The Soho Retail Showcase
Retail Connections hosted its 2020 New York Store Tour, the Soho Retail Showcase, taking over 20 retailers and tech vendors to explore six standout stores from innovative brands that are delivering new immersive brand experiences and rewriting the retail rulebook.
The tours were curated and hosted by Retail Connections Chairman, Chris Field, who was on hand to provide insight into the trends driving new retail and the tech that’s powering evolution in bricks-and-mortar.
We’ve rounded up the six stores from the tour below:
Store #1 | Woolrich
Ever wondered what it would be like to step inside a giant snow globe? Well, that’s the latest immersive experience outwear clothing retailer, Woolrich, launched in its flagship store (121 Wooster St) earlier in December.
Partnering with tech company, Techno Alpin, Woolrich’s SnowRoom, a large glass-windowed room full of birch trees and snow, brings the outside in. Dropping to -20C, it creates artificial blizzards to let customers try out down-jackets and skiwear before they buy, helping them choose the product that best suits their needs.
Store #2 | Nike Soho
Heralded as the pinnacle of personalisation when it opened at the end of 2016, Nike Soho (529 Broadway) continues on its trajectory of fast-paced innovation, centring around its customisation offer and by also adding experiences in to the store.
It’s Nike+ Running Trial Zone allows shoppers to test running shoes on treadmills on virtual run routes in Central Park and West Side Highway, while the Nike+Soccer Trail Zone includes a 400 sq ft synthetic turfed area for trying out boots and studs with expert athletes on hand to give advice.
Store #3 | Amazon 4 Star
Amazon’s latest foray into the world of physical retail, brings best ecommerce practice in to the store environment.
Amazon 4 Star (72 Spring St) curates products that either receive 4 star+ ratings on its site, are top sellers or are trending on Amazon.com, allowing shoppers to discover and explore popular products. The online giant also uses location-based data to group products sets, with a ‘Trending in NYC’ section, and cross-sell recommendations in the ‘Frequently Bought Together’ section of the store.
Store #4 | Allbirds
With sustainability continuing to rise up the agenda, eco-friendly footwear favourite, Allbirds, is a rising retail star, recently having secured investment from a raft of celebs, including actor and environmentalist, Leonardo DiCaprio. Its flagship store (73 Spring St) is a mecca to its brand values – showcasing the sourcing of its eco-conscious footwear in a light, airy and organic space.
Store #5 | Nudie Jeans
Another sweetheart of the sustainability movement, Swedish denim brand Nudie Jeans’ latest NYC Repair Shop (188 The Bowery) offers customers lifelong repairs on its jeans, giving customers the opportunity to restyle and repair their denim, extending the life of each item. As well as its repair service which sits central to its product offer, we explore how Nudie has been investing in tech to digitalise its global store estate to enhance customer experience.
Store #6 | SHOWFIELDS
A revolutionary retail concept and experience emporium designed to inspire discovery via immersive installations and pop ups, SHOWFIELDS (11 Bond St) brings pure-play brands to life through storytelling and theatre, allowing customers to explore the brands that live online through experiences, featuring actors and characters telling the story of each D2C brand in the space.