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Brief Published: 1 May 2019

Embracing Repair Stores: 3 NYC Destinations to Watch

Red Wing Shoes

New York’s retail scene is seeing an influx of innovative repair-and-renew store concepts, validating the increasing consumer interest in strategies we highlight in Aftercare Commerce.

  • Celebrating Ageing Merchandise: Italian luxury leather goods brand Il Bisonte highlights product maintenance at its first US standalone store (March 2019). “The ageing beauty of leather is part of our value proposition,” chief executive Sofia Ciucchi told WWD. Embracing its positive ageing approach, Il Bisonte offers paid refreshing services for weather-beaten bags, as well as an in-store vintage collection for shoppers who want the beauty of age without the wait. At the moment shoppers can’t trade in used bags, but Ciucchi has suggested the company might experiment further down the line. 
  • Extending Effective Lifespans: Minneapolis-based Red Wing Shoes, which manufactures work boots for heavy construction, is bolstering its value to customers with repair services at its new Midtown Manhattan flagship (opened March 2019). While customers can ship boots in need of repair back to the manufacturer, they can also visit the store for repair services. In combination with its sales associates, who are trained to match customers with profession-appropriate footwear, repair services help the brand build relationships that go beyond pushing new product. 

  • Maintaining Cultural Connections: At the NYC flagship for Washington outdoor brand Filson (see Retail City Guide January 2019), customers can attend free Waxing & Whiskey events, where they learn how to re-wax coats while sipping whiskey. Positioning the evening as a branded hangout, Filson is playing into the type of culture-first events highlighted in Brand Spaces 2019/20. The promise of extending a garment’s lifetime fits with the rising consumer interest in developing mending skills, as detailed in The Repair Economy

See also ‘Second Life’ Retail ConceptsRetail: Reframing Sustainability and Textile Designers Explore the Value of Repair.

Il Bisonte