On the occasion of the NRF conference and trade fair in New York (videos of the highlights can be found here, here and here), I have devoted ample time to carry out store checks in exceptional or forward-looking formats. In addition to the well-known mainstream stores around 5th Avenue, I was particularly looking for small formats in Greenwich, Soho and East Village.
Attentive readers of our blog have certainly know that we see the stationary trade in the future more as a leisure centre than as a supply unit. More experience per square meter is the motto, because only people, who are enthusiastic and inspired, remain fans of the stationary formats.
Success beyond the Mainstreet
Beyond the classic in-centres of New York, practically in the Retail outback of Manhattan, there is a store which is truly fascinating: The Story.
From the outside the store is almost not visible, I nearly went past it. This is because there is no outside signage. This is followed by a trend which is currently spreading in particular formats: one wants to be discovered. On just 200 square meters you will find inspiration. Nobody thinks that there is a supply order fulfilled in the shop because no one finds there anything, which comes close to this. Rather, it is a mix of a lifestyle magazine, an art gallery, an event location and a pop-up store.
What makes this format so special? The Story makes the name for the program: It tells a story! Every 2 months, not only the assortment changes but also the complete shop building, always in combination with a large industrial partner. In the course of time, various events are offered, which, depending on the story, will accompany them. Exactly that, dear friends of commercial future, is the right way to inspire customers.
How did this start? It was launched by Rachel Shechtman, a former marketing consultant for Kraft, TOMS Shoes and Lincoln. She had the idea to create a retail concept Which should serve as an intermediary between brands and consumers through the integration of strategies, marketing, merchandising and business development.
The location shows that it is relatively independent. The format was awarded the Fashion Group International’s Rising Star Award for Best Retail Concept in 2014 and is one of the top 15 stores in New York.
My recommendation to the retail: familiarise yourself with such concepts, filter out what is worthwhile to take over and then try out, try out, try out! It remains exciting!
Images: gmvteam GmbH