REAL ESTATE

RadioShack opens Greenwich Village concept store

BY Dan Berthiaume

Fort Worth, Texas — RadioShack has opened another of its new concept stores, in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village neighborhood. It is Radio Shack’s fourth new format location in Manhattan.

The format feature an upgraded shopping experience, which showcases the company’s new look, and incorporates interactive areas designed to help shoppers improve their technology profile.

Some features include:

  • A speaker wall where customers can shop and compare 13 different speakers using music installed on in-store tablets;
  • Interactive displays that enable shoppers to find and compare products, including headphone demo stations where they can listen to leading brands, a remote control (RC) toy exploration center, and a GoPro camera display demonstrating the capabilities of several models of GoPro cameras;
  • Technology that makes shopping interesting and playful, like touch-screens and apps that help shoppers understand the benefits of products;
  • Newly configured displays highlighting in-demand brands like Apple, HTC and Samsung, as well as mobile carriers such as AT&T, Sprint and Verizon; and
  • A Do-It-Yourself area where consumers can plan projects.

RadioShack is opening a select number of these experiential stores in neighborhoods throughout the nation. This Manhattan location is one of more than a dozen concept stores to open since the company began converting to such stores. By the end of 2013, RadioShack will have more than 100 concept and brand statement stores open and will have made improvements to nearly all 4,300 stores throughout the nation.

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REAL ESTATE

Conn’s opens HomePlus stores in Arizona, Texas

BY Dan Berthiaume

The Woodlands, Texas — Conn’s has opened two new HomePlus stores in Scottsdale, Ariz., and Laredo, Texas. The new Conn’s HomePlus store format showcases furniture and mattresses in addition to consumer electronics and home appliances.

Conn’s currently operates more than 70 retail locations in Texas, Louisiana, Arizona, Oklahoma and New Mexico.

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Online high-end candy retailer Sugarfina makes brick-and-mortar debut

BY Marianne Wilson

Los Angeles — Online high-end candy retailer Sugarfina has opened its first-ever store, a 1,400-sq.-ft. boutique in Los Angeles. The brand is known for its signature turquoise Bento Boxes, a luxurious candy gift box, and such “cocktail” candies as Champagne Gummy Bears, Cuba Libre (spiced rum and coke gummies) and Peach Bellini Gummies.

“We created Sugarfina because the candy store of our dreams didn’t exist,” said founders Rosie O’Neill, former director of marketing for Barbie, and Josh Resnick, former video game entrepreneur. “We dreamed of gourmet sweets made with premium ingredients — candy that’s as beautiful to look at as it is to taste.”

Sugarfina is designed as a “candy heaven” for adults. A large glass skylight greets customers upon entry and airy “bubble” chandeliers appear to hang like clouds in the sky. Hundreds of colorful candies line the walls on thin floating shelves, so that the candy appears to be floating. The space includes a candy tasting bar with a selection of 60 candies on regular rotation. (According to the company, 40% of Sugarfina candies are not available anywhere else in the United States.)

Other notable features include:

  • Candy Concierge: A concierge room that provides a showroom for Sugarfina custom, corporate and private event services.
  • Top Shelf: One area of the store is dedicated to "top shelf" candies — exotic offerings from around the world at a slightly higher price point. Each candy has its story featured alongside it in a display.
  • “Taste of Beverly Hills”: An entire section is dedicated to Beverly Hills products, including a “Taste of Beverly Hills” Bento Box with candies like Chocolate Mint Caviar, Bling Rings, Champagne Bears, etc.
  • Build Your Own Bento Wall: Customers can pick up an empty eight-piece Bento Box or a three-piece Bento Box and build their own gift box from the wall of candy cubes.
  • In-Store Sampling: Candy consultants walk around the store sampling candy from a special Bento Box tasting platter.

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