Trading on the power of consumer communities, several US brands have opened NY flagships with a distinctly group-focused mentality. Anchored in events – as either a host or facilitation point – the new stores are grounded in commerce based on connections.
- Outdoor Voices’ Activity Concierge: Female activewear brand Outdoor Voices has launched its inaugural flagship in SoHo with a ‘Doing Things’ initiative, organising out-of-store athletic events in collaboration with external businesses. Customers receive discounted rates on activities including yoga classes, while the store becomes a meeting spot for local events like neighbourhood jogging and dog walks. See also Concierge Commerce and Everlane Taps Local Event Partners.
- Apolis’s Skills & Hangout Space: Menswear brand Apolis’s first Manhattan store is called The Community Centre. Also serving as a hangout space, it hosts skills-based events including coffee making and writing workshops, as well as talks from creative professionals in the public eye, such as US contemporary artist Tom Sachs.
- Timbuk2’s Bike-Sharing Scheme: Bag brand Timbuk2’s SoHo store focuses on cyclists (the company’s core demographic) and revisits its innovative bike-share programme. The free scheme invites customers to explore the neighbourhood on bikes rented directly from the store. Additionally, the brand offers a bag donation service – customers who donate their old ones for recycling receive a discount on all merchandise.
See also New ‘Glocalisation’ Strategies, Community & Commerce, Evolution of the Retail Flagship, Active Flagships and Synthetic Communities.