We saw plenty of amazing retail when we were away – this is a list of 5 stores we loved…it was hard to get it down to 5, but here goes:
1. ABC Home: 
Our favourite. It’s a single department store with a big purpose:
 ‘To serve by manifesting a shift in the retail paradigm—one in which beauty, experience, and magic are composed onto a revolutionary platform of cause-related products that guide creative expression, celebrate individuality, and cultivate the actualization of home as the sacred space’
So yes, very long-winded but a huge vision. It’s way more than product (as you can tell)…and it’s not for everyone (a sign of a great brand). Its also home to Deepak Chopra’s Home Base and artwork from the Zen Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hahn.
 We were lucky enough to talk to a rep from the store who said:
‘ABC is all encompassing not just retail but also focused on health and wellness…25 years ago they decided to make it all sustainable – now everything us sustainable, locally made or helping a community’.
What a thought leading business.
2. Jack Erwin:
A new business model for footwear. They offer showroom retail where you come in to store and try; then the shoes are sent to you from their warehouse in Connecticut.So they’re not paying rent on storage space.
All shoes are sourced out of a factory in Spain, designed by the ex-creative of Ralph Lauren shoes…all at a fraction of the price. It’s a brilliant concept – great for the consumer (don’t have to carry shoes around…particularly if they shop at lunch).
3. 3×1
Your standard denim store with a difference, at the back there is a team of seamstresses making bespoke 3×1 jeans.
In the store you can pick the weight of your denim, the type of finishes you want, be measured up and watch them make (over several weeks) your new pants. Very cool, considering most retailers that have done bespoke before have had the jeans sent away to be made.
4. The Laundress
We couldn’t quite believe it when we found this store. It’s dedicated to washing liquid.
Yes, washing liquid, but more than that how to wash your clothes properly. They have laundry detergent (and accessories) for every type of fabric or occasion like active wear, denim, wool and cashmere etc. They even have a US$40 Le Labo scented detergent.
Added to that they run classes at the store on how to wash your clothes and organise your life. Like the other week they had an organising expert run a store event on ‘decluttering your life’. Shows how a simple product can have huge impact.
5. The Sketch Book Project
We put this in here because Brooklyn’s ‘The Sketch Book Project’ is something special.
It’s a place where people can borrow artist sketchbooks, buy a sketchbook of their own to their own to submit to the library. It’s rare in a city like NYC you see a space entirely dedicated to the creative arts. We love this concept because it’s a true community hub (and fully integrated with online).
We even bought a couple of sketch books to submit – so stay tuned for RetailOasis Art.

Author Pippa Kulmar

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