Retail Refugees

Shrine to Sneakers
October 4, 2010, 12:45 pm
Filed under: Art/Design, Fashion, Stores | Tags: , , , ,

Sure, those $500 limited-edition Nike Dunks won’t be on shelves for long, but while they’re there, they’re a challenge to display properly. So many sneaker-freaker stores put these high-class kicks behind glass, on pedestals, in a way that’s far too precious for shoes: In all honesty, you just want to be able to see the goods. At the newest store of Barcelona sportswear company Munich, located in Valencia, Spain, sneakers are finally given the respect — and the shelving — they deserve.

Dear Design, a Barcelona-based firm, took the reins (laces?) on the project, building what’s essentially a stadium for shoes. Instead of trying to replicate some display form for another luxury product, they came up with a language of their own, a cool X-motif based on Munich’s logo (which also kinda looks like gothic pointed arches, the waffled-sole underside of a shoe, and maybe a basketball net).

(via Fast Company)

Drien van Noten menswear in Paris
September 30, 2010, 10:44 am
Filed under: Fashion, Stores | Tags: , ,

The menswear boutique boom continues to expand—both Ralph Lauren and J. Crew have opened high-profile men’s-only fashion stores in recent months—with Dries Van Noten opening his first men’s shop in Paris. The 1,076 square foot store is furnished with 18th, 19th, and 20th century objets and features the original 1970s rust-colored paneling, reports WWD.

To mark the occasion, Dries Van Noten unveiled his debut evening collection for guys. Sold exclusively at the Paris store, the collection boasts tuxedo jackets and trousers, silky tops and bottoms and a velvet dinner jacket (in a color resembling the shop’s fiery interior). A small one-of-a-kind accessories collection in a similar tone is also on sale.

Tesla Retail
July 13, 2010, 12:02 pm
Filed under: Stores | Tags: , , ,

Tesla, the über cool electric car company, has hired Apple´s former retail guru to design their new showrooms.

Fast Company explains… Lucky for Tesla, then, that it snagged George Blankenship as its vice president of design and store development. Blankenship previously spent nine years working with Apple to amp up its retail strategy. Before that, he opened hundreds of stores each year for the GAP.

Blankenship is charged with helping Tesla expand from its network of 13 showrooms to 20 by the end of the year–and even more beyond that. While Blankenship has never before worked in the auto industry, he sees lots of similarities between his work in clothing and computing and his current position at Tesla. “This is about technology, innovation, and a great pipeline of products that need to be explained to the customer,” he tells “It’s just like when I was at Apple.”

The retail guru wants to do the same thing for Tesla. Whereas traditional auto dealerships are often in mammoth buildings that are set apart from retail districts, Blankenship hopes to put Tesla showrooms right in the thick of popular shopping locations.

But Tesla has a unique challenge: While consumers weren’t that excited about Apple when Blankenship came on board, Tesla practically has more hype than it can handle. The challenge is to make potential customers understand what Tesla is about. And that requires a comprehensive customer experience strategy.

“We want to figure out the best, most comfortable way to create an environment where people aren’t just looking at the car–they see how it’s part of their future,” Blankenship says. It won’t be easy.

America´s Top Stores…
June 8, 2010, 11:13 am
Filed under: Market Info, Stores | Tags: , , ,

Consumer Reports released their annual customer satisfaction results from American retailers with some surprises at the top of the list…

1. Costco (85)
2. Dillard’s (82)
3. Kohl’s (81)
4. JCPenney (80)
5. Target (79)
6. Sam’s Club (78)
7. Sears (77)
8. Macy’s (77)
9. Meijer (77)
10. Walmart (73)

And below are some profiles of the top scorers… (click here to see the profiles of all top retailers)


414 warehouses in 40 states. $50 yearly fee. Costco has a wide range of goods but not a lot in each category. Private-label Kirkland Signature products are claimed to be at least as good as national brands, and all of Costco’s merchandise comes with a money-back guarantee.

How to Save
Costco doesn’t accept manufacturers’ coupons but sometimes distributes its own. Instant rebates are fairly common. Customers with an Executive membership ($100) qualify for 2 percent back on purchases, up to a top rebate of $500 per year. (You’d need to spend $2,500 to recoup the extra $50.)

Monocle Shop in Tokyo
May 28, 2010, 12:08 pm
Filed under: Stores | Tags: ,

As their product lines seems to expand daily, so does the number of Monocle´s retail outposts…  Below are shots from the Tokyo shop.

New LV on Bond Street
May 28, 2010, 12:05 pm
Filed under: Fashion, Stores | Tags: , , , ,

Despite their not completely honest ad campaign, LV created a wave of positive feedback for their latest flagship store on Bond St. in London. “Entered via a bridge over a ‘moat’, its four outrageously luxurious floors include a VIP apartment, a ‘librairie’ of limited edition art and art books, revolving handbag installations and artworks by all the big guns, from Damien Hirst to Gilbert & George.”

(images from Wallpaper via Hypebeast)

Issey Miyake shop by Nendo, Shibuya
May 26, 2010, 11:17 am
Filed under: Art/Design, Fashion, Stores | Tags: , , ,

From Fast Company

Last year, we told you about Nendo’s ultralight mobile display furniture for some inexpensive(ish) Issey Miyake stores in Tokyo. Six months on, the disgustingly talented Japanese design firm unveils a new concept: Fashion on pins and needles.

The displays — for a shop in Tokyo’s ur-trendy Shibuya area — are designed to show off Miyake’s Bilbao bag, an unstructured little confection that doesn’t hang so much as it settles into place. So rather than produce a hard, squat plinth for something that’s anything but, Nendo whipped up these rail-thin steel rods, each varying slightly in height; in Nendo’s telling, they resemble “a field of prairie grass.”

That or something you could prick your finger on. (Each rod is a little more than a quarter-inch thick — too wide, we assume, to do much damage.)

The bags fall over the rods willy-nilly, as if they were “flowers in a light breeze,” to continue the Great Plains similie here. The shelving and hangers echo the rods.

Nendo‘s Oki Sato has inspired envy in the hearts of lesser designers everywhere for his play with lightness and illusion, turning chairs into ghosts and clothing hangers into wire-frame sculpture. Read more about him here.