STORE SPACES

Samsung opens up tech-lovers paradise – at Macy’s

BY Marianne Wilson

Samsung is partnering with Macy’s on an experiential in-store shop concept.

Macy’s and Samsung announced the launch of a Samsung “experience” at the retailer’s flagship location at Herald Square in New York City. Opening Nov. 1, the 1,000-sq.-ft. shop will allow customers to test and purchase the full range of Samsung products and accessories, including an assortment of the brand’s innovative technologies in virtual reality, tablets, mobile, wearables, along with the refrigerator, QLED television, home audio and smart home categories. It will offer one-on-one “concierge-like” customer assistance.

“With the new Samsung experience at Macy’s Herald Square, we are creating an innovative and beautiful, one-of-a-kind digital playground in a flagship department store, featuring numerous installations and touch points for customer engagement,” said Marc Mastronardi, Macy’s executive VP of business development.

The Samsung shop is on the main floor of Macy’s Herald Square. It includes a 4-D virtual reality roller coaster experience for customers powered by Samsung’s Oculus.

 

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STORE SPACES

Extreme-value teen retailer continues rapid expansion

BY Marianne Wilson

Five Below is set to open its 62nd store in its home state.

The retailer will open a two-level store on Market Street in Philadelphia, on Friday, October 27, 2017. The new location is one of approximately 100 Five Below stores opening in 2017.

The store is located in the historic Lit Brothers building. In early 2018, the retailer will also move its home office into the building.

“We are thrilled to open a new Market Street store in our hometown of Philadelphia,” said Joel Anderson, CEO of Five Below. “It has been an incredible year for Five Below. We recently hit a significant company milestone by opening our 600th store. We also celebrated our fifth year as a public company and our 15th year as a brand.”

Catering to tweens and teens, Five Below stores are a vibrant, colorful and high-energy destinations that carry a broad assortment of products. Everything is priced $5 and below.

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STORE SPACES

Restoration Hardware blurs lines between retail and hospitality

BY Marianne Wilson

RH (formerly called Restoration Hardware) has taken its experiential retail concept to Toronto.

The luxe home furnishings brand opened a four-level, nearly 70,000-sq.-ft. store at Yorkdale Shopping Center. The space reflects the latest iteration of RH’s design gallery format and its continued foray into the hospitality sector. It features a full-service restaurant and also a cafe.

“The vision for our new design galleries has been to blur the lines between residential and retail, and create spaces that are more home than store,” said RH chairman and CEO Gary Friedman. “The next logical step was to further blur the lines between home and hospitality, with an integrated restaurant, wine and coffee bar.”

Friedman said that the new RH location goes far beyond attaching a restaurant onto a store, noting “that’s been done before.”

“What’s unique, is we’ve created a completely integrated hospitality experience, led by famed Chicago restaurateur Brendan Sodikoff, that reflects our taste, style and point of view,” he said. (Sodikoff is the founder, CEO and creative director of Hogsalt Hospitality, a rapidly growing Chicago-based restaurant group.)

Conceptualized as a grand-scale contemporary structure filled with fresh air and natural light, RH Toronto features glass-and-steel French doors that open onto a streetscape accented with Boston ivy, geometric topiaries and more. The store’s eastern entrance within Yorkdale features a terraced façade of Venetian plaster and a lush interior courtyard flanked by open-air loggias serving as the central location for the restaurant, the Courtyard Café. Patrons sit beneath olive trees and a 140-ft.-wide skylight that floods the space with natural light.

The RH Barista Bar is located in the central hall, which features 14-ft. ceilings. The coffee cafe is defined by a Tuscan colonnade and facet-edged limestone slabs.

The store is marked by artistic installations of home furnishings in a gallery setting, with entire floors dedicated to RH Interiors, RH Modern and RH Outdoor. It also includes an interactive “design atelier,” offering professional interior design services in a studio environment. A conservatory and park are located on the roof. The 12,000-sq.-ft. space features open-air pavilions, chandeliers and fountains that further enhance vignettes of RH Outdoor collections.

RH Toronto marks Friedman’s ongoing collaboration with design architect James Gillam of Backen, Gillam & Kroeger.

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