10 can’t-miss New York stores

Sheryll Poe
NRF Contributor

New York City is a mecca for retail innovation, design creativity and state-of-the-art technology. This year several brands — both household names and bold new startups — have unveiled a slew of inventive retail experiences. From shiny new flagship stores to highly curated and intimate boutiques, retailers have set out to wow and inspire consumers.

Those in New York this January for NRF 2019: Retail’s Big Show can see some of these pioneering stores in action with two Self-Guided Store Tours: design concepts and new technology. Both tours are available in the NRF Event App.

NYC store tours

Download the NRF Event App to access the following self-guided tours:

  • Retail design concepts
  • New retail technology

The design tour, created in partnership with the Retail Design Institute, explores 20 of New York City’s newest and most exciting retail spaces that blur the lines between retail and community through visual merchandising, localization and interactive experiences.

The technology tour, developed in partnership with Accenture, showcases 20 stores that deliver more immersive and efficient experiences for customers and employees with technology.

From downtown to uptown and from Brooklyn to the Upper East Side, these 10 retailers are included on the tours. Pick your favorites or search the app for even more options.

New concepts and design tour

The Curated NYC store interior

The Curated NYC, 5 W. 54th St., Midtown West

A new retail concept brought to life by “Project Runway” Season 4 winner Christian Siriano, this multi-brand boutique features five ultra-glam rooms of clothing, accessories and decorative elements throughout two floors of a renovated 1920s townhouse that also houses Siriano’s design atelier and offices. The Curated also has an outdoor garden café created by Alicia Silverstone and a rooftop garden.

DeKalb Market Hall

DeKalb Market Hall, City Point, 445 Albee Square, Brooklyn

Showcasing 40 culinary vendors who reflect the cultural and ethnic diversity of the borough, DeKalb Market Hall is raising Brooklyn’s profile as a hub of innovative cooking and dining experiences. Each vendor designed their own stand, giving the space an eclectic and highly local feel.

Levi's Times Square store interior

Levi’s Times Square, 1501 Broadway, Times Square

The brand’s biggest store yet — almost 17,000 square feet — is already breaking barriers in store design, product assortment and omnichannel capabilities since opening in mid-November. Shoppers will find mobile points of sale and associate-assisted ordering, an on-site tailor, denim customization and sustainable design elements, including store hangers manufactured from 100 percent recycled jeans.

MadMen NYC store interior

MedMen, 433 5th Ave., Midtown

The “dispensary” hits a high note, with a sleek, high-end space, professional staff and high-quality cannabis products. Breaking new ground for a burgeoning industry, MedMen’s team of designers has created a retail experience that has been called the “Apple Store of cannabis.” In fact, rows of iPads offer touchscreen menus arranged in minimalist display cases under overhead circular LED lights.

The Phluid Project NYC store interior

The Phluid Project, 684 Broadway, NoHo

A gender-free store and community center, Phluid encourages all individuals to explore themselves and embrace the challenges of today. Designed with intention, The Phluid Project is part commerce and part community . The store design is described as “natural, raw and playful” and “allows for flexibility and fluidity in merchandising and storytelling.”

Technology and innovation tour

CoverGirl, 719 7th Ave., Times Square

The iconic beauty brand’s first bricks-and-mortar retail location features exclusive merchandise, a virtual greeter, customization areas where people can personalize a lipstick or makeup bag, and a beauty play room with augmented reality glam stations where customers can virtually try on lipstick and eye shadow. 

FAO Schwarz NYC store interior

FAO Schwarz, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, Midtown

After a three-year hiatus, the nation’s oldest toy store is back in New York, opening a new 20,000-square-foot location in Rockefeller Center. Costumed employees, a digitally animated ceiling, a two-story rocket ship and the famous interactive giant piano are just some of the customer-centric technology examples that herald the retailer’s “Return to Wonder.”

Nike House of Innovation store interior

Nike House of Innovation 000, 650 5th Ave., Midtown

Each floor of Nike’s new flagship location showcases groundbreaking features, spaces and experiences that blend physical and digital in a way that is both personal and responsive. The Nike Speed Shop is an entire floor that uses local data to stock shelves based on what the community wants, while the Nike Sneaker Bar and digital lockers allow NikePlus members to reserve items on their phones and have products held for them.

Nordstrom Men's store NYC interior

Nordstrom Men’s Store NYC, 235 W. 57th St., Midtown West

Taking on the city with style, the Seattle department store chose New York for its first-ever full-line men’s store. The three-story, 47,000-square-foot facility mixes great products and legendary service like 24-hour curbside order pickup with the latest retail innovations including a screen that projects suit patterns and swatches onto a faceless mannequin so customers can see what they’re ordering.

Ulta Beauty NYC store interior

Ulta Beauty, 188 E. 86th St., Upper East Side

The beauty retailer with the huge selection — more than 20,000 products ranging from drug store to high-end brands — opened its first New York City location right in the heart of Manhattan. The bright, ground-level store and salon offer a unique shopping experience that blends seamlessly with the brand’s online shopping experience, including its Glam Lab app, a virtual try-on experience that allows users to upload selfies and test products against their skin tones.

Learn more about the Self-Guided Store Tours at two sessions during NRF 2019: Retail’s Big Show on Monday, January 14. Join RDI’s Ray Ehscheid, MedMen’s David Dancer and The Phluid Project’s Rob Smith as they walk attendees through NYC’s Most Interesting New Concepts, while Accenture’s Karen Voelker, Nordstrom’s Shaye C. Anderson and Ulta Beauty’s Jeff Halverson showcase the Best Technology Integrated Stores in NYC.