Over the last 6 month’s we’ve been all over the world checking out the latest and greatest in retail from LA, New York, Vegas, Amsterdam and even here in Sydney. And now we can add another country to the list – Hong Kong!
Hong Kong is considered by many as one of the leading shopping destinations in the world, especially when it comes to luxury retail. So after a week of some hardcore shopping who were the best retailers we saw? Here is our top 5.
Homeless is a chain of lifestyle boutiques throughout Hong Kong selling a range of designer furniture, lighting and homewares. How would we describe Homeless? We got to visit a few of their locations across Hong Kong and whilst each store had the latest in top-end international designer brands; entering each store felt like walking into a cluttered antique store, albeit an incredibly funky one.
Each of the 12 stores across Hong Kong has their own unique look and feel. Checkout the Homeless website to see a full list of stores – there’s some seriously cool examples of store design!
So I know what you’re thinking. You went to the luxury retail capital of the world and chose McDonald’s as one of the best examples in retail? Ok but hear me out…
Globally the McDonald’s brand has gone through somewhat of an evolution over the past few years and as somebody who’s eaten a lot of McDonald’s in their time, McDonald’s Hong Kong was easily the gold standard in both quality and service. However there was one McDonald’s store that stood out in particular – the McDonald’s Next concept store.
Just over a year old, Hong Kong is the home to the world’s first Mcdonalds Next concept store. The first thing you notice when you walk inside the store is that it feels more like a high-end cafe, rather than your typical McDonald’s store. The concept is built around a ‘theatre kitchen’ with food as the showcase, including glass counters and bright lights throughout letting customers see the new ingredients. There’s a build your own fresh salad bar, premium coffee (even selling beans), table service and mobile phone charging stations at each table. They even have a special “elite” crew of staff in store, with all crew members having trained for at least 720 hours and wearing a special uniform.
The concept is designed to compete with high end burger joints and interestingly, the store was designed in conjunction with Australian designer Landini Associates (who are also designing the new David Jones food halls). The Next concept store design is expected be rolled out to other locations globally and if our visit was any indication, it’s a huge step in the right direction for the brand.
Whilst we’re on the topic of food, next on our list is CitySuper.
CitySuper is an upmarket supermarket selling fresh produce, groceries, household goods, stationery and cosmetics. Whilst there’s a chain of stores throughout Hong Kong, Shanghai and Taiwan; we visited their first store – which funnily enough spoke to the brand’s Japanese roots. Like many Japanese supermarkets and food halls, it is located under a department store in the heart of the city.
CitySuper may have one of the most boring names around, but the in-store experience was anything but. Fresh ingredients, experimentation (staff offered lots of samples throughout the store), a range of concession stands in-store (for example Nespresso and Marriage Freres teas) and it even had an attached food hall. Customers could build there own gift baskets in-store; and like many retailers in Hong Kong there is a dedicated checkout within store to pay with your transport card.
DJI Flagship Store
You may not have heard of DJI, but DJI are the leading producers in both retail and commercial drones (they’re estimated to have about 70% share of the total civilian drone category). They produce the very popular Phantom series of drones, which are arguably the most popular drone on the market. Essentially DJI are doing to the drone industry what Apple previously did to smartphones.
We didn’t think there was such a thing as a luxury drone market, but after our visit to the DJI store we’re convinced there is. DJI was actually created in China and is considered by many to be the first luxury brand coming from the Chinese. Which is interesting given that when you think of brands coming out of China, you usually think of the Chinese manufacturing them, not necessarily creating one.
The store has a huge 10,000+ square feet dedicated to premium retail and ridiculously expensive commercial drones. The store has a floor dedicated to in-store workshops and classes, a space for photography exhibitions and even a dedicated two-storey flight cage to try before you buy.
Ralph Lauren flagship men’s store
After visiting more luxury retailers than we could count (and this isn’t an exaggeration), who was the best? To us there was really no competition. When you think leading luxury brands Ralph Lauren probably isn’t the first one that comes to mind, but the Ralph Lauren flagship men’s store absolutely blew us away. So what differentiated them from everybody else?
Immediately upon entering the store, after receiving a beverage and iced towel, you were introduced to your very own staff member / stylist. You can then browse the store with staff or if like me you can’t be arsed shopping for clothes; sit down, grab a complimentary drink from the bar and let a stylist do the work for you. Yes that’s right, they have a fully stocked bar and bartender in-store. And unlike CitySuper, there were no pesky kids hogging all the free samples.
The store is the the first flagship men’s store in Asia for the brand. Also similarly to the DJI concept store, at 10,000 square feet the store is huge.
It’s a testimate to how impressive the store was that we lost an hour in there and as soon as we left we wanted to go back in. It was the benchmark for personalised service. Staff even gave us a private tour of the store, taking us through the history of the brand and how the store was constructed!
Sign-up to our news