First Look: American Girl’s ‘store of the future’ opens
American Girl has unveiled its new retail concept, which puts a big emphasis on customization — even letting girls design their own dolls.
Located at Rockefeller Plaza in Manhattan, the 37,000-sq-ft. American Girl Place features the brand’s signature lineup of American Girl dolls and accessories. But it also boasts several new experiences, including a design studio where young girls can play doll designer, using an online feature that allows for personalization. In a collective workshop atmosphere, girls can design their own American Girl doll, choosing from more than one million possible design combinations. They can also create one-of-a-kind doll outfits and doll-sized products, which can be printed and taken home the same day.
In other features, there is a salon where girls and their American Girl dolls can get matching hairstyles, mini manicures, and even ear-piercing. Special packages are available with options for personalization.
In addition, the company’s award-winning movies and videos are showcased in an area called the “content hub.”
The flagship adds a new twist to the brand’s popular American Girl Cafe. Patrons can now customize birthday celebrations and other special events in the restaurant’s private dining rooms with personalized touches and digital projection features, thematic packages, and other amenities.
“Our new store celebrates the joy of girlhood — a place that nourishes a girl’s spirit and fosters her strength of character,” said Katy Dickson, president of American Girl, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mattel.
American Girl Place was designed by FRCH Design Worldwide, Cincinnati.
“We looked at evolving the storyline within a true destination experience to embrace all aspects of American Girl in a relevant and engaging way for today girls,” commented Robyn Novak, VP and creative managing Director at FRCH. “American Girl has a long history of delivering memorable experiences for girls of all ages. The new store design celebrates that special moment when each girl starts to create her very own story with American Girl that will last for a lifetime.”
Amazing Stuff in store! Loved Chandeliers and overall concept.
Beautiful store and just in time for the holidays! Proud to be a part of the team at Ideoli Group that was a part of this project to help create the awesome statement chandeliers in the store.
Very proud of the store and how it turned out. Ideoli Group was fortunate to have partnered with the people at Mattel, Regency Lighting and FRCH to design and develop the statement chandeliers in the space. Thank you!
Amazon to pop-up—at Whole Foods Market
Amazon is leveraging its newest acquisition to drive sales during the upcoming holiday shopping season.
The online giant will set up Amazon Pop-Up stores in a handful of Whole Foods Market stores nationwide. The dedicated spaces will enable Whole Foods customers to try out Amazon devices and learn about Prime and its other services.
The pop-ups are in addition to the 100 Whole Foods locations that now carry Amazon devices, such as the new Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Fire TV, Kindle e-readers and Fire tablets, among other gadgets, Whole Foods reported.
The first locations will open on Nov. 13, in Chicago, Illinois; and Rochester Hills, Michigan. Pop-ups will subsequently open in Davie, Florida; Pasadena, California; and in the new Union Station store in Denver. All locations will be staffed by Amazon employees.
This is not the first time that the online giant is leveraging its Whole Foods division as an additional Amazon sales channel. On its first day as the official owner of the natural foods grocer, a transaction worth $13.7 billion, Amazon positioned its Echo voice-assisted speaker as one of Whole Foods’ featured “Pick of The Season” discounted products. The deal slashed prices down to $99.99 for a full-size speaker, and $44.99 for the Echo Dot.
Meanwhile, Whole Foods lowered prices on a selection of its best-selling grocery staples across its stores, with the price cuts reportedly broader than the retailer previously announced. It is also adding Amazon Lockers to store locations.
Looking ahead, Amazon plans to further integrate the two brands. One developing plan is the integration of Prime within the Whole Foods network. Specifically, both companies are exploring how to “make Prime the Whole Foods customer rewards program,” Brian Olsavsky, senior VP, CFO said on Amazon’s third quarter investors’ call on Oct. 26. “We’ll have that coming out in the future.”
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Sears opens specialty stores
Sears Holdings is closing its traditional outlets, but, in a lesser watched move, the retailer is also opening smaller-format specialty stores. Sears Holdings is closing its traditional outlets, but, in a lesser watched move, the retailer is also opening smaller-format specialty stores.
The retailer on Thursday announced the opening of two more Sears Appliances & Mattresses stores, a 12,248-sq.-ft. location in Camp Hill, Pa., and a 16,200-sq.-ft. one at the Ala Moana Center in Honolulu. Sears’ Appliances & Mattresses format made its debut in June, in Pharr, Texas. In 2016, the retailer opened a Sears Appliances store, in Ft. Collins, Colo.
The new stores showcases the top major appliance brands in a bright, spacious setting with interactive displays. Home appliances are displayed in kitchen vignettes. Shoppers can also visualize how new appliances would look in a full-scale kitchen courtesy of a 100-inch interactive digital display. Using a tablet, they can select common kitchen layouts and appliances and further customize the experience by choosing colors and finishes. They also can use the digital display to shop for other products on sears.com. Shoppers can also try out mattresses from top brands.
The new locations will also feature a number of integrated services, including:
• Meet with An Expert: Shoppers can schedule appointments with in-store experts for assistance in purchasing appliances and mattresses.
• Buy Online and Ship to the Store, In-Vehicle Pickup: Members can purchase all products available on Sears.com or Kmart.com, ship to the store for free, then pick up their items at the store when they arrive, where they will be ready in five minutes, guaranteed. The can also choose to have their item brought out to them by using Sears’ In-Vehicle Pickup service.
• Anyone, Anywhere Pickup: Members can order any item on Sears.com or Kmart.com and send a friend or family member to pick up the purchase — particularly useful for parents purchasing items for their kids who may be away at college.
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