Niche retailing is flourishing in LA this summer as the city welcomes two independent boutiques-cum-galleries, and several boutiques focused on European brands. Abbott Kinney Boulevard in LA's Venice Beach district remains a magnet for new openings, with the nearby Lincoln Boulevard in Santa Monica emerging as a retail hotspot.
- Billed as an "unusual souvenir shop", L.Angel is a store-cum-gallery located on Abbot Kinney Boulevard, which specialises in apparel, cosmetics, accessories, jewellery, homeware and art by LA-based designers.
- Adjacent to L.Angel, Canadian shoe designer John Fluevog has opened his 20th North American store (the second in LA). The walls of the narrow space are flanked with wooden shelves filled with the brand's main men and womenswear collections, alongside limited editions created specifically for the opening.
- Having recently uprooted from its Abbot Kinney location, independent multi-brand menswear boutique Venice Heights has set up shop on the up-and-coming Lincoln Boulevard. A retail space and art gallery, the boutique is based in a former Chinese restaurant and retains the rooftop sign of its former culinary incarnation, which is something of a local landmark.
- Minimalist-luxe French clothing brand APC has opened an equally minimalist outpost on West 9th Street in Downtown LA. The almost entirely grey and white, single-floor store features deep, freestanding shelving with a Mondrian-esque linear construction for accessories, while clothing is displayed on rails around the store's perimeters.
- Luxury Italian leather goods company Serapian Milano has opened its first US store on the upscale Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills. Designed by Milan-based architects Laboritorio 83, the 900 sq ft store features a traditional grey marble floor and sleek, dark wooden fixtures that compliment the brand's handmade bags.
- As the name suggests, Scandinavian Kollektiv is a curated lifestyle boutique established to collate the best of Scandinavian design. Located on West 3rd Street, the bright and minimal single-storey space carries clothing and accessories for men, women and children, alongside homeware and kitchen products.
- LA-based stationery e-tailer Yoobi has opened its first physical location at the Westfield Santa Anita Mall. Stocking its full range of arts, writing and craft materials, the store is also continuing its 'one-for-one' charity policy: for every item purchased in-store, a Yoobi item will be donated to a local classroom within a 10-mile radius.
For more on the value of attuning to modern eco, ethical and socially oriented consumer mindsets, see Eco-Ethical-Sustainable, The Purpose Economy, Project Ocean, Selfridges: Retail Activism in Action, Globalshop, 2015: Experiential Design and Positive Provenance. Also look out for our reports on Brands Behaving Authentically, publishing on July 2.
For more on new store formats, including multipurpose concepts, see The Evolution of the Flagship: Hybrid Lifestyle Destinations, Retail Domiciles and Hybrid Retailing in our Future of the Store Industry Trend. For more on LA retail, see LA Retail: Spring Openings, 2015, February 2015: LA Retail Launches and Downtown LA's Retail Boom.