Paris Retail Week and organised for LSA* a store tour of New York’s most innovative retail concepts.

Almost fifty stores were part of this journey including brands like Adidas, Capital One Bank, Eataly, Target, Cadillac House, Devialet, Maille, Purch, Spectacles, Sonos, Suit Supply, Under Armour, etc.

Discover in this article a selection of stores which stand out by their innovative character, by new technologies implemented, by a specific design or merchandising.

 Aerie: Fashion-tinted good mood 

Aerie, a brand of the American Eagle Fashion group, targets women between 25 and 35 of all types and morphology with its range of pants, swimsuits, t-shirts and underwear available in all sizes, from XXS to XXL.
In the point of sale visited, a pop up store (which will remain open one year) reigns a relaxing and joyful atmosphere with warm and sweet colours. Reassuring positive messages are posted everywhere in the store, even on the clothes, such as :« throw happiness around like a confetti », « Smile » and even « we love all butts – we cannot lie »…


Capital One Bank transforms its agencies into a lively connected place

For more than a year, the direct bank Capital One has opened traditional branches in partnership with  Peet’s Coffee offering an enjoyable experience to customers in a bright, nicely decorated and coluorful environment.
In addition to the basic banking equipment (cash  points, counters) the bank provides a large work lounge where customers can relax (especially as free wifi and power outlets are ubiquitous) and discover all its online services while exchanging over a coffee with advisors armed with iPads .


Rent the runway: Online or in store rental of designer clothes

Having started as online platform for the rental of fashion items in 2009, Rent the Runway has since opened stores to develop its concept: the temporary rental of designer clothes and accessories. Customers (over 6 million to date) can rent fashion items for a fraction of their price in a range of sizes for a period of 4 to 8 days.
The brand has opened a “style studio” which is part of a network of 14 stores where customers can book an appointment and meet with a personal stylist for advice, while discovering the different clothes and accessories (shoes, bags, jewelry) available for rent. The orders can be made on iPads available in store.


Fujifilm: A connected store … around photo paper

The  ‘Wonder Photo Store’ in New York is one of Fujifilm’s dozen stores in the world.

The store is designed to present a one-of-a kind creative space made specifically to reacquaint customers with the joy and wonder of photography, and how they can bring their favorite images from smartphones and social media to life, through prints, personalised wall decoration and unique DIY photo creations.
You can also find equipment (disposable and of course digital cameras) but above all the offer covers a lot of complementary products (photo albums, frames and accessories) presented in a joyful and colourful atmosphere, with the obvious aim of restoring the desire to print.


Suit Supply: The kingdom of trendy suits

The Suit Supply store offers suits and accessories for all types of New York business men.
The store is aimed at a clientele of dandies, who can find medium-sized suits (between 500 and 1000 dollars on average) in an unusual setting where neither space nor sales personnel is lacking. An alteration table conveys a very high-fashioned image, and the softened tones of the store are an invitation to stay a while.
And with no surprise the sales assistants have the ‘all ultra’ look.


Adidas: New York’s new flagship store

In December, Adidas opened its largest department store in the world. On nearly 4200 sq.m and 4 levels, it sells sports goods in an ultra-urban atmosphere, made of concrete, wire mesh and metal. The store provides the possibility to test its products on a mini football field, an indoor athletics track, or to get advice on touch screen terminals in order to find the most suitable pair of shoes.
The dressing rooms have been redesigned into locker rooms and bleachers are installed at an intermediate level to take a break. In addition to the offer presented in store Adidas does not miss the opportunity to refer to its website aiming to transform the online research into impulse buying. Engaged in an eco-responsible approach around raw materials and the protection of natural resources, the brand provides water fountains in store carrying the message of its commitment. And even specifies that some mannequins are made of recycled plastic.

Eatsa: the 100% automatic restaurant where dishes are served in lockers

Eatsa offers the opportunity to eat quickly, exclusively healthy products, at a decent price (all menus are under $ 7). The company, also present in San Francisco and Los Angeles, was created by a supporter of vegetarian food and therefore does not proposes meat dishes. The salad recipes are based on quinoa and vegetables and are consumable on the spot or ready for take away.
In this ‘restaurant’ the staff is invisible. Everything happens with your fingertips: the order is placed on iPad terminals with immediate payment by card. The products are then prepared and placed in a wall of lockers The glass doors of the lockers have a transparent touch screen that displays the customer’s name and order when it is ready to be served. Some employees fill these lockers by the back and remain invisible, the touchscreen darkening during a few seconds before the the opening of the locker.


Dylan’s Candy Bar: colourful and sweet paradise

Dylan Lauren founded a chain of candy stores in 2001 which have style. Which is normal as Dylan is none less than the daughter of the creator and fashion icon Ralph Lauren.
In this colourful world, sweets reign in all shapes and colours. But the concept also relies on a profusion of containers, accessories and gadgets (candy guns, fluff, etc.) intended to fill the average basket.
Services are also offered, such as a 3D candy printer and customising jars and boxes to offer gifts. In addition, a wide selection of candy (gluten-free, vegan, lactose-free, etc.) aims at satisfying all categories of consumers who push the door of Dylan’s Candy Bar.

*LSA is the weekly key publication in France dedicated to news and trends analysis in retail

© photos : Morgan Leclerc