NRF 2022: Retail’s Big Show offers a chance to peek into the future as it’s being created in one of the world’s great retail centers: New York City. To help showgoers sample what’s going on around town, with the help of Ray Ehscheid of the Retail Design Institute we’ve put together a list of 10 stores, most of them new, that offer a can’t-miss selection of retail headliners in the Big Apple.
It’s been a challenging two years since the last in-person Big Show. The pandemic has created difficulties for retailers all over the world — maybe, in some ways, especially in New York. Yet in spite of the pandemic, a lot of new retail locations have opened up.
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Here’s a look at some of them. Most of the stores on this list are in the classic New York luxury-shopping zone: 57th Street, Madison Avenue, Fifth Avenue. However, we also look at new stores in Chelsea and SoHo. The bottom line: Where big-time retail has always succeeded, it’s still growing — and we’re seeing it creep into other areas as well. Enjoy!
6 E. 57th St.
Tiffany Next Door is exactly what it sounds like — a temporary headquarters while the iconic jewelry merchant refurbishes and transforms its historic flagship at 727 Fifth Avenue. All levels of Next Door are open and showcasing the entire breadth of Tiffany & Co.’s collections.
28 E. 57th St.
Located between Madison and Park Avenue, the venerable watchmaker’s new flagship spans over 4,500 square feet and covers two floors. The second floor opens to an expansive watchmaking bench where customers can interact with an in-house watchmaker.
717 Madison Ave.
The shoe-lover’s paradise has two separate street-level entrances, one for the women’s collection and one for the men’s. Each is complete with a bar and unique interior design. The location, which Blahnik says is his headquarters, joins his 21 other standalone locations, plus a summer pop-up in East Hampton.
635 Madison Ave.
This new boutique, at Madison and 59th, purports to feature all of the company’s hallmark pens, watches, leather goods and wearable technology. It was designed to showcase the largest assortment of Montblanc writing instruments and leather goods in the United States.
76 Ninth Ave.
The Google Store, near Google’s New York City headquarters, houses all the company’s devices in one store for the first time. A selection of mini-environments allows customers to try out Nest in a simulated living room; Google users can get in-person support from the company’s staff of experts.
935 Broadway, at 23rd St.
The new (and usually crowded) Harry Potter Store is an example of retail as an experience, not just a place to buy things. Featuring “magical shopping,” a Butterbeer Bar and a wand shop, it has been described as “like being on a ride at Disneyland.”
683-689 Madison Ave.
This classic Italian casual luxury brand has created a new flagship celebrating both its mastery of leather and the luxury of cashmere and merino. It also models Italian hospitality via a constantly changing selection of coffees, sweets and light bites.
79 Greene St.
Like the Loewe branches in London, Singapore, Beijing and elsewhere, the SoHo outpost for this fashion and leather house looks and feels as much like an art gallery as a store. The atmosphere is muted deluxe: original oak floors, terra-cotta vases full of branches, limestone.
636 Fifth Ave. (in Rockefeller Center)
The new Lego flagship measures more than 7100 square feet across two levels. It features a yellow cab, the Empire State Building, Times Square and Broadway theaters, all made of its signature bricks.
41 E. 57th St.
The French luxury silversmith has a new energy, a new logo and a new, spacious location in New York, featuring gleaming details, warm wood tones and the glint of silver.
And while you’re here …
In addition to this suggested walking tour, Big Show attendees have the opportunity to take expert-led, highly curated and time-efficient walking tours of more than 50 notable stores in New York. The Guided Retail Store Tours were created in partnership with Retail Store Tours and developed with extensive retail input.
Available programs include:
American Dream: Entertainment Meets Retail
A look at one of the most technologically advanced shopping centers in the world, where brands like Hermes, Zara, Primark and many more have their flagship stores. Retailers will get a behind-the-scenes view of the largest experience center in the world.
Hudson Yards: Merging Bricks-and-Mortar with Digital
Hudson Yards, a few steps from the Javits Center, is one of the newest shopping facilities in New York City. The vertical mall is a riff on the concept of new retail pioneered in China by Alibaba founder Jack Ma, with many examples of digital technology integrated into the customer journey.
SoHo + NoHo: Visionary Innovation Meets Savvy Reinvention
Retailers will experience the future of retail on this tour: Nowhere is the scale and diversity of retail more pronounced than in Manhattan’s SoHo and NoHo neighborhoods. Side by side with iconic stores are pop-ups that won’t be around tomorrow.