New York Retail Roundup

New York Retail Roundup

New York Retail Roundup 800 600 Elaine Evans

While I was recently in New York for the design:retail 40 under 40 awards event, I had some time to check out new retail in Chelsea, the Meatpacking District, Soho and Midtown. From a store that doesn’t sell anything to an emoji-fueled retail expression to a swanky ice cream shop, here’s a look at some of my retail favorites.

Samsung 837

This store doesn’t actually sell anything! Instead it’s filled with experiences that feature Samsung’s newest and greatest technology and devices. A 3-story digital screen, amphitheater, tech-based art gallery, virtual reality tunnel, DJ booth, café, kitchen and workshop areas make up this digital playground in the heart of the Meatpacking District.


For its latest four-week retail theme “Have Fun,” Story joined forces with Pepsi to bring emojis to life through a DIY style studio, temporary tattoo parlor and, of course, a selfie booth. With bright colors and quirky commentary, everything in this store screamed fun making it hard not to put a smile on my face.


Summer seems fitting for a pop-up of a custom ice cream dipping shop. Now through August, guests can create a custom Magnum bar in this swanky club-like setting. Seductively simple, you choose from three of the 20 available toppings including edible gold flakes, rose petals and sea salt, and then finish it off with a drizzle of the three different kinds of chocolate.


Earlier this year home improvement brand Lowe’s entered the Manhattan market with a small format concept geared towards an urban consumer. Upon my visit, I realized it has to be the teeny-tiniest big box I’ve ever seen! The overall experience was nicely designed with everything appropriately geared towards apartment dwellers and the smaller living spaces of the community it serves. There’s even a DIY place to pot your plants before you go.


While you can find Levi’s just about anywhere today, this premium experience is not to be dismissed. Amazing and thoughtful details decorated the space like the hand drawings on display and the ‘Tailor Shop’ in the back of the store.

Doughnut Plant

From creme brulee to matcha green tea and wild blueberry and cream, there are a crazy amount of doughnut flavors available here – I really wanted them all! Feast your eyes on the wall of plush doughnuts while getting your sugar rush. And for those locally that can’t make the trip to West 23rd street, their Postmates partnership makes delivery sinfully tempting.


Since 2012 yogurt brand, Chobani (typically found in your local grocery store) has been serving it up custom style in Soho. The cafe offers consumers a variety of yogurt bowls like Fig + Walnut or Mango + Avocado. Aside from the menu offer, the digital menu board might be an absolute highlight of the experience. It’s a great example of digital done right; it’s brand-right and blends well with the overall store design.


Barneys flagship on Seventh Avenue can be summed up in one word… stunning. The four floors of impeccable design are connected with a spiral staircase, while mirrored stainless steel, brass and marble materials combined with velvet seating all ooze classy elegance.

& Other Stories

This sister store to H&M and COS is sophisticated and cool. Paying homage to the former ribbon factory that once was here, the brand embraces a workshop aesthetic with fixtures and visual displays. In addition to fashion and accessories, the store was complete with a dedicated space devoted solely to shoes and an apothecary like experience for skincare products.

Lucky Selectism

I found every hipster in Manhattan. They were here in swarms to shop for unique, handmade eyewear displayed on thrift-store and vintage style furniture pieces. What seemed to be an eclectic aesthetic, was actually a very thoughtful and intended approach, matching the brand’s impeccable selection of product materials and design.

Nike Running

This Nike Running store has enough inspiration to turn the casual runner into an aspirational athlete. A giant vertical digital wall constantly updates, scrolling new social media content from the brand’s advocates and fanatics.


Known as brand to encourage the ultimate discovery of new beauty and grooming products, this brick-and-mortar concept (a first for the brand) is a complete embodiment of that mission. With a beefed-up “Build Your Own” section, it was totally worth the stop. Downstairs the men’s section and salon added additional appeal.


It would be almost un-American to skip a stop into the Converse store on Broadway. As if the store didn’t offer enough of an expansive selection, there’s an entire bottom level dedicated to customizing sneakers. I was so tempted!

Rice to Riches

Words can’t describe the insanity of this place! All they sell is rice pudding, but with major attitude. My favorite sign was “kiss my fat free a**!” As a graphic designer, this place made my head spin with the crazy amount of signage that covered the entire store.

Want more retail inspiration? Check out the charm and quirky character of Austin’s retail, restaurants and coolest bars. >> Austin City Guide

post by Elaine Evans

post by:

Elaine Evans

With a sophisticated design sensibility and analytic mind, Elaine fuses strategy and aesthetics seamlessly, creating brand identities and expressions that resonate with consumers and clients alike. You can read more posts from Elaine here >


A collection of insights research and observations across retail, restaurant, c-store and grocery. Helping brands provide a better experience for their customers. Enjoy.

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