NRF 2023: Retail’s Big Show offers a chance to peek into the future as it’s being created in one of the world’s great retail centers — New York City. Daniel Hodges, CEO of Retail Store Tours, has selected 10 spaces that highlight innovations driving the future of retail.
Did you miss us in NYC? Take a look at our NRF 2023: Retail's Big Show event recap.
“New York City has the highest concentration of design talent in the world, which results in the most dynamic retail stores,” Hodges says. Retail Store Tours will conduct a variety of store tours during NRF 2023. The company also offers customized tours in New York City and 25 markets around the world.
Here are Hodges’ top 10 retail experiences in the New York City area.
125 Prince Street
Reddy is the ultimate destination for pets and their owners. In addition to a full range of high-quality, functional products, it features special attractions such as a dog water fountain and a fitting station to find the correct size and style of accessories for pets. The store also offers Halloween parties, birthday parties and celebrations of special life moments. It is an end-to-end store in products for canine companions, ranging from fashion to food, all delivered by a team that clearly loves dogs and dog lovers.
63 Greene Street
The Salvatore Ferragamo store on Greene Street in SoHo is a new class of store that is unique in design and experience. The fashion items are all exclusive to that location and the in-store experiences include creating an NFT at a dedicated NFT studio and designing a sneaker in augmented reality that projects an image of the shoe in a 3D hologram. The welcoming and responsive store team helps shoppers navigate the experience.
American Dream, East Rutherford, N.J.
TiLT A Tracy Lee Stum Museum shows the power of social media integrated into physical retail. The museum, located at the American Dream mall, offers more than 30 snap-worthy optical illusions — visitors can stand on King Kong’s palm over the Empire State building or fly on a hot dog over New York. The integration of social media in physical spaces has become popular in China over the past two years, and the trend is well exhibited at this immersive experience.
American Dream, East Rutherford, N.J.
Altar’d State is a women’s fashion and accessories boutique and one of the most profitable retail chains in the United States. The store is filled with unexpected discoveries, like a water fountain in the center of the space and dedicated places to take photographs with friends and share with followers. A mark of a truly great retail store is the dressing room, and this dressing room is five stars out of five: It features a sumptuous room with a simulated fireplace and a cozy sound-proof area that is immersive and delightful.
160 N. 4th Street, Brooklyn
This is beauty customization at its finest. At Lip Lab Brooklyn, color experts first help customers mix a shade that’s perfect for them, which can then be personalized with a choice of four finishes, an optional scent and custom engraving. The atmosphere is similar to a neighborhood bar, where people converse and create a sense of fun, discovery and getting away from it all — it’s an enjoyable experience with friends or even alone.
76 N. 4th Street, Brooklyn
Åland was started by two sisters with stores originally only in South Korea. The Brooklyn location boasts a stunning design that leads shoppers into and through the store as though following an enchanted trail into a forest. As customers walk into Åland, they are visually intrigued to the point of delightful disorientation. Above all, Åland is a place to buy some of the most innovative, curated products from Asia.
706 Madison Avenue
The Hermès store on Madison Avenue is the ultimate sensory experience. Every aspect of winning retail store features — from lighting to friendly smiles to exquisite product — is found here. Hermès is the study of excellence, brilliance and execution all in one, and a must-see store in New York.
Solana Spaces is a new concept by Vibhu Norby, formally of b8ta and Google. The store is an immersive learning experience that explains the world of cryptocurrency, Web 3.0, NFTs and much more. A digital dawn is happening in retail and there is no better place to witness it than Solana Spaces.
2 9th Avenue
Lucid is an electric vehicle that is marketed like Louis Vuitton and other leading luxury brands. The sales team provides Lucid test drives in virtual reality, displays detailed product knowledge and offers an unparalleled experience of buying an electric vehicle.
225 W. 57th Street
The Nordstrom flagship in New York is a store where every square inch and every smile creates an experience that holds attention and makes time stand still. Nordstrom is the epitome of best practices, from merchandising and dining experiences to product display and the sumptuous beauty section on the second floor. Every square inch of the store and every helpful engagement with a well-trained and motivated team member makes shoppers feel like family.
Take a look at the Retail Store Tours offered this year at NRF 2023: Retail's Big Show.
Additional curated tours
Beyond these suggested stops, Big Show attendees can take expert-led, highly curated and time-efficient walking tours of more than 20 notable stores in and around New York. These tours were created in partnership with Retail Store Tours and developed with extensive retail input.
American Dream: The future of retail experience
American Dream redefines the customer experience with a unique combination of retail, dining, technology and entertainment. One of the world’s most technologically advanced shopping centers and highlighting advanced uses of digital signage technology, American Dream features over 400 stores and attractions, just a short bus ride from the Javits Center.
Brooklyn/Williamsburg: Where trends, technology and new business models are created
Artists, musicians and retro-style bars made Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood trendy more than a decade ago. Today, existing brands such as Apple and Alo Yoga take unique forms and formats. Visit the area to see new creative concepts, products and business models in retail, easily accessible from Midtown Manhattan and the Javits Center.
Hudson Yards: Merging bricks-and-mortar with digital
Hudson Yards represents the best of leading-edge retail in a vertical mall. It features everything from out-of-the-box mindfulness and participatory experiences to luxury brands reinventing themselves. Hudson Yards is on Manhattan’s West Side and a five-minute walk from the Javits Center.
SoHo + NoHo: Visionary innovation meets savvy reinvention
Located just a short distance from the Javits Center, SoHo and NoHo are known worldwide for innovative artistry and artfulness. Avant-garde pop-ups exist side-by-side with iconic stores. The randomness is inspirational and adds to the neighborhood’s excitement. See why SoHo and NoHo are the neighborhoods where old stores come to reinvent themselves.
New York City really is the epicenter of store design and store excellence. Retail Store Tours offers 15 unique tours that illustrate the shopping districts, the imagination and the engagement that happen when business creatives get together and make unforgettable experiences.