Each dressing room has a smaller version of the touch- screen display, so you can carry on shopping or change sizes whilst trying on clothes. Music and lighting in the dressing rooms can be customised through an aux cable to your phone. Mood settings include ‘Golden’, ‘Cool’ and the slightly disconcerting ‘Sexy Time’.

As a whole, I found the tech features great: they gave me an experience I couldn’t get online and encouraged me to try on more than I would have normally done. For those who are not sold on this approach, Reformation has kept a conventional retail approach at its stores in NYC’s Soho and Lower East Side locations in the original format.

New York retail is becoming a laboratory for ‘experiential retail’. Retailers are reinventing the in-store experience, creating environments that attract and excite consumers through features such as spas, cafes, theatres, art exhibitions, and a host of facilities, along with personalised service, in-store kiosks, 3-D experiences, pop-up shops, mobile commerce, and much more. It will interesting to see how much of this innovation is exported to London and other shopping hubs.

During my visit to Reformation. I’m not sure that I’d go so far as to say I had a ‘Sexy Time’ but the experience certainly signalled a possible way ahead for fashion shopping in-store.

Lizzie Knights is part of Colliers Central London Retail Agency team | +44 (0)20 7487 1654

Other experiential New York stores STORY AT MACY’S

In a bid to up its game, the department store chain Macy’s acquired New York concept store, Story. Story is a cohesive storytelling retail model that takes the point of view of a magazine, changes like a gallery, and sells like a shop. Every four to eight weeks, the space reinvents itself – from the design of the store to the merchandise – with the goal of highlighting a new theme. Story has a heightened focus on experience, engagement and collaboration/brand partnerships.


The ground-breaking flagship experiential Samsung 837 store in New York’s Meatpacking District earned a place in Forbes world’s top three brand experiences and retail’s top honour for store design of the year within four months of opening. The store features multiple hands-on product zones, interactive art, virtual reality and Gear 360 displays, comfortable lounge areas as well as a recording studio which is capable of live streaming performances. All this is centred around a monumental three-store display comprising nearly a hundred 55-inch screens. However, apart from a café on the top floor, visitors have no other opportunity to purchase anything except a cup of coffee. Literally nada. This 56,000 sq ft ‘non-store’ concept encourages people to learn about the products in a hassle- free environment without having the pressure to buy.



The sportswear retailer’s Fifth Avenue location has everything from a juice press to a set of bleachers for customers to watch games on, and also includes a print shop were guests can customise new purchases. A miniature track is set up on one floor where customers can take a run or get their stride analysed and another floor includes a turf field with footballs, kettle bells and other workout equipment.

Reforming retail

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