STORE SPACES

Cover Girl to open flagship in Times Square

BY Marianne Wilson

Cover Girl is moving into freestanding retail—and not in a small way.

The mass makeup brand will open a 10,000-sq.-ft. flagship in the heart of Manhattan’s Times Square. Due to open in fall 2018, the location will include an experiential “beauty play room” with interactive elements, full-service makeup applications, on-the-go services, digital experiences and more. It will also sell product.

The design of the store will reflect the dynamic and energetic locale, according to the company. It will also serve as an interpretation of CoverGirl’s “I am what I make up” brand philosophy.

“At CoverGirl, we believe that makeup is a powerful tool for creativity and self-expression,” stated Ukonwa Ojo, senior VP, Cover Girl, which is owned by Coty. “Opening a concept store will help bring this brand purpose to life in an immersive, elevated and multidimensional way.”

The upcoming flagship is the latest in a series of moves related to Cover Girl’s major re-branding initiative, which debuted last September.

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STORE SPACES

Amazon Go reportedly selects two locations in Chicago

BY Marianne Wilson

Amazon’s cashierless store format is doubling down on Chicago.

Amazon Go has leased spaces in the Willis Tower, the tallest building in Chicago, and in an office building connected to Ogilvie Transportation Center, reported the Chicago Tribune. Both locations enjoy heavy foot-traffic, according to the report, which also said the company was seeking a space in Los Angeles.

The first (and still the only) Amazon Go location opened to the public in January, in Seattle. Prior to that, it was open a year in a test mode exclusively to Amazon employees.

In May, numerous media outlets reported that the concept would open in San Francisco and Chicago. Amazon confirmed the two openings to GeekWire, but did not say the stores would open or the exact locations.

To shop the store, shoppers launch the Amazon Go app on their mobile device as they enter, and take the products they want off of store shelves. Amazon’s “walk out” technology automatically detects when products are taken off (or returned) to the shelves, and keeps track of them in a virtual cart.

When customers are done shopping, they just leave the store. Shortly after, they receive a digital receipt and their Amazon account is also charged for the order, according to the website.

 

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MedMen plants its retail flag in Venice, California

BY Marianne Wilson

The self-described largest U.S.-based company in the emerging cannabis market continues to build out its retail footprint.

MedMen has opened its newest marijuana dispensary, on trendy Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice, California. It comes on the heels of other high-profile openings in Beverly Hills, and on New York’s Fifth Avenue. The new site, the company’s 13th store nationwide to date, features MedMen’s signature stylish upscale décor, complete with iPad “menus” of the available offerings.

“Today is a truly historic moment,” said co-founder and CEO Adam Bierman said at the Venice opening. “We are standing in front of a marijuana store among some of the most popular restaurants and shops in a major American city, in one of the most popular shopping destinations in the world. This is what mainstreaming marijuana looks like.”

California is the largest legal cannabis market in the world, with total state-sanctioned annual sales projected to reach $7.7 billion by 2021. Nationally, state-sanctioned marijuana sales are projected to reach $75 billion by 2030.

MedMen has cultivation, manufacturing and retail facilities in California, Nevada and New York. The company recently announced it has acquired a medical marijuana license in Florida with right to open 25 dispensaries.

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