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Brief Published: 18 May 2015

Female-Focused Retail Stories, NY

Story's latest store concept, 'Her Story' in New York

In a bid to spark discussion about female-oriented issues and talent, New York concept store Story – a gallery-esque retail space whose thematic content changes every four to six weeks – is giving 40 influential women a retail platform with its latest initiative, Her. The curated series of products and in-store events celebrates businesses either created or chosen by women, including Caroline Baumann, director of Manhattan's design-focused Cooper Hewitt Museum, American 'mature' style icon Iris Apfel, and Sophia Amoruso, founder of LA-based apparel brand Nasty Gal.

Celebrating women's expanding role in the 'entrepreneurial economy' – a topic explored in Female-Focused Retail, part of our Future Female Industry Trend – the store will also host a talk by Joanne Wilson, New York-based angel investor and advocate for women entrepreneurs.

The store also features more than 90 books by female authors – a range that chimes with the initiative's cross-platform hashtag #inherownwords – surrounded by wall-mounted quotes detailing why a product is significant to the chooser. Further encouraging consumers to join in the discussion is the involvement of location-based app Recho (developed in Copenhagen), which allows users to record sounds and 'tie' them to the places where they were recorded. App users can discover sounds left behind when listening in the right place – and leave additional 'noises' (comments) themselves. For more on this topic, look out for our upcoming report Sonic Branding, publishing in June.

The store theme was produced in partnership with US dress retailer Dressbarn, which is currently undergoing a revamp dubbed 'Dressbar': a multi-channel concept launched in March 2015 that includes designer collaborations, a dedicated e-commerce platform and a pop-up store on Fifth Avenue, New York.

Similarly tapping into the appetite for stories regarding entrepreneurial women, New York-based fashion hire service Rent the Runway (see E-Fashion Rental Site Opens Shop) has partnered with US automotive brand Ford to launch Making it Happen – a dedicated, shoppable micro-site profiling female entrepreneurs wearing shoppable looks from Rent the Runway.

The brand has also upgraded its e-commerce site to include consumer-generated product photos. Dubbed 'Our Runway', users can now search to 'find women like me' by height, bust, dress size and age, as opposed to searching for a specific dress. For more on using fan photos to bolster e-commerce experiences, see Monetising Instagram in Instagram for Retail Brands.

For more on how to reach female consumers, see Nike's Lifestyle Stores for Women, Female-Focused Sports Concept, Athleisure Engagement Strategies, Advertising Week New York and New Rules for Marketing to Women.