Hudson Yards, the largest private real estate development in the U.S. by area and home to more than 70 stores and restaurants, represents the best of what retail has to offer. The first of its two phases opened in March 2019 and comprises a public green space and eight structures that contain residences, a hotel, office buildings, a mall, and a cultural facility. The second phase, on which construction has not started yet, will include residential space, an office building, and a school. Both phases are projected to be complete by 2024.
You can think of Hudson Yards as a living museum of contemporary retail. Each floor has a theme that highlights many of the winning trends in current retail.
Floor One: Elegant Innovation
Brooks Brothers: The oldest men’s clothier in the U.S., Brooks Brothers is introducing a new global design concept at its Hudson Yards location. Working to stay competitive in today’s marketplace, the company has introduced in-store mobile clienteling as well as AI to help with supply chain challenges.
Floor Two: Discovering Innovative Retail Models, From Digital To Brick-And-Mortar
B8ta: B8ta was founded to allow shoppers to try products in-store that they previously could only view online. B8ta also offers Retail-as-a-Service to help brands place their products in a b8ta store and use software to manage and analyze the store experience.
M.Gemi: In its first brick-and-mortar space, Italian shoe brand M.Gemi is featuring a charging station, lounge seating and a coffee bar. The store also will offer VIP shopping appointments powered by Resy, as well as ongoing community events.
Mack Weldon: In its first physical store, Mack Weldon’s mission is to make sure the basics (and beyond) are smartly designed and shopping is easy and convenient. Customers are invited to learn more about the brand via tablets displaying information on the brand's innovative fabrics, loyalty program and try-on guarantee.
Stance: Stance socks, underwear and T-shirts are designed by “Punks & Poets” — artists and athletes who have championed the brand. Starting with a tired socks category, Stance ignited a movement of art and self-expression that has drawn athletes, performers, and iconic cultural influencers to the brand.
Frankie CoLab: Frankie CoLab combines customers’ love of contemporary fashion and art. Conceived from the combination of New York's incomparable energy and the unique spirit of Los Angeles. Frankie supports artisans and craftsmanship by producing its collections in Los Angeles and New York with high-quality materials sourced from the best mills in Italy, France and Japan.
Milk & Honey Babies: Women-owned Milk and Honey Babies started as a beach-inspired brick-and-mortar baby boutique in Costa Mesa, Calif. Its store features a modern selection of high quality, eco-friendly and non-toxic baby products.
Lovepop: In its first brick-and-mortar store, Lovepop cards is bridging the physical-digital gap by offering a digital catalog in a touchscreen mirror and featuring a complimentary shipping option. Lovepop Cards are 3D paper pop up greeting cards for all occasions.
Snark Park: Design studio Snarkitecture has opened Snark Park, featuring a blend of art, architecture and retail. The space will host three installations each year, beginning with “Lost and Found,” a display of gray columns with secret compartments. Visitors also can purchase ice cream desserts from KITH Treats, and play a “claw game” filled with Snarkitecture-branded stuffed animals (available for purchase).
Batch: Women-owned and presented to feel like your stylish friend’s home, Batch brings ever-changing brands and online products to its second brick-and-mortar location. New “Batches” appear six times a year.
The Drug Store: Founded in 2018, The Drug Store is a conceptual retail experience used to test new beverage concepts before they’re produced in bottled format on a national scale. The format of each Drug Store location enables intimate, shareable experiences for customers to enjoy. The innovative cocktail experience serves all-natural alcoholic and non-alcoholic elixirs on a rotating menu.
Floor Three: Retail As An Experience Destination
Lululemon: Although still primarily focused on its female customers, athleticwear brand Lululemon is working to expand its men’s, digital and international sales. The company emphasizes strong employee training to deliver a relevant in-store customer experience.
Athleta: Designed for women and by women,Athletaproducts integrateperformance and technical features for active women and girls. To engage with local customers, Athleta offers numerous in-store and community events throughout the year.
Sephora: Owned by luxury conglomerate LVMH as of 1997, Sephora is dedicated to a unique and compelling in-store experience. Customer engagement technology that interacts with shoppers in-store is a winning play. Sephora’s Color IQ allows a shopper to select makeup while looking at themselves with Color IQ in-store.
Verizon Wireless: Featuring a minimalist approach to store design in its new Hudson Yards location, Verizon Wireless has created an inviting environment for shoppers to try out products with the help of educated store staff.
Floor Four: Experiences That Inspire Shopping
Micro Kickboard: Featuring an in-store test track, Micro Kickboard shoppers can try before they buy in the company’s first flagship store. The selection of children’s and adult kickboards, scooters and ride-on luggage employ a combination of elegant Swiss design and cutting-edge technology, Micro’s designs have won more than 50 awards worldwide.
3DEN: 3DEN is a pay-as-you-use space, charging $6 for 30 minutes, to access Casper nap pods, showers, a meditation room, soundproof phone booths and coffee and snacks. Customers can view availability and reserve time on the app.
Floor Five: Out-Of-The-Box Retail
Forty Five Ten: Occupying four storefronts on the fifth floor of Hudson yards, the brand is divided into four different apparel categories, featuring known brands as well as emerging labels. Contemporary artists and architects created the space to merge art, design and fashion.
Neiman Marcus: In its first namesake flagship in New York City, Neiman Marcus is focusing on offering immersive experiences, including a performance stage, three dining venues, a personal shopping suite and a demo kitchen. Digital directories offer an intuitive interface and 60 signage screens delivering real-time content.
Dan Hodges is founder, CEO and Chief Experience Officer of CIM Tours, which is an experience program and platform for B2B innovators. Uniquely wired as connector, executive, strategist and writer, Hodges has helped thousands of busy executives keep ahead of the rapid pace of change. He does this with three programs: EXPO Connect helps executives navigate the world’s most important industry events. Retail Store Tours facilitates learning by experiencing the most innovative retail stores combined with executive networking. Custom Curated Experience VIP program clients routinely report that they achieve months of business development and critical business insights in just days with these programs.