Our favourite August retail experiences include grassroots fashion boutique 50m, Nike’s technology-powered store, Bompas + Parr’s ice cream exhibition, Tiffany & Co.’s millennial outpost and immersive kids brand SuperMoments.
When it comes to creating culinary events that are both mouthwateringly delicious and creatively thrilling, food artists Sam Bompas and Harry Parr are second to none. Scoop: A Wonderful Ice Cream World in Kings Cross is the latest addition to the duo’s portfolio of events.
What we love
It’s educational. Named ‘lick and learn’ the gallery really does deliver on both! Bompas + Parr take visitors on a sensory journey through the history of ice cream, from its European roots in Renaissance Italy to the vicious turf wars of 1980s Glasgow where rival gangs operated out of ice cream trucks.
It’s ultra Instagrammable. Pastel hues, ice cream paraphernalia and theatrical props, Scoop looks like a 1950s American ice cream parlour on steroids. Whether you snap a pic of the OTT interior, the rare ice cream artefacts or the ice cream itself (Bompas + Parr claim to have created the world’s first glow in the dark ice cream) there’s a lot that demands to be shared.
The multisensory experience. A smell scape charts the invention of new flavours over four centuries, there’s also an interactive feature that recreates the kitchen of ice cream entrepreneur Agnes B. Marshall and an installation created in partnership with everyone’s favourite ice cream guys, Ben & Jerry, that tracks the brain’s neurological responses to eating ice cream.
What we love
The relaxed concept. Called the ‘Style Studio’ this store focuses on the brand’s more accessible lines designed for younger customers. Gone is the austere interior of a classic jeweller, and in its place is a wholly more fun offering. It feels like Tiffany & Co. have got the mood right for now, considering that luxury in general, really is moving away from its formal attitude and embracing the inclusive spirit that so chimes with younger consumers.
The fun interior. We loved the dynamic screens playing campaign content, the expressive ‘ripped tissue paper’ wall and bold use of the iconic Tiffany blue, not to mention the vending machine that dispenses signature fragrances – a tad Missguided perhaps?
What we love
The concept. Art collective Something and Son launched 50m with the aim of solving one of London’s biggest problems for young designers, rent, by offering them rail space at a cheap price. As co-founder Paul Smyth said, “the original concept is: can we provide access to the world’s luxury markets from £10 a day – the same as it costs to rent a market stall.” The online store is launching soon.
It’s a community hub. The space is completely flexible and designed to host an ever-changing roster of brands and events. At the back of the store is a studio with sewing machines and pattern-cutting tables – so customers have a pretty good chance of meeting the designers who made the garments being sold on the shop floor! It also comes with a café and offers a range of workshops for aspiring creatives.
It’s part of a regeneration project. Although Belgravia is by no means an impoverished part of London, it is lacking the rich creative spirit that exists in other parts of the city and can often feel uninspiring and corporate. Eccleston Yards aims to breathe new life into the area with a host of exciting new brands (50m being one of them) and hopes to draw fashionable and creatively minded millennials west of Victoria Station.
The newest concept from Nike in Melrose, Los Angeles is a store that’s inspired by and built for its NikePlus members.
What we love
The smart use of technology. Nike has gathered data from its app and online store to ensure that the Melrose store is stocked with the product its NikePro members are browsing and buying through its other channels. Its a truly fluid, omnichannel strategy that serves customers extremely well. The store is restocked bi-weekly with styles that are trending in the Melrose area regardless of whether they fit in with the brand’s seasonal product plan or not. This area-specific retail and distribution model may seem like extra work and trouble, but in reality, it should save Nike time and money.
The high level of service. The store also serves as a test centre for other initiatives that can then be rolled out across the brand’s portfolio. One of these initiatives is the Nike sneaker bar, an area dedicated to helping customers find their perfect trainers. All the inventory is shown on the shop floor and a specialist trainer expert guide customers who want a more personalised level of service. Nike Direct President, Heidi O’Neill claims that this experience cuts down the shopping journey by 5-10mins.
It builds loyalty. NikePro members already have loyalty to Nike, however, a concept like this that fuses online and offline, provides a great service and utilises tech in a human way, is only going to strengthen the existing community. A similar store is set to open in Japan and it will be interesting to see how other brands take note.
Children’s clothing and accessories brand, SuperMoments is an exciting new retail space in Valencia, Spain that aims to delight children and adults alike.
What we love
The reinterpreted playground aesthetic. The bold primary colours, padded flooring and climbing-frame like walls may be reminiscent of adventure playgrounds, but the design is sleek and expansive enough to feel a bit like an exhibition space as well – perfect for highlighting an edit of the brand’s favourite accessories.
It doesn’t sell anything. This ‘store’ is simply meant to be a space where families can come to have fun and make memories. The very social-media friendly interior will hopefully mean that images of it are shared thousands of times amongst the right audience, raising the brand’s profile and making the store an important marketing channel.
Inspired by our #CreativityWins campaign, this month's roundup of experiences we love includes Selfridges' new Project Earth initiative, Burberry's innovative social retail store, and an Italian-inspired jewellery and restaur...
By facing up to some hard industry truths and focussing on uncovering and communicating authentic USPs to audiences, we believe beauty brands will be able to connect in deeper, more meaningful ways.