Retailers have shut up shop and moved online. These firms buck the trend, inviting customers to see, smell, hear – and try on – their wares.
Shops are alive and well: look at design brand Dowel Jones. “It’s hard for people to understand the comfort of a couch without sitting on it,” says co-founder Dale Hardiman. He and Adam Lynch opened a shop in 2018 after five years of selling online. “We always said that if we opened it’d be in a smaller town where people didn’t feel rushed,” says Hardiman.
Launched in 2014, Frederick Sturm’s hi-tech clothing brand with an emphasis on German provenance has been a hit in Tokyo, Seoul and Beijing. The brand opened its first retail space on home turf at the end of last year. Its shop in Berlin’s residential Prenzlauer Berg looks as refreshingly functional as the fashion it holds.
This 131-year-old soap and perfume brand previously had no shops, not even in its native Portugal. Now it boasts three: one in Porto, one in Lisbon and the most recent in New York. “New York is the first of what we hope will be a series of international openings,” says Francisco Neto, the firm’s ceo.
Jeremy Barbour of Tacklebox Architecture had the brand’s beautiful packaging in mind when designing the Nolita retail space. “You want to tell the brand’s story to create a relevant place for visitors to experience the brand,” says Barbour, who dreamt up the arresting cork archway that showcases the company’s collection.