Retail Intel: November 2019

Nov. 29, 2019: Parisian footwear label Both has opened its first flagship store in Tokyo in the Kita-Aoyama neighborhood. The interior merges sleek industrial elements with raw materials. “This contrast of polished and rough reflects the both values and the playful experimentation the brand is known for in its products,” says artistic director Nicolas Santos. To mark the launch. the brand tapped Jenny Fax, the designer of cult eponymous Tokyo fashion label, to curate an art installation and window display. She reworked two both styles and created a series of shoe charms for the POP and GAO styles. Designer Mihara Yasuhiro, photographer Chikashi Suzuki and Illustrator Eri Wakiyama also created one-of-a-kind graphic stickers.

Nov. 26, 2019: Comfort shoe brand San Antonio Shoemakers (SAS) is expanding its store count with the Dec. 7 opening of a store in Omaha, Neb., located at retail center Montclair on Center. The location features a new interior design with a centralized seating area, spacious floor plan and custom-made maple wall case for product display. In celebration of the opening, SAS will donate $1,000 to Omaha-based nonprofit Bethlehem House. Additionally, customers who come into the store with a clothing donation to the group will receive a $20 discount on a shoe or bag purchase.

Men's SAS athletic style
Men’s SAS Journey Mesh style.

Nov. 25, 2019: This past weekend marked a pair of firsts for APL. The stylish sneaker company opened its debut flagship store at Los Angeles’ The Grove shopping district. It features a robust assortment of shoes, including its holiday ’19 lineup. In a nod to its ties to both the fashion and sports worlds, the 3,000-square-foot space features 31-foot ceilings and a narrow footprint, giving it the feel of both a runway and the track in a 100-meter dash. Also, APL introduced a line of children’s sneakers, which are available in-store and online. The collection includes several colorways of the brand’s popular TechLoom Bliss, a laceless style that’s easy to slip on and off.

APL TechLoom Bliss
The APL TechLoom Bliss for kids in red.

Nov. 25, 2019: Kith‘s latest venture will bring the New York-based retail standout to Jackson Hole, Wyo. The retailer announced via social media this weekend that it will launch a pop-up in the city in December. The shop will not only feature some of the biggest brands in the outdoor market, but it will also offer a concierge service dubbed Kith Travel. Weekends can be booked via travel@kith.com.

Nov. 25, 2019: The Accessories Council has announced its first all-female holiday pop-up, which will be hosted on Dec. 4 and 5 at New York City’s Penn Plaza Pavilion. The shop will feature a variety of footwear, handbags, jewelry and more from women-owned and -led companies, including Kara Mac Shoes, Joseph and Stacey and SSY Designs. The pop-up comes fresh off the organization’s creation of networking group BABE, or Bad Ass Business Executives, which launched early this year and now has nearly 100 members across multiple sectors, including fashion, accessories and wellness.

Nov. 25, 2019: Lululemon has opened another experiential store. Similar to its outpost in Chicago’s Lincoln Park, the new location at Mall of America in Minnesota features a Sweat Studio for yoga, HIIT and strength training classes, with an adjoining locker and showers. Spanning 19,700 square feet on a single level, the store also comes with a Fuel Bar for light bites and a Grow Room for activities such as meditation and workshops. Along with the experiential model, the retailer is offering a new Gear Trial program that allows customers to try out select products in the studio before making a purchase.

Inside Lululemon's Mall of America store.
Inside Lululemon’s store at the Mall of America.
CREDIT: Lululemon
Lululemon's Mall of America store
Lululemon’s Sweat Studio.
CREDIT: Lululemon

Nov. 21, 2019: Men’s direct-to-consumer brand Taft is opening its first brick-and-mortar store with a door in New York’s SoHo neighborhood at 135 Prince St., strategically located alongside other direct-to-consumer brands including UNTUCKit and Faherty. The store is designed by Bobby Redd and features a curated blend of vintage and new furniture for a living room atmosphere. The focal point of the store is a shoe wall featuring 48 of Taft’s most popular styles. “Being an online-only brand, we miss out on the magical moment when a customer sees the shoes for the first time and tries them on,” said Kory Stevens, Taft founder. “We are super excited the people [will] get that experience in our first store.”

Nov. 19, 2019: Nordstrom customers now have even more access to Rent the Runway. This week, the two companies extended their partnership, opening additional RTR Drop-off Box locations in Nordstrom department stores. After completing a successful test at five doors, the service has expanded to a total of 29 Nordstrom locations in major cities including San Francisco, Chicago and Dallas. As part of the program, RTR customers can easily return their rentals inside the department store, and Nordstrom is also signing on as an RTR Platform partner, contributing inventory to the rental company to extend the life cycle of Nordstrom products.

Nov. 18, 2019: Sneakersnstuff has announced the debut of its first store in Asia, opening on Dec. 14 in Tokyo’s Daikanyama neighborhood. Designed by Jenny Askenfors of Bofink Design, the decor features handcrafted and handmade furniture by Swedish and European artists as well as traditional Japanese heritage materials and 3D-printed pieces. It also houses a Sneakersnstuff Café and will provide custom products at the location upon the grand opening. The Swedish-based retailer already has stores in its hometown of Stockholm as well as in London, Berlin, Paris, Los Angeles and New York City.

Nov. 17, 2019: Louis Vuitton men’s creative director Virgil Abloh has cooked up a performance and tech-inspired line called Louis Vuitton 2054 — and the brand is celebrating the launch with a New York City pop-up. While the 14-piece range is slated for widespread release on Dec. 6, it’s available now exclusively at the temporary residency, located at 122 Greene St. in New York’s SoHo neighborhood. The residency is wrapped in a colorful LV monogram pattern with a heat-map effect, designed to recall the clothing, shoes and accessories featured in the LV 2054 collection.

Louis Vuitton, Soho, nyc, temporary residency, louis vuitton 2054
Louis Vuitton’s temporary residency in New York’s SoHo.
CREDIT: Louis Vuitton

Nov. 17, 2019: Forum, a new fashion and lifestyle retail concept operated by experiential retail company B8ta, opened its doors Nov. 15 in Los Angeles. The store is located at 8406 Melrose Ave. in Los Angeles; its store hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. At launch, Forum offers a range of brands, including Alala, Just Human, Lark & Berry and Fvith. The retailer has tech-enabled dressing rooms, where shoppers can request different colors and sizes of items using an in-room digital display; brands can customize the dressing rooms’ lighting and imagery according to their individual tastes.

Forum, los angeles, store
Forum in Los Angeles.

Nov. 6, 2019: Danner now has a store in Seattle. The outdoor standout announced its sixth door, located at 1524 1st Ave., which is now open. According to the brand, the aesthetics are inspired by Seattle’s maritime culture and “reflects the vast and rugged terrain from the Cascade mountains to the Puget Sound.” In terms of product, it will primarily house hiking and outdoor lifestyle boots. To celebrate the new location, Danner will host a grand opening event on Saturday, Nov. 9, from 12 p.m. PT to 6 p.m. PT.

Danner Seattle
A look inside Danner’s new store in Seattle.
CREDIT: Danner

Nov. 4, 2019: Blundstone, known for its classic Chelsea boots, has opened its first-ever U.S. pop-up in the trendy Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, N.Y. Powered by Brooklyn retailer DNA Footwear, the 450-square-foot store at 192 Bedford Ave. will remain open through March 2020 and will offer men’s, women’s and children’s styles from the Australian shoe label’s fall ’19 collection. Reflecting the brand’s Tasmanian roots, the interior features reclaimed wood, leather hides and copper detailing to reflect the natural look of the collection. “Brooklyn is home to many passionate Blundstone wearers, and we are beyond excited to share more of our brand and product story in their own backyard,” said Kate Shevack, managing partner of Brand Initiatives Group, Blundstone’s U.S. marketing arm. The store will partner with local brands to host a series of collaborative events and activations for consumers throughout the pop-up’s duration.

Blundstone Brooklyn
Blundstone pop-up shop in Brooklyn.
CREDIT: Blundstone

Nov. 1, 2019: Skechers has opened a flagship retail store in China in the Disneytown shopping district of the Shanghai Disney Resort. The Skechers Kids Brand Experience store opened on Oct. 20 and is the first retail location at a Disney resort property for the brand. At 2,777 square feet, it is also the biggest stand-alone Skechers Kids store in China. It offers signature children’s styles as well as an adult area with coordinated parent-child footwear and apparel.

Shanghai Disney Resort, disneytown, skechers store
Skechers flagship retail store in the Disneytown shopping district of the Shanghai Disney Resort.
CREDIT: Skechers

Nov. 1, 2019: Foot Locker is celebrating the launch of its Rivals pack with the Jordan Brand in Los Angeles at Foot Locker’s Hollywood and Highland location. Powered by Foodbeast, the Rivals Cafe is a new pickup window at the store, where customers can purchase iconic sandwiches and hot dogs inspired by the culinary histories of Los Angeles and Chicago. The cafe is open now through Nov. 3. Any Foot Locker customer purchasing apparel or footwear from the Rivals Collection will receive a complimentary menu item from the Rivals Cafe. Foot Locker also wrapped up Halloween with its House of Hoops mobile truck in Los Angeles. The store-on-wheels exclusively sold Nike’s “What the L.A.” Air Force 1 sneakers.

Nov. 1, 2019: Paige, known for its denim line, today launched its first shoe-only pop-up stores in Los Angeles and New York, located at 8473 Melrose Place and 112 Mercer St., respectively. The Paige Shoe Studio features over 60 styles, with new styles released at both locations in limited quantities. The Paige brand entered the shoe category last year.

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