New York City has always been a hotbed of new retail concepts and attention-getting stores. If anything, that’s even more true now — a new report by JLL revealed that the Big Apple is the top city for first permanent locations from online retailers.
The past year was packed with new openings, from upstarts as well as legacy retailers. Here are some of the ones that generated the most buzz:
The online giant’s newest physical format is like a modern-day five-and-dime — but one with an extremely curated assortment. Amazon 4-star only sells items that are rated four stars or above —or are new and trending — on Amazon.com. Digital tags alongside every item show the Prime price and list price, average star rating, and the number of reviews it has received. The space features displays that range from “Most-Wished-For” (products that are most added to Amazon’s wish lists) to “Amazon Exclusives. Customers can also test-drive Amazon devices. (72 Spring Street)
Dedicated to helping women-owned businesses, Bulletin has evolved from a shoppable digital magazine for Internet-based, female-led businesses to an omnichannel retailer with three New York City outposts and a thriving e-commerce site. The new Union Square flagship offers products more than 60 female-led, online-only brands amid a sleek pink-and-yellow background with a feminist beat: Ten percent of the proceeds go to Planned Parenthood. Bulletin is emblematic of a new breed of retail. It operates with a membership-based business model whereby each brand pays a monthly fee to rent out space to sell its product. (863 Broadway)
The iconic athletic apparel brand’s second U.S. specialty store is big on personalization, offering shoppers onsite customization and the ability to design one-of-a-kind Champion garments made on-demand and tailored to their specific preferences. The modern, industrial-looking spaces includes vintage imagery and a sports-inspired arena-like area, with actual bleachers providing customer seating. Recycled basketball courts have been reimagined as display fixtures. (434 Broadway).
10 Corso Como
One of the most celebrated stores in Italy — a pioneer of retail concept destinations — made its U.S. debut with a 28,000-sq.-ft. outpost in the revitalized Seaport District in Lower Manhattan’s Seaport District. Taking up the entire first floor of the Fulton Market Building, the space combines art, luxury fashions and other retail along with an Italian café and restaurant, and garden. (1 Fulton St.)
The upstart (and Millennial-fave) online beauty brand born from a blog puts its signature spin on beauty retailing at its first flagship. Awash in pale pink, red and white hues, the 3,000-sq.-ft. Glossier is designed as a physical expression of the fast-growing brand. Customers are encouraged to try on product, engage with Glossier’s “off-line editors” (store associates), create social content, bond with fellow shoppers, and partake in any number of interactive experiences. (123 Lafayette St.)
Cannabis goes upscale in the Big Apple with the stylish-looking MedMen. The 2,000-sq.-ft. medical marijuana dispensary has a sleek, high-end design that recalls an Apple Store, complete with red-clad “geniuses” and iPads. The store reflects the upscale revolution in cannabis retailing that is happening across the U.S. and Canada. (433 Fifth Ave.)
Nordstrom’ first- freestanding men’s store is an art-filled, three-level, 47,000-sq.-ft. space that combines a comprehensive merchandise assortment and custom products with a wide range of customization and convenience services, including include three-hour delivery anywhere in Manhattan, reserve online and try-on in-store, a shoeshine station, a tailoring department and complimentary personal stylists. Customers can get help any time of the day or night with fashion emergencies via the store’s “24/7 express” service. (235 W. 57th St.)
Starbucks makes its biggest dive yet into food with its new Italian bakery and café concept, Princi. Minutes away from Times Square, the beautifully crafted and detailed space was inspired by Princi’s original Milan location, and features natural materials, hand-blown glass light fixtures, and a 20-ft. communal table. Two large ovens, visible to passers-by, allow for on-site baking. (1633 Broadway)
The brand formerly known as Restoration Hardware continues to redefine the world of luxury home furnishings with its newest location, a 90,000-sq.-ft., six-level showplace in the Meatpacking District. RH’s mastery in integrating hospitality into its retail strategy is on full display with a glass-encased rooftop restaurant and wine terrace that offers stunning views of downtown Manhattan and the Hudson River. The strategy will be taken to the next level this spring when RH opens its first GuestHouse boutique hotel across the street. (9 9th Ave.)
Saks Fifth Avenue
Departing from department store tradition, Saks moved beauty from the ground floor of its flagship to a sleek, light-filled 32,000-sq.-ft. space on the second floor. The revamped department is a store in and of itself, boasting more than 120 color cosmetics, skincare, fragrance and wellness brands. Saks’ new beauty nirvana is about more than product. The space includes 15 spa rooms along with such services as medi-spa treatments, facials, massages, manicures, brow services, a flower shop and more. (611 Fifth Ave.)
Big openings in the works include the resurrected FAO Schwarz, at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, and Cover Girl’s first ever-store, at 30 Times Square.