Fast Finds in NYC: Spring 2014 Editionhttps://www.chutegerdeman.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Blog_NYC_MLPPostcard.jpg800649Chute GerdemanChute Gerdemanhttps://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/27b8b1d5d4480e694e1d763231b8e868?s=96&d=mm&r=g
Have camera, will travel! From digital integration tactics, to wildly modern fixturing, to selfies galore, New York retail is always a smorgasbord of inspiration, education and trends. While breezing through a myriad of stores recently, here are a few of our favorite stand-out moments:
1. Touchy Tech at Kate Spade
Front and center at the brand’s Flatiron location is a touch table experience, brought to you by an overhead Perch Interactive projection system. The table takes on the year’s cadence calendar theme of fabulous jet-setting travel, each month featuring a different destination (shown: Monaco). When you pick up one of the related products, the screen responds with whimsical, lifestyle appropriate content, like an “outfit maker” (think opening scene of Clueless), a recipe for limoncello, or integrated social media content (aggregated by the hashtag #travelcolorfully). Click here to watch the video from Perch, featuring a Capri theme.
While in the store, a little birdie told me that a floor-to-ceiling interactive wall installation will be happening at the Kate Spade store on Broome Street sometime between July and September. We’ll be sure to keep our eyes peeled for the results!
2. Selfie Snaps
Retail + Tech. What’s the latest trend? Blending digital components into the store experience is what’s on everyone’s mind, with retailers trying numerous ways to integrate different forms into their space (clearly, as seen in the previous example). There’s generally two categories: the kind that forces you to use the store’s device, and the kind that encourages you to break out your own. The latter seems to be the hot ticket lately, with snapping selfies as the focus of these fine photo opps (ironically, none were taken as selfies).
The first is at Kate Spade (same Flatiron location as mentioned above), with a pull-down background screen in the fitting room. It’s a clever and brand-right way to combine a high-tech action with low-tech fun, playing on the Facebook “like” trend in their own quirky way. The only problem? The wording gets reversed if you’re taking a true selfie. Whether you use your smartphone’s front-facing camera with the backdrop directly behind you, or you use the tried-and-true “in the mirror” method, the type gets reversed. Unfortunately, it’s an example of a great idea that doesn’t get fully tested, leading to an awkward execution.
And, just because it’s relevant, we’ll throw in a third example for good measure. We earned our wings last fall at the Vancouver Victoria’s Secretflagship, where you step onto a platform in front of a pair of their famous Angel wings.
3. The Eyes Have It at MAC
The beauty category, for me, is always an educational retail experience and I say that earnestly, not just because I’m a fan of make-up. It’s a product that takes a lot of commitment from the consumer’s end without necessarily being able to try it on, and with so many brands out there, how do they all fight for the customer’s attention? How do they allow you to test the product? How do they display such small products with large impact? MAC Cosmetics’ simple eyelash bar solution at the Times Square flagship was brilliant. Not only was all product displayed clearly, with back-lit model shots to boot, but the “tester” sticks allow you to “try on” each eye lash so you get a realistic idea of how it will work for you. Suddenly it’s a lot easier to commit to the $16 price tag when you can have a real-life preview!
Images property of Chute Gerdeman
Image property of Chute Gerdeman
4. Vintry Fine Wines
Image via businesswire.com
Retail design around wine tends to lean towards the rustic side. Tactile materials like wood and slate, industrial-chic lighting and fixtures, earthy colors that evoke both wine country and the colors of the varietals, and cues like crates, wine barrels, and corks are plentiful. Vintry Fine Wines is a stark contrast to the usual, with a super modern, bright white wine wonderland that presents each bottle as if a jewel. The design of the shop, located in Battery Park near the One World Trade Center Freedom Tower, is inspired by the topography of wine country, full of undulating mountains and rolling vistas. The bottle presentation, is inspired by the person-to-person bottle presentation in a restaurant. “When you consider the most generous way to present a bottle of wine, you think of a maître d’ at a table, holding a bottle at the base and neck at an angle of slight repose with the label facing up at eye level,” says Fryatt (via Contract Design). The bottles smartly rest in a notch on the shelf, keeping fixture hardware to a minimum. iPads on the center island help you browse the extensive inventory, with the wayfinding organized according to region.