Trending Stores: AE Studio, New York
American Eagle Outfitters is doubling down on denim — and inviting students to do their laundry for free.
The teen retailer transformed its store in Manhattan’s Union Square area into a customer-focused, experiential concept called AE Studio. Designed by Checkland Kindleysides, London, the focal point of the 15,892-sq.-ft. store is the first-floor “jeans gallery,” complete with a “Maker’s Shop” that offers options for customers to personalize their jeans. Throughout the gallery, products are presented as art pieces on canvas stretchers. iPads provide a deeper dive into product fit and specifications. The fitting rooms are also equipped with iPads that allow customers to personalize their shopping experience and engage the brand.
In an unusual twist, AE Studio features a wall of washers and dryers where students (the store is close to NYU) can do their laundry for free. While they wait, they can hang out with friends or study in the studio bar and seating area, with free WiFi and refreshments.
In addition, the store boasts its very own social media team who have a work space to directly engage with customer and create relevant content in real time.
On the merchandise front, the space includes capsule collections co-created with new brands, emerging designers, and artists. This includes an exclusive collaboration with Atelier & Repairs, which features one-of-a-kind garments for men and women repurposed and customized solely from American Eagle’s previous collections
Visually, the store reflects the work-in-progress attitude of American Eagle’s core customer, with a pared back interior that blends functional and improvised materials.
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Two beauty giants join up to create new retail concept
A new format taps into consumers’ growing demand for beauty products as well as express beauty services.
MAC Cosmetics and Bumble and bumble, which are both owned by Estée Lauder Cos., are opening the MAC & Bumble and bumble Makeup and Hair Studio at NorthPark Center in Dallas. The 2,200-sq.-ft. space will be part retail store and part express salon, offering make-up applications and hair blow-outs along with such add-on services as conditioning treatments and color glosses, according to Women’s Wear Daily.
The space features four hair stations and two shampoo chairs on the left side and five MAC makeup stations on the right side. There is open selling on both sides so shoppers can shop the product assortments on their own, the report said.
“There’s no transitioning like ‘This is the Bumble half’ and ‘This is the MAC half.’
It’s a fully integrated retail and service concept,” Gustavo Andriani, MAC’s senior VP, general manager for North America, told Women’s Wear Daily.
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Midwest c-store operator in expansion mode
Regional convenience-store operator Yesway is looking to expand its footprint in a big way.
With an existing portfolio of over 70 locations, Yesway announced it has a robust acquisition pipeline and plans to acquire, improve and rebrand more than 500 convenience stores in selected regions of the United States during the next several years. It also announced it has acquired KAPS, a five-store chain in Kansas, and the New Deal Travel Center of Texas in New Deal, Texas. These six new locations will complement the company’s growing footprint in Kansas and its 35-store strong presence in West Texas respectively.
“As we continue to expand the Yesway brand, we look forward to becoming an essential member of the communities we serve, and to delivering “first name basis” customer service to everyone who visits our stores. Said Thomas Nicholas Trkla, chairman and CEO, Yesway, which is based in Des Moines, Iowa.