Retail Intel: February 2019

Feb. 28, 2019: Brooks Brothers is joining a string of high-end retailers opening their doors in New York’s new Hudson Yards neighborhood. The location, set to bow in April, will be the brand’s first U.S. store to debut a new global interior design concept, blending archival architectural elements inspired by its historic flagship store on New York’s Madison Avenue. The 2,500-sq.-ft. store, located in The Shops at Hudson Yards, will feature both the signature collection and Golden Fleece luxury label, as well as a women’s line designed by Zac Posen. “We are excited for the opening of Brooks Brothers in Hudson Yards as the development is one of the most ambitious and exciting retail projects in New York,” said Claudio Del Vecchio, chairman and CEO.

Feb. 27, 2019: DSW is taking the shopping experience to the next level. The retailer announced today it has expanded its partnership with W Nail Bar and will introduce nail salons to five more store locations this year — two in Washington, D.C., two in Austin, Texas, and one in Dublin, Ohio. DSW inked a deal with the beauty company in 2017, and together they have tested the installation in two doors in Columbus, Ohio. The W Nail Bar provides a range of services starting at $29, including manicures, pedicures, waxing, and wine and beer (depending on the location), and customers who visit the in-store space can accrue points toward DSW’s VIP Rewards Program. Bill Jordan, president of the retail chain, said in a statement, “We’ve been encouraged by the reaction we’ve received to our nail bar test at our two warehouses in Columbus, and we’re excited to expand to more markets to gather additional learnings.”

DSW W Nail Bar Columbus Ohio
The W Nail Bar inside DSW’s Polaris store in Columbus, Ohio.
CREDIT: Courtesy of DSW

Feb. 27, 2019: Customers can now earn “miles” with Fleet Feet. The retailer has revamped its customer rewards program and launched a new app aimed at inspiring athletes to get moving. By linking with GPS services such as Garmin and Stava, the app allows consumers to accrue points for the physical miles they log while running or walking — in addition gaining points for traditional purchases. The Reward “Miles” can then be redeemed at their local store toward running trips, race entries, apparel, shoes and other gear. “Our customers are passionate and engaged, and it was a big goal of ours to create a program that celebrated and encourage their efforts,” said VP of operations Ben Cooke in a statement.

Feb. 26, 2019: After running into construction delays, Sneakersnstuff is at last ready to open the doors of its Los Angeles store. As FN previously reported, SNS is setting up shop on the West Coast in a 3,450-square-foot store on Venice Beach that has been designed by the retailer’s official design partner, Swedish architect Jenny Askenfors of Bofink Design Studio. Co-founder Erik Fagerlind told FN the firm picked Venice because it is an underpenetrated sneaker market. “We look to open where it’s untested waters. We want to create the destination,” he said. In addition to offering the latest kicks, the L.A. store will host events, activations and community organizing. The official opening is set for March 26 (the company’s 20th anniversary). Meanwhile, in New York, Fagerlind and team are putting the finishing touches on their new SNS Bar, located under the retailer’s store in the Meatpacking District. It is due to open in May.

The Sneakersnstuff storefront in NYC.
CREDIT: Sneakersnstuff

Feb. 19, 2019: Fast-fashion brand Pull & Bear has entered the U.S. market with the launch of a dedicated e-commerce site for the States. Like Zara, Pull & Bear is owned by Inditex Group and caters to young consumers with low-priced, street style-driven apparel and footwear. With this latest market debut, the brand is now sold in 34 countries. For now, it sells exclusively online in the U.S., as well as in Denmark, Monaco and Finland.

Pull & Bear
Styles from the Pull & Bear spring 2019 look book.
CREDIT: Courtesy of brand

Feb. 19, 2019: Payless ShoeSource filed for Chapter 11 protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. The retailer announced it has begun efforts to liquidate all 2,500 of its North America stores and is winding down its e-commerce business. The stores are expected to remain open until at least the end of March and some will continue to operate until as late as May. The budget chain emerged from bankruptcy in 2017 after closing hundreds of under-performing stores and restructuring its debt. However, it still labored under $400 million in loans post-bankruptcy and faced a difficult selling environment. “The challenges facing retailers today are well documented, and unfortunately Payless emerged from its prior reorganization ill-equipped to survive in today’s retail environment,” said chief restructuring officer Stephen Marotta in a statement. The firm’s Latin America division will continue to operate as usual.

A Payless superstore.
CREDIT: Payless ShoeSource

Feb. 14, 2019: Italian menswear label Ermenegildo Zegna is reinforcing its place in the New York retail scene. The luxury house has opened a new three-level flagship in the Crown Building on West 57th Street. Developed by architect Peter Marino, the 7,100-square-foot space boasts a new design concept inspired by a modern mix of defining elements that take shoppers on a journey through the brand. The ground level focuses on leather goods and accessories, and hosts a dedicated shoe salon, while the top floor offers an experiential Master Tailor customization service. The brand’s previous location on Fifth Avenue will close within the coming days.

Ermenegildo Zegna New York Store
Inside the new Ermenegildo Zegna flagship in New York.
CREDIT: Courtesy of brand

Feb. 14, 2019: After hosting creative director Olivier Rousteing’s first couture show in January, the Balmain flagship in Paris has officially opened its doors. Like the brand’s Milan flagship, the two-story boutique on Rue Saint-Honoré has a unique concept. It is modeled after a luxurious Parisian apartment and features a series of rooms, including a library-inspired space and a game room. “Every brand is trying to create a new shopping experience,” Balmain CEO Massimo Piombini told FN sister publication WWD. Designed by Rousteing in collaboration with Studio AMV’s Anna Philippou, the store is the fashion label’s largest, measuring 6,845 square feet.

Atmosphere The Balmain Flagship Store, Milan, Italy - 14 Apr 2018
Balmain’s flagship store in Milan.
CREDIT: Alexia Stok/Shutterstock

Feb. 7, 2019: Happy Socks has transformed its Williamsburg boutique in Brooklyn, N.Y., into the Hysteria Inn to celebrate the spring collection for its fashion-focused Hysteria line. The month-long takeover boasts a set lobby area and a revolving set of suites, with a different theme each week. Also, every Thursday, the shop will host consumer events featuring bell boys, drinks, hors d’oeuvres and gifts with purchase. This marks Happy Socks’ first big activation at the Brooklyn store, which opened late last year.

Happy Socks Hysteria Inn Williamsburg Brooklyn Store
Happy Socks store in Brooklyn has temporarily transformed into Hysteria Inn.
CREDIT: Courtesy of brand

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