This month we share some recent launches, mainly across London, from new brand flagships, to pop-ups and art installations. Also highlighted is a brand new NY opening, a nice update to David Dalziel’s Stores we love – a New York review in June.
Sonos – New York
This brand is on a bit of a roll in terms of retail and brand experiences and its first retail store opened this week on Greene Street, Soho, NYC. As Sonos says, most product interest comes from people simply experiencing it in the homes of friends, so they mirrored this with seven ‘pods’ representing different rooms/ homes, alongside lounge areas. There will be occasional public events hosted at the store as well. Here’s what Sonos has to say, “We know that the sound of music in your home is as important as the lighting or the furniture. Now we have a space where you can hear it for yourself. That means giving you a place to experience sound that actually feels like your home. We want you to listen to the music the way you actually do. You don’t listen to music in stores – you listen with friends, in the places where you live your life.”
What we love:
Sonos has recreated the way in which customers experience the product at home – simple but highly effective. This is about heroing the product, rather than sales. It’s a pinnacle for the retail experience and we’re interested to see how this will inform Sonos’ experience through other third party retailers.
Dyson Demo – London
Another ‘tech brand’ opening a brand experience… Dyson Demo opened earlier this month on Oxford Street, opposite Selfridges. Spread across two floors, this is Dyson’s first ever London store. Whether it’s a hairdryer or a vacuum, you can experience and play with the product, and even choose the type of dust or dirt you’d like to tackle. You can read our blog post about our visit here.
What we love:
It’s great to see British designers still pushing the boundaries and it’s also interesting to see these innovations appearing in ordinary items such as fans and hair dryers, before cars and rockets. Although the store itself is relatively simple, the passionate staff and experiences within make it well worth a trip.
The Gardening Society at John Lewis – London
John Lewis has just opened the now annual roof terrace installation at its Oxford Street flagship. Up at The Gardening Society, shoppers can get away from the hustle and bustle of life below and take part in outdoor yoga classes, eat in one of the pop-up restaurants, browse the ‘Garden Shop’ or just relax and enjoy the views. The terrace is open until 4 September.
What we love:
The chance to get away from the sometimes hectic Oxford Street and experience this trusted brand in a completely different light. You can take off your shoes and have a drink or some food while enjoying the view, or perhaps come and take part in a class. A totally immersive space, it’s as If you’re walking into a garden catalogue or ‘look book’ where you can experience the products first hand. It’s a great way for John Lewis to engage and create an even more emotional connection with its customers, and who knows, they might end up buying a piece or two for the backyard!
Shakespeare ReFASHIONed at Selfridges – London
To celebrate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, Selfridges has moved from shopping to stage, with the launch of Shakespeare ReFASHIONed – a storewide campaign. Carefully curated to continually evolve, Act 1 features the store’s most ambitious window display to date, inspired by some of the playwright’s most famous comedies and love stories. Act 2 – the tragedies are played out through famous designers’ interpretations. Limited edition collaborations are also available to buy in a number of different departments. The pièce de résistance is the ReFASHIONed Theatre. Hosting an eclectic programme of musicians, poets and renowned British drama schools, Selfridges has given young talent a platform to re-create Shakespeare’s poetry for a modern audience. There’s even mask making and other activities for the kids.
What we love:
How Selfridges has brought the history and creativity of Shakespeare to life through a modern fashion lens, in a totally immersive retail-theatre experience. As carefully considered as ever, the whole store has been thoughtfully curated to add elements of surprise for shoppers of any age. Selfridges has used its connections to some of the world’s most influential designers to give young and local talent a voice, and a moment in the spotlight. Some might say … A match made in heaven.
View some of the performances here.
Serpentine Pavilion – London
Not a store, but a beautiful, calming space that engages with visitors of all ages. This year’s structure is by Bjarke Ingels Group or BIG. The idea is simple; take the most basic element in architecture – the wall – and unzip it, to form a hall inside. It’s made up of thousands of translucent fibreglass blocks, which are stacked on top of each other to form a wall that appears to have been pulled apart. It’s open throughout the summer until 9 October 2016.
“What we’ve tried to do is create a sort of mountainous landscape on the outside and a cavernous canyon on the inside.” says Ingels, the architect.
What we love:
How the simple rectangle can create such dramatic sweeping curves. Even on a dull and cloudy day the bluish-grey light filtering in through the translucent fibreglass blocks is beautiful and calming and we can imagine that with the sun shining it’s even more impressive.
One to look out for…
Mamas & Papas – London
As part of our ongoing work with Mamas & Papas, we’ve created One Four Four, a boutique on Clapham’s Northcote Road which has just opened, part showroom, part community space – it’s a flexible 170sqm destination offering an edit of leading products alongside an emphasis on wellness, experiences and gifting. From pregnancy yoga to personal shopping, the enhanced services are perfectly pitched for the store’s location, dubbed London’s ‘nappy valley’ for its concentration of affluent young families. Check back for more on this next week.