenience stores continue to resonate with shoppers.
The U.S. convenience store count increased to a record 154,958 stores as of December 31, 2017, a 0.3% increase (423 stores) from the year prior, according to the 2018 NACS/Nielsen Convenience Industry Store Count.
The U.S. convenience store count has increased by 55% over the last three decades, according to the report. The store count is significantly higher than other channels of trade, accounting for more than one third (34.4%) of the brick-and-mortar retail universe tracked by Nielsen in the United States.
Among the states, Texas continues to lead in c-store count at 15,813 stores, or more than one in 10 stores in the country. California is second at 11,946 stores, followed by Florida (9,891), New York (8,725), Georgia (6,687), North Carolina (6,235), Ohio (5,686), Michigan (4,962), Pennsylvania (4, 855) and Illinois (4,759). The bottom three states in terms of store count are Alaska (217 stores), Wyoming (355) and Delaware (344).
“Convenience stores saw solid growth in 2017 due to an increased focus on innovation, improved customer experience, assortment variation and healthy investments in food services,” said Jeanne Danubio, executive VP of retail lead markets at Nielsen. “All of these factors have enabled convenience stores to meet the needs of consumers, stretching far beyond the pump.”
Seventy-nine percent of convenience stores sell motor fuels, a decrease of 1.0% from 2016. The decline is reflective of retailers evolving their business models to focus more on the in-store, foodservice offer. They are also embracing new store formats and establishing their brands in more urban, walk-up locations.
“This shift must continue to further expand c-store’s relevance in today’s changing retail landscape,” Danubio said. “As more retailers across channels try to cater to convenience seeking consumers, c-stores will need to continue to innovate and evolve and grow to stay ahead of the curve.”
First Look: Innovative design marks new I+care Pharmacy
A modern design gives I+care Pharmacy a look all its own—and one that fits right in with its location, the hip Boerum Hill neighborhood of downtown Brooklyn.
The store, which combines a boutique pharmacy with a high-end optical service, represents a new concept for the owners, who run 10 other pharmacies in the New York metro area. It has a streamlined, modern sensibility and a high-end feel that targets the neighborhood’s evolving customer base.
Designed by Leah Plevrites, owner and lead designer of studioBig, New York, i+care’s interiors, branding, and signage convey a clean, modern aesthetic. Whites and blues create a cool, hygienic-looking palette. Touches of wood provide warmth and a nod to the pharmacy’s natural, organic focus.
Custom signage and a striking optical department draw customers into the long space, with the optical displays and customer service area in the front and pharmacy in the back. Visual cues, including distinctive blue and white floor tiles and floating white ceiling planes, lead shoppers through the space. The pattern of the floor tiles continues onto the optical display cases and pharmacy desk to draw attention to points of customer service.
All pharmacy shelving was dropped to no higher than eye level to maintain visual connection from the front of the store to the back.
To develop a fully custom look within an efficient budget, studioBIG derived the flower and cross logo and pattern from the stock floor tile (from Cement Tile Shop). The pattern was selectively carried throughout the space in impactful touches — on backlit cases, wallpaper, signage and wall graphics, and on the design of the pharmacy’s business cards. The result: a fully custom look without the high price tag.