2017 Breakout Retailer Award Winners Announced
Chain Store Age is proud to announce the 2017 Breakout Retailer Award winners. In its second year, the award honors emerging retail/restaurant concepts that are innovative in their segment and show strong potential for growth.
Selected by the editorial board of Chain Store Age, this year’s winning lineup features five forward-thinking brands from five different industry segments, ranging from an upstart eyewear merchant that seamlessly blends the best of offline and online to a fashion retailer whose giving-back philosophy resonates deeply with its customer base. The awards are sponsored by Paint Folks.
“Retailers have to go the extra mile to succeed in today’s highly competitive and disrupted marketplace,” said Marianne Wilson, editor-in-chief, Chain Store Age. “In their own unique way, each of the five winning brands has done just that. Although these retailers are widely diverse, they are alike in their ability to engage and delight customers, online, in store or both. And they all have a very clear pathway for growth.”
The winners, which are listed below in alphabetical order, will be honored at Chain Store Age’s annual SPECS Conference (March 12-14, 2017, Gaylord Palms, Kissimmee, Fla.) during a special presentation sponsored by SPECS.
Women’s apparel retailer Altar’d State combines a bohemian fashion sensibility, affordable prices and a distinctive store experience with an ambitious mission: to stand out for good and change the world for the better. That mission, as much as Altar’d State’s merchandise offerings, keeps customers coming back.
Bentley Pet Stuff
Family owned and operated, Bentley’s Pet Stuff is positioned in the fastest growing segment of the billion-dollar pet food industry: all natural foods. Dedicated to exceptional pet nutrition, Bentley’s has a neighborhood orientation that allows it to focus on customer service,
From the husband-and-wife team that founded Seattle Coffee Company, MOD Pizza is a fast-pizza innovator and one of the fastest-growing restaurant chains in the United States. With a purpose-driven culture, MOD is committed not only to being a cool place to eat, but an inspired place to work.
Featuring gourmet sweets made by artisan candy makers from around the globe, Sugarfina is a luxury candy boutique for adults. It made the jump from online to offline with style, with stores as luxe and beautiful as the candies on display.
In coming up with a radical new model for selling and buying eyewear online, Warby Parker helped pioneer a new category: retail disruption. It carried that disruption over to brick-and-mortar, with stores that seem to effortlessly meld the best of online and offline retail — in spaces unique to each locale.
The Big Apple preps for tech hub
In a move that could attract more tech start-ups, New York City will be the home to one of the newest innovation labs.
The 250,000-sq.-ft. “Union Square Tech Hub,” which was announced in December, will include 58,000 sq. ft. of “fluid space” for startups, and a 36,500 sq.-ft. tech training center, reported TechCrunch.
As the name suggests, the innovation center will reside in the city’s Union Square section. The building’s anchor tenant will be Civic Hall, a collaboration center dedicated to civic innovators.
Construction is set to begin in 2018, and doors are expected to open for business in 2020, according to TechCrunch.
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Nike has brought its experiential retail format to Miami Beach. The company has opened a two-story, digitally connected, 31,000-sq.-ft. store on Lincoln Road, in the heart of Miami Beach.
Similar to Nike’s new store in Manhattan’s SoHo, the Miami location is designed to deliver the best of Nike products and personalized, immersive experiences services through a series of unique spaces. These include zones dedicated to running, soccer and basketball where consumers can try out the brand’s latest products.
Other features include an in-store women’s boutique with a treadmill, expanded and enhanced fitting rooms and personal styling service, and a dedicated service space where shoppers can consult with Nike certified store experts. There is also a dedicated space where consumers can connect with one another and experience live in-store programming.
The store design is inspired by the lifestyle of modern sport and features a unique installation from Miami artist Jessy Nite. The artwork — a multimedia combination of painting, custom typography and sculpture—takes inspiration from the vibrant colors of Miami and the power of sport.
The exterior of the building showcases a brise-soleil, a common architectural feature in South America and South Florida used to mitigate the warm afternoon sun. The pattern of the brise-soleil is comprised of two Nike icons: the waffle iron and the Windrunner.