Our highlights of the best new openings include Goop’s first store, a digital pop-up from Neiman Marcus, Mastercard and Marie Claire, Roots’ engaging new concept, Petersham Nurseries’ plant-filled boutique and Doctor Manzana’s laboratory-inspired outpost.
Gwyneth Paltrow is almost as famous for her lifestyle website Goop as she is for her acting chops. In September her devoted fans rejoiced at the opening of Goop’s first boutique in California.
What we love
It’s a truly immersive experience. A shoppable residence, the store is designed to have the feel and flow of Paltrow’s own Brentwood home, ensuring customers can step effortlessly into her aspirational world of wellness. It comes with a fully functioning kitchen, living room, porch, greenhouse and an apothecary-style powder room. The space is cleverly merchandised and encourages guests to sample and test products as they move through it, be that dabbing on makeup at the dresser, trying a touch of hand cream by the basin or slipping into a jacket from the wardrobe.
It combines two of retail’s key trends. Not only is it a shoppable residence, it’s also an experiential store that hosts numerous in-store workshops offering a wealth of services such as meditation in the living room, cookery classes in the kitchen or potting in the greenhouse. We’ve talked about the importance of spending time in store here.
Paltrow has worked hard to make Goop feel like an online community and fittingly, this space feels as much like a members’ club it does a store and is the perfect way for fans to shop and feel totally immersed in the Goop lifestyle.
Neiman Marcus, Mastercard and Marie Claire ‘Next Big Thing’ pop-up
Fashion heavyweights, department store Neiman Marcus and magazine Marie Claire and Mastercard – join forces to bring a forward-thinking pop-up to the public. It’s the interactive digital elements that really make this Manhattan store concept unique.
What we love
The use of technology. The hero piece of in-store technology is the Clarins Sensor Mirror Pro. This virtual mirror works by snapping a picture of the shopper, asking them to point out areas of concern in the photo, then based on that information suggests the most relevant products – a great personalised service. There’s also a Sunglass Memory Mirror that shows guests how a pair of shades looks from different angles. Beyond that, there are digital setups besides certain products displaying extra information, videos of the product in action and the option to purchase.
It’s striving to solve retail pain points. How many of us have gone into a changing room with something that turns out not to fit, found it too much of a faff to get the right size and then abandoned the shopping mission? Well, this store aims to solve that dilemma with smart mirrors from Oak Labs that connect to products using RFI tags. A range of product information (from available sizes to recommendations for complementary items) is then displayed on the mirror.
The product has been carefully chosen by Marie Claire’s editors and is therefore strong enough to not be overshadowed by the digital elements, ensuring that this pop-up is far from gimmicky. The store does a brilliant job of demonstrating how technology can enhance the consumers shopping experience in a realistic way.
Even if you don’t own an iPhone it’s worth visiting Doctor Manzana’s latest repair store in Valencia, Spain purely for the joyous interior.
What we love
Tech-shop design is turned on its head. By choosing bold swatches of colour over clinical blacks and whites, it has the clean lines of a tech store but none of the coldness. The colours have meaning to, with the aquas representing the ‘doctor’ services and the salmon pinks the ‘geek’ accessories. The bold design is already performing really well on social media and is a brilliant vehicle for raising the brand’s profile.
It cleverly plays on the look of a surgery. Enclosed in a hospital-like blue plastic sheet is the ‘surgery’ where phone repairs take place. The custom chairs, tables and low-hanging lights all enhance the feel of an operating table. The matte finish of the table, pleasingly perforated chairs and slippery feel of the curtain make for a cool clash of textures.
Canadian heritage brand Roots stays ahead of the game by revealing its new ‘enhanced experience’ store.
The forward-thinking approach. As we’ve discussed over the past year retail is changing and brands need to adapt in order to stay relevant. Roots have realised this and its new store comes complete with a number of enhanced services. One of these is a customisation workshop that allows customers to personalise their Roots clothing with the help of a customisation expert. The unique designs are created digitally before being sent to its leather workshop 5km away.
The refreshed layout. The store has also been re-designed to allow for free exploration and more creative visual merchandising. The fitting room is more akin to a lounge, complete with a drinks fridge and snacks that encourage guests to hang out and relax in-store. The merchandising systems can be easily moved around to allow for the in-store events such as Fashion shows, presentations and parties – with an accompanying DJ booth.
It plays on the brand’s history. The interior is riddled with nods to brand heritage, from the timeline in one corner to the signature jackets displayed in frames and the stylish photographs of artisans beavering away in workshops. The name itself ‘Roots’ suggests a brand that is deeply entwined with its origins, so it’s nice to see this reflected in the store design.
Green is in and plants are everywhere – it’s the perfect time for the Richmond-based garden centre Petersham Nurseries to open a London outpost.
What we love
It’s not just a plant shop. Really this is a lifestyle boutique filled with homeware, furniture, antiques and gifts, as well as Italian hand-painted linen and towels. There’s an abundance of plants of course, however, most are indoor specimens – appropriate, as the store’s urban clientele are more likely to think of plants as home accessories. The store also offers a potting service to minimise at-home hassle, perfect for attracting customers unfamiliar with gardening.
The location. We love that Petersham Nurseries has chosen to be in Covent Garden. The square was once known for its bustling flower market – immortalised by fictional cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle – and therefore apt that it should be home to a brand that makes blooms its business.
Beyond the boutique, there’s a café selling produce grown in the Richmond residence, a restaurant, bar and Petersham cellar offering specialist Italian wines. This is true experiential emporium where people can relax, shop and learn about plants.