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Brief Published: 28 Aug 2019

Retail: Leveraging Localism, 2019


The trend for retailing with a localised spin continues to provide global brands as a way to show social solidarity and philanthropic intent. Three new (July to September) openings in both London and New York reveal how it’s being done.

  • Foot Locker, New York: After opening community-focused stores in Philadelphia and Detroit, American sneaker retailer Foot Locker has arrived in Washington Heights, northern Manhattan. The two-level, 9,000 sq ft store features a façade mural of nearby landmarks, and stocks both core brands like Nike and niche New York-based sneaker labels, such as Lyfestyle NYC and Triangulo Swag. The local brands will rotate regularly, and their founders will be invited to talk about entrepreneurship at in-store events. See also Harnessing the Hype in our Sneakerheads Unboxed Spotlight. 

  • Samsung, London: Interactivity and community engagement are front of mind at Samsung’s new 20,000 sq ft retail space in King’s Cross’s shopping hub, Coal Drops Yard. The open-plan space includes an area dedicated to events and skill-sharing workshops, from live tutorials and film nights to photography masterclasses, run in collaboration with local educational institutions and community groups like Central Saint Martins art college and the Young Film Academy.

  • Store Store, London: Also in Coal Drops Yard is Store Store – a design shop run by artist/architect/designer collective Store, focused on education and social engagement. Aiming to address what the brand believes is a social imbalance within creative disciplines – specifically a lack of opportunities for less affluent children – it sells products designed during workshops with students from local state (government-funded) schools. Saturday workshops at Store Store are open to all, with proceeds fed back into the collective's educational programmes.

See also Local Matters: New ‘Glocalisation’ Strategies and Selfridges Launches Music Venue, as well as Mall Retail Reloaded: Funan, Singapore – a destination that’s recognised localism as a growing trend. Seventy-two per cent of Singaporean consumers buy premium products from local retailers, leading to 60% of the Funan mall’s 184 tenants being home-grown brands.