STORE SPACES

Fast-growing retailer roars into New Jersey with second store

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Coinciding with its aggressive U.S. expansion plan, Flying Tiger Copenhagen is gearing up for its second New Jersey store opening.

The brand, known for its quirky designs and value prices, will open a 1,700-sq.-ft. store in the Newport Centre, in Jersey City, New Jersey. The store, which is set to open on Nov. 10, will be the chain’s seventh U.S. location.

The new store features the company’s renowned mix of fun shopping and quirky, award-winning Danish design. It will also feature up to 300 new products each month. The brand, which operates more than 800 stores in 30 countries across Europe, Asia and the U.S., is opening two to three global stores each week.

“Danish design is immensely popular in the U.S.,” said Flying Tiger’s head of North America, Søren Friis. “Flying Tiger Copenhagen’s strength is that we can offer Danish design at surprisingly affordable prices.”

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STORE SPACES

Lifestyle retailer expands its breadth

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Sundance is expanding its store presence.

The lifestyle retailer is opening a store in Leawood Town Center Plaza & Crossing, an open-air shopping experience located in Leawood, Kansas, outside of Kansas City. The opening of the artisan-inspired store brings the brand, which also sells merchandise online and via catalog, up to 10 retail locations.

Since August of 2015, Sundance has been in growth mode. The brand has opened stores in Edina, Minnesota; Dallas and Southlake, Texas; Scottsdale, Arizona; Tigard, Oregon; San Diego, California; Atlanta, Georgia. These new locations augment the retailer’s original locations in Park Meadows, Colorado and Corte Madera, California.

Sundance plans to add more retail locations over the next several years, the company said.

Actor Robert Redford founded Sundance Catalog in 1989 to promote the works of artists and craftspeople from across the country and around the world.

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Lowe’s expands in-store smart home experience with start-up

BY Marianne Wilson

Lowe’s Cos. is expanding its partnership with Silicon Valley retail start-up b8ta.

Building on the success of a three-store pilot last fall, the home improvement giant is opening “Smart Home powered by b8ta” in-store shops in 70 Lowe’s stores nationwide. Each shop features a curated selection of top-rated smart home products and offers shoppers onsite support from specially trained experts (known as “b8ta testers”).

“Smart home products simplify life – but the technology can sometimes be confusing or intimidating,” said Ruth Crowley, VP of customer experience design at Lowe’s. “So, we developed Smart Home powered by b8ta to emulate a ‘lab-like’ atmosphere that empowers customers to make informed decisions.”

Located near the front of the store, the b8ta in-store shops feature more than 60 smart home products, including security systems, thermostats, cameras, lighting and speakers, in an immersive format. Products are displayed out of the box to encourage hands-on play and enhance product knowledge.

In addition, iPads with product-related content and pricing details are located next to each device. Smartphones are also available for customers to interact with products and supporting apps, the same as they would use them at home.

“b8ta makes shopping for connected home products accessible and easy,” said Phillip Raub, co-founder and chief brand officer of b8ta.

“Nationwide, consumers will have the opportunity to engage and demo a curated selection of connected products, with knowledgeable product experts on-hand to navigate consumers through their journey,”

Founded in 2015,  b8ta operates freestanding stores in California (Palo Alto, Santa Monica, San Francisco and Corte Madera),  Seattle, Austin, Houston and New York, with more in the works.

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