October in New York is a warm and cosy affair, with our team hard at work setting up Xmas campaings for our UK clients in the Big Apple as well as hunting for retail gold and new store concepts.
New York retail has been battered with occupancy rates plummeting over the last 18 months. All is not lost though as Halloween spirits gave a spur to new start-up ecoms to move into physical realm. Showfields is a new venture on 11 Bond Street (Soho NY) that sprung to life to give display space to young retailers. You can hire a cave-size display bay, decorate it with your brand lingo and sell products off your ecom store accessible from a tablet at the cave entrance. No stock on site means no security issues, no lorries parking outside on the busy street so environmentally friendly retail and with a resident DJ and good coffee on site , what is not to like? Pop-ups at Showfields range from new vegan cosmetics brands, clever wrist friendly keyboards to zero sugar carbonated Ugly Drinks to open your retail horizons.
Showfields feels like a modern and re-defined department store for Millennials and can be contacted via Instagram @Showfields
Queue in front of stores is a super rare phenomenon these days as most brands have to entice the customers with massive discounts to lure them into the physical shop. Of course that is not true about @Supreme, the kings of urban spin and branding. On one of the windiest and rainiest of NY autumn days, who else but Supreme pop up was sporting a queue outside the store that was about 4 hours long and at least 3 man deep. A mixed group of predominantly boys audience was patiently waiting for the moment of excitement when surly looking bouncer would finally let them into the enchanted kingdom of Supreme fashion. Online bidding for understocked New-Ins has proved to be a permanent part of our e-retail landscape as teens from Asia, Middle East and Europe fight for that elusive cap that has only been produced to last about 15 minutes on their online store.
Soho store in the less fashionable area is only a temporary set up, but ephemeral is what Supreme enthusiasts like most, just like with romance, the fun is in the chase! The brand uses the pop ups as content for their media, feeding the video feed of queueing frenzy to the fans worldwide. Clever.
Gutsy newcomer to NY is 7floor flagship for Nordstrom Women, opening the door to new customers just as Halloween frenzy hit the streets. The new flagship is a big bet from a loved but somewhat declining brand and looks like the owners mean business. Offering not just 7 floors of well curated merchandise but also 24h collection service for Online Orders, Nordstorm is pushing the integration of shops and ecommerce to it’s most convenient. We spotted a few young fashion brands on display and a good selection of not-so-obvious cosmetic brands with Augumented Reality Try-On stations what may attract younger shoppers. Footfall looked good on all floors and the store is hitting the sweet spot with the pre-party season shoppers. Good luck Nordstrom!
There is Copper in my Coffee
Sunshine and warmth were on offer in the last days of October in NY but when the rain eventually came, it was hard, as always in New York, of a horizontal nature. We hid for most of our team’s brain-storming day in the cosy Starbucks in Meatpacking district. Open only a few months ago but already a firm favourite for off-site meeting for our US team, the location offers on display is full working roastery .
You can sip your coffee while watchig the Master Roaster of the day making the beans travel their way thru a mesmerising journey along the transparent funnels of roastery magic machine. Coffee is there is good too, with more than 20 different beans on offer and delicious cinnamon pastries from Milanese Princi bakery. You can practically live in their space as towards the end of the day we just shifted for cocktail bar Arriviamo on mid floor and carried on post-meeting drinks. Kudos to Liz Muller, in house design guru for Starbucks who hit retail gold (or rather copper) again and for making already fabulous Meatpacking District even more fun.
Brits bring beauty to 5th Avenue
5th Avenue fashion stores usually choose super skinny, white models for their windows. To address this an up-and-coming UK lingerie brand Bluebella has been invited to Victoria Secrets flagship store, bringing their inclusive imagery and luxurious fashion accessories to New York.
The brand’s shop-in-shop concept landed just in time for spicy Halloween, with plus size model Ali Tate Cutler in the front window looking fabulous. Full size video wall on the way up to the first floor was allocated to Bluebella’s hashtag LoveYourself campaign, handing over the hugely impactful screen to a visual story of diverse models that reflect more realistically New York women and their diverse, beautiful bodies.
Next month we are off to Tokyo focusing on new in-storevending machines – is the future of stores staff-less?