It’s been a big year for retail. From Apple Pay’s debut to further omnichannel developments, retailers investing in brick-and-mortar have demonstrated new ways to get creative. FN rounded up a few top store openings over the past year.
Harrods Shoe Heaven
Over 100,000 shoes is one way to define heaven on earth. Harrods debuted its 42,000-sq.-ft. shoe floor during London Fashion Week in September. The size and enormous selection alone showed a serious investment in the department store, transforming it into a global branded destination.
It’s been a long time coming, but Rebecca Minkoff’s first U.S. store is as tech-focused as anticipated. Smart-fitting rooms with adjustable lighting, radio frequency tags and interactive screens throughout the store to offer styling suggestions are just highlights.
Hunter’s London Flagship
The rainboot brand opened its first brick-and-mortar in November. The 5,300-sq.-ft. London flagship was inspired by the label’s English country heritage, and gives shoppers the brand experience and company history that tables in department stores can’t.
The iconic Los Angeles retailer broke out of its California mold and expanded at the Las Vegas SLS Hotel. With category-based boutiques sprinkled through the hotel, it was a unique take on the Vegas retail footprint. It was the first major standalone retail project for Fred Segal since Sandow purchased the brand in 2012. Shoes, of course, got their own special treatment, with designers ranging from Alejandro Ingelmo to Ivy Kirzhner.
Ugg Australia Tysons Corner
Ugg made a big step into tech-first retail with its newest store at Tysons Galleria in the Washington, D.C., area. The store hosts a custom-design station, as well as access to the entire Ugg product line through iPads in store and touch screens. The brand also jumped on radio frequency tags that cue special content on screens throughout the store.
Burberry Beverly Hills
Christopher Bailey is carving a special niche for the British brand as a tech-first luxury label. Mobile checkouts, digital displays and collecting more personalized data for each shopper to offer better product and in-store experiences are now the focus of the brand.
As the athletic trend grows, fitness labels are jockeying for pole position. Under Armour made an important step this April bowing its first shop in New York’s Soho neighborhood. The 10,000-sq.-ft. store is outfitted with the latest product and also has a VIP level to help outfit athletes. If it wasn’t enough of an indication that the label is trying to mold its persona, the shop is referred to as its “brand house.”