First Look: Guitar Center unveils transformed Hollywood flagship
One of the largest music stores in the United States has been given a makeover.
Guitar Center’s signature flagship on Hollywood’s Sunset Blvd. has been completely redesigned with an eye to offering customers a more immersive and experiential environment. The store, which opened in 1985, has also been expanded, from 18,000 sq. ft. to some 30,000 sq. ft. More than a place to buy musical instruments and related technology and accessories, Guitar Center has been reimagined as a place to create music, to experiment, to sample, to collaborate and to learn.
“Guitar Center’s $5 million-dollar investment into our newly revitalized Hollywood flagship location transforms it into one of the largest musical instrument stores in the world, full of the greatest selection of music instruments, accessories, music memorabilia, state-of-the-art lessons facilities and more,” said Ron Japinga, CEO, Guitar Center. “The redesigned Hollywood store represents a renewal of our legacy which lies at the heart of L.A.’s music scene and celebrates the rebirth of an icon – the greatest music store on earth.”
A vibrant new mural featuring the legendary Jimi Hendrix adorns the façade of the store. The interior boasts an open floor plan with more space, higher ceilings and an unobstructed view of Sunset Boulevard from the guitar room.
New features include a 15-ft long, interactive pedal display (150 pedals), a 24-ft wide snare drum wall with more than 80 snare drums on display, and interactive, plug-and- play displays from such popular brands as Pioneer and Yamaha. The “Vintage + Platinum Guitar” room includes a stage for live performances as well as shoppable wall displays for the Fender and Gibson brands. It also includes Guitar Center’s largest collection of vintage and platinum guitars with classic memorabilia from such legendary artists as Eric Clapton, Johnny Cash, Eddie Van Halen and more.
The second floor is dedicated to a state-of-the-art lessons facility with eight new lesson rooms. Guitar Center offers all kinds of music lessons, from guitar, piano, drums, ukulele, wind instruments, and music production. It will soon offer DJ and songwriting lessons.
Guitar Center currently operates more than 290 stores across the U.S. A new initiative, launching in 2019, is designed to help fill the gap created by the decline in music education, according to the company, and make Guitar Center the national leader in supplemental music education.
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First Look: One Kings Lane makes leap to brick-and-mortar in New York City
Digital-first home furnishings and decor retailer One Kings Lane has opened a flagship in the heart of Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood.
The two-level, 3,500-sq.-ft. store is located is what is believed to be one of the oldest buildings in SoHo. (It was built in 1818, originally as a private residence.) Cosmetic updates were made to create a fresh backdrop for One Kings Lane while highlighting some of the building’s original features.
The flagship is designed to create an immersive, home environment, with a product assortment curated to fit the aesthetic of the local neighborhood along with a variety of small-space solutions. As products sell, they will be replaced with new and different items. The assortment combines premium brands, the exclusive One Kings Lane Collection, vintage and antiques, and one-of-a-kind pieces. Home textiles accent the merchandising throughout the store and enhance its residential feel.
In addition, the new One Kings Lane offers professional interior design services, with a private, dedicated space on the second floor for design meetings. A prominent feature on the first floor is the brand’s recently-launched upholstery furniture customization platform, Palette by One Kings Lane, with an interactive workstation where customers can experience the new technology and review samples in person.
In partnership with iconic British cupboard makers Plain English Design, the store features a bespoke kitchen painted in One Kings Lane’s new signature color, Hudson Green. The flagship also highlights the brand’s exclusive collection with The Shade Store. In addition to showcasing the treatments in the shop’s windows, there are visual displays and swatches in the One Kings Lane Interior Design studio
“We are incredibly proud to open the doors of One Kings Lane SoHo today and believe this flagship is a showcase of the evolution of our brand, from our roots as an e-commerce platform into a true omnichannel retailer,” said Debbie Propst, president, One Kings Lane. “We can’t wait to welcome customers into this new space, which draws inspiration from the building’s history, the distinct aesthetic of SoHo, and the design needs of Manhattan residents.”
Founded online in 2009, One Kings Lane opened its first physical location in summer 2017, a pop-up in Southampton, N.Y. The response to the temporary outpost was so positive that the company decided to make it a permanent space.
One Kings Lane was acquired by Bed Bath & Beyond in 2016.
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Saks Fifth Avenue’s holiday windows to offer something different this year
Saks Fifth Avenue’s holiday windows in Manhattan are going digital.
In alliance with Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, one of the nation’s leading industry-based HIV/AIDS fundraising and grant-making organizations, Saks will unveil its theater-inspired, 10-story-tall theatrical light show and holiday windows on Fifth Avenue on Monday, Nov. 19.
“What could be more magical for the holidays than 124 high-spirited Broadway dancers filling Fifth Avenue to usher in the holidays in front of New York’s most iconic window displays and light show at Saks?” Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Executive Director Tom Viola said. “We’re honored Saks invited us to join them in this special celebration and are particularly appreciative of Saks’ support for those who’ve been marginalized and simply need a kind, helping hand.”
For the first time in the retailer’s 94-year history, Saks will offer a digital storytelling animation concept, along with the brand’s traditional vignettes in its New York holiday window display. The windows, presented by Mastercard, will bring to life an imaginary shopper’s visit to the theater, and her dreams of visiting Saks.
As part of the display, the Fifth Avenue center six windows each depict a different scene from the shopper’s dream, integrating real-life props with digital screens. Vignettes include the shopper experiencing countless luxurious offerings within Saks, including her personal Fifth Avenue Club visit, her search for the perfect shoe, and her trip to a spa room for pampering unlike any other on the store’s new beauty floor.
Customers can sponsor a light bulb on the façade of the flagship for the holiday light show. All proceeds benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
Saks will celebrate the unveiling of the holiday display with a live show that is an ode to the grandeur of the Broadway stage. The performance, titled Theater of Dreams, will include more than one hundred Broadway dancers performing a one-of-a-kind number live on Fifth Avenue, in a number produced by Broadway Cares.
“As we reimagine our iconic Fifth Avenue windows and celebrate the holiday season with Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS this year, we hope to connect with people in a meaningful way while helping those in need,” said Marc Metrick, president, Saks Fifth Avenue. “From the Broadway-caliber Theater of Dreams performance on Fifth Avenue, to spreading holiday magic across all Saks stores in North America and online, we strive to deliver an unparalleled holiday shopping experience for our customers.”
The New York unveiling of Theater of Dreams will be live from Fifth Avenue and streamed via Saks.com. The online event, presented by Mastercard, will take place on Monday, Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. ET.
“Mastercard is proud to partner with Saks Fifth Avenue on this year’s Theatre of Dreams, the brand’s 2018 holiday experience,” commented Linda Kirkpatrick, executive VP, U.S. Merchants and Acceptance Mastercard. “For over a decade, Mastercard has partnered with Saks to create unique experiences for customers and cardholders that are truly Priceless, and captivate audiences around the world.”