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Stores we love – February 2015

This month’s instalment gathers five brands from across four continents, all of which have inspired us with their different innovations. They range from artistic endeavours in luxury fashion retail to a fast-food giant’s healthy hipster cafe. Take a look at our pick…

© Freshness Creative Corp.

Nike Zoom City SNKRS Station – New York

Nike has revealed a giant LED version of its iconic orange shoebox on the corner of Bowery and Great Jones St in New York ahead of NBA’s All Star Weekend. The pop-up store is an immersive walk-in version of Nike’s new app ‘SNKRS’ (officially launching in spring), which will give users the tools to personalise sneakers on the move and gain insights into the back-story of each style. Within the glowing NY shoebox are sneaker vending machines, where customers can customise and order sneakers much like on the SNKRS app.

© London On The Inside Ltd

Barber & Parlour – London

Owned by the Soho House group, Barber & Parlour is a fashionable hang-out space across three-floors in London’s trendy Shoreditch area, which caught our eye when researching our Beautiful Convergence paper. There is no appointment needed to get an instant (and affordable) hair, nail or beauty fix using its ‘Cheeky’ products, or a beard trim and haircut by Neville The Barber. The space also offers of-the-moment pressed juices alongside salads and coffee in the Barber & Parlour Kitchen, and the chance to catch new film releases at Electric Cinema Shoreditch in the basement.

© Muji

Muji – Chengdu

Muji opened its largest overseas store in Chengdu at the end of 2014, marking its 100th store in mainland China. In addition to Muji’s minimal products, the retailer has invited a number of brands (such as sunglasses label IDÉE) to create shop-in-shops in the basement, and offers customers locally sourced food in the first ‘Café & Meal Muji’ on the third floor.

© McDonald’s

Corner Café by McDonald’s – Sydney

McDonald’s has opened its first, one-of-a-kind, ‘independent’ food offer, Corner Café. The fast-food giant describes this test kitchen as a ‘lab’, offering new menu items with the potential to be rolled-out in other stores. From the staff wearing chambray shirts and dark jeans to the quinoa and vegetable salads, wooden sandwich boards and herb garden, the Corner Café seemingly aims to be the polar opposite of McDonald’s as we know it.

© BFA/Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton – Los Angeles

Behaving like an art gallery, Louis Vuitton has launched a temporary exhibition in LA introducing the latest spring/summer collection. ‘Series 2 – Past, Present and Future’ coincides with the re-opening of its Rodeo Drive flagship and allows viewers to explore the influences behind the latest collection through numerous multimedia environments, such as holographic projections, videos and neon lighting. Our favourite of the six exhibition rooms is the ‘Infinity Showroom’, which uses a series of 3D projectors to recreate the 48 ‘looks’ of the season. The exhibition will move to Beijing in March.

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