STORE SPACES

Uniqlo to open first downtown LA location

BY Marianne Wilson

Japanese apparel giant Uniqlo is coming to hip and happening downtown Los Angeles.

The retailer will open a store this fall at The Bloc, an open-air shopping and entertainment destination in the heart of the city’s downtown area. The 12,000 -sq.-ft., two-level location will be the brand’s first store in downtown LA. Uniqlo currently operates nine stores in the Los Angeles region. The new store will offer Uniqlo’s full assortment for men, women and children, along with such in-store services as including complimentary alterations on pants over $19.90, and pick-ups of online orders.

The Bloc is the largest mixed-use site in Los Angeles.

“We welcome Uniqlo to our outstanding roster of tenants, which further positions The Bloc as one of the leading retail and entertainment centers in the city, an important anchor to downtown’s ongoing transformation, and a prominent destination for shoppers, office workers, and visitors,” said Jeff Kanne, president and CEO of National Real Estate Advisors, LLC, the owner of The Bloc.

Uniqlo has more than 2,000 stores in 19 markets worldwide, including 48 U.S. stores.

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STORE SPACES

New sunglass concept debuts

BY Marianne Wilson

A new retailer has made its debut, at Orlando International Airport.

The store, Sol Shades, is modern, bright and upbeat, with a compelling runway design and a layout designed to facilitate easy customer engagement. The merchandise selection combines function and fashion, bringing classic brands like Ray-Ban to high-fashion lines like Prada together in one place.

Sol Shades was developed by api(+), Tampa, in a continuation of its relationship with national airport retailer Stellar Partners.

For more slideshows, click here.

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STORE SPACES

DSW bets smaller is better in Vegas with new store format

BY Marianne Wilson

DSW’s new store in Las Vegas is half the size of the retailer’s typical location, but it’s strong on experiences and innovation.

Located in the Showcase Mall on the Las Vegas Strip, the just-opened location is based on the retailer’s “lab” store concept, which opened in fall 2017 at Polaris Fashion Place, near Columbus, Ohio. Along with the new store design, it includes nail bars, repair services, and custom in-soles.

Befitting the Las Vegas setting, the store features a video-covered entry way that creates a sensory experience of light and sound on three sides.

“Our ‘video tunnel’ is an immersive and exciting feature that makes customers feel as if they’re flying over a city, swimming under water, or walking through a desert,” said Roger Rawlins, CEO, DSW. “In reality, they’re travelling down an escalator into the new DSW sales floor, where more unique experiences await.”

The store features a one-of-a-kind “shoevators,” or shoe elevator. The display wall of shoes includes three elevator lifts, serviced from a mezzanine over the sales floor. Customers order shoes from the wall via the DSW app or a tablet located at a nearby kiosk, which alerts an associate on the mezzanine. The associate receives the order, picks the ordered shoes, and sends it to the sales floor in a numbered bin via the shoe elevator, where the customer picks it up.

“It’s essentially a giant shoe vending machine,” explained Rawlins, “inspired by the assembly line-style mechanisms that we use to move product around our actual warehouse.”

Despite the store’s smaller footprint, it offers a full assortment of shoes and accessories. In a fun add-on, customers can win a pair of special sneaks by playing the “Heat V ault Keymaster” machine. Reminiscent of an arcade classic, the game challenges players to retrieve sneaker swag in just two moves by inserting a key into a keyhole using a joystick.

DSW operates more than 500 stores in 44 states. It is a division of DSW Inc., which operates several value retail concepts under the DSW and Town Shoes Limited banners. DSW also supplies footwear at leased locations in the U.S. through its affiliated business group and franchised international locations.

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