Watch Retail: Store Openings, USA
From high visibility storefronts to customisation bars, plus a new wave of European-originated luxury, we highlight the most inspiring recent US watch retail openings.
- Window onto the Atelier: Californian watch brand Nixon has opened its debut New York store on Prince Street, SoHo. Designed by British agency Checkland Kindleysides, the space is the latest roll-out of its concept The Horizon, which subtly references the rhythm and flow of the ocean in a nod to its surfer following. To avoid the alienation of encasing the product behind glass barriers, all the watches are displayed on a sculptural centrepiece of undulating plinths, which appear to emerge from an under-lit blue tank. That visibility is echoed in the all-glass frontage of the 279 sq ft store, which gives passersby a clear view onto the brand's workshop-style aesthetic. It also boasts a customisation bar at the rear of the space.
- Crisp, Calm & Customisable: Anglo-Swedish contemporary watch label Larsson Jennings has opened its first US concept store in Nolita, New York. Also featuring a predominantly glass storefront, the space includes modular displays hand built in Oxfordshire, England, which replicate the aesthetic of the brand's crisp, minimal London flagship. The stark white interior showcases its full product range, including the LJX Custom area, where shoppers can choose from a selection of straps and hardware for bespoke timepieces.
- Cinematic Flair on Rodeo Drive: Two luxury Swiss watchmakers – IWC Schaffhausen and Audemars Piguet – have unveiled stores on Los Angeles' high-end retail strip Rodeo Drive. IWC's two-storey destination marks a new retail concept for the brand that reference's LA's cinematic heritage via an Art-Deco-inspired interior, film-themed lounge and a gallery of photographs, props and memorabilia charting the brand's history in the film industry.
Meanwhile, Audemars Piguet's 1,342 sq ft, three-floor boutique flagship presents a more straightforward ode to luxury in oak, stone and luxurious metallic surfaces.
- Promoting Domestic Production: Cult Detroit-based watchmaker and lifestyle retailer Shinola has opened its first San Francisco location in Palo Alto, California. Reflecting the brand’s commitment to conveying American heritage, as well as echoing its other destinations, the store design and visual merchandising is rooted in wooden worktables, vintage memorabilia and industrial fixtures. This space precedes a 3,200 sq ft megastore due to open in the heart of the city at the end of February 2016, which will feature an area dedicated to US products. See also The Value of Made In.
For more on accessories retailing trends, see Accessories Spaces: VM Trends, 2015, Elevating Eyewear, Retail Domiciles and Rejuvenating Jewellery Retail.