Ten years is quite a feat for any store or brand to withstand the rigors of keeping in style, relevancy and retail, but Japanese brand Uniqlo has done it in spades–within a new international market to boot. Its first store in America–the Uniqlo SoHo NYC Flagship which opened in 2006–brought in waves of fans looking for stylish, affordable “LifeWear” that caters to all. For its 10-year anniversary, the SoHo store, according to President of Global Creative for Fast Retailing John Jay, hit the “reset button” for its prime Broadway location. “[SoHo] is the center of creativity, in so many ways, and we want to live up to that legacy. This renovation is a stamp to a new beginning,” states Jay.
And with a “reset” the store sees a renovation that while does not completely change the layout or design aesthetic for the store, the concept of the location has shifted towards ease of discovery. Across the walls you’ll find styling suggestions for both men and women that feature billboard-sized looks with the specific items surrounding it. The store now features 12 shop-in-shops; sectors that segment a specific ethos for niche and broad stylings that range from active lifestyle “Get Moving” to “Living Well” that emphasizes coziness with innerwear. Perhaps the most interesting for Uniqlo fans will be that of the “Tokyo Men” shop-in-shop, which highlights trending Tokyo styles and fashion cues, complemented by Uniqlo’s newly implemented “Tokyo Newsstand” which will now sell up-to-date Japanese books and magazines.
The three-story, 28,000 square feet of sales floor space utilizes its atmosphere to invite guests to experience the store via touch and sight, placing more importance on the experience of shopping that can’t be obtained through e-commerce sales. Jay remarks: “The brick and mortar has become more important. Touch and feel, seeing people in person, being able to greet, to have that sense of Japanese hospitality; it’s more important than ever.” With that mentality comes boutique-esque features to the renovated space; inventory placed upon convenient table tops compared to hard to reach shelves, “mood” items and furnishings to complement the shopping experience, partnership specialties that range from artistic collaborators to lifestyle product brands like Tokyobike, and more.
The store will celebrate its grand reopening on September 2. For the date, the first 1,000 customers will receive mystery gift cards and other various prizes, along with complimentary iced matcha green lattes from MatchaBar, a tweet-to-win booth that awards Uniqlo’s social media fans, and more. Preview the new store above.