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The Brief
Published: 14 May 2018

Ssense’s ‘Slow Retail’ Montreal Flagship

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Ssense

Echoing the rise of stores as brand playgrounds, Canadian e-commerce fashion platform Ssense has opened an explorative bricks-and-mortar flagship in Montreal’s Old Town. Unveiled in May, the five-storey, 13,000 sq ft space blends online shopping with gallery-like installations to entertain today’s plugged-in consumer.

Guests pre-select items to try on from more than 20,000 pieces available on Ssense’s website, and select an appointment time. In less than 24 hours, the garments are ready and waiting for them in one of the dressing rooms that occupy the entire third and fourth floors. 

Customers who haven’t pre-booked items can browse a limited selection of frequently refreshed clothing on the first floor, as well as special designer/artist collaborations on the second floor, which is also used as a performance space. Ssense commissioned a piece from Venezuelan performance artist Arca for the store’s opening. The fifth floor houses a small bookstore stocked with art publications and a café serving coffee and snacks.

London firm David Chipperfield Architects designed the interior, which updates a narrow 19th century building with a brutalist aesthetic. Minimal decoration on dark grey stone walls creates a distraction-free shopping environment. 

For more on digitally led shopping and brand showcasing, see Nordstrom’s Service-Only Store, Destination Teen: Targeting Youth, Depop’s Hybrid Store and Beta Blends in our Industry Trend Liquid Retail.

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