4 Retail Trends Seen In New York (and Elsewhere)

Par : Sandrine Matichard
27 November 2018
Temps de lecture : 4 min

The HUB Institute team just got back from its New York trip to scout out the most inspiring concept stores. Here are some tasters of four trends that we identified in the Big Apple for 2019, which echo concepts seen elsewhere. Let us be your guide!


Trend 1: Limitless personalization

To create a unique experience, there’s nothing better than creating a unique product!

In New York: American Girl

American girl

American Girl (Mattel Group) has sold its iconic doll since 1986. In 1995, the company started offering customizable eyes and hair. In 2017, with Create Your Own, the brand began to offer even more advanced personalization options (to the point of writing phrases for a talking doll). The New York boutique, located in Rockefeller Plaza, pushes its doll experience to the max: beyond personalization possibilities, special book series, clothing and customization spaces, they also offer several kinds of events: hairdressing classes for dolls and their owners, cookie decorating workshops, etc.

In addition to birthday parties, the boutique offers more sophisticated services, such as a doll hospital, a shopping + hotel package, and a personal shopper.

le bon marchéAnd elsewhere?

Le Bon marché, in Paris
In December, le Bon Marché introduced personalization throughout the entire shopping center: embossing, etching, embroidery and hot stamping are offered every afternoon by more than 100 brands, including Hermès, Armani, Ralph Lauren and Sézane, and are completed in the stores.

Trend 2: Supernatural

Greenery, artisanship, and local products to create an authentic (but chic) experience

In New York: Timberland, 5th avenue


Timberland is a 100-year-old American brand. Originally retailers for lumberjack clothing, it has since moved into nature and the great outdoors. In its 5th Avenue store, Timberland has built its image on greenery, with spectacular plants, but also with a highly Instagrammable rain room and snow room.

végétalisation chez TmberlandThe brand decided to get involved in local actions to support an urban greening initiative; in mid-October, Timberland mobilized 150 volunteers to “green up” the Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics in Harlem, and allowed its customers to help plant greenery in their neighborhood and share this experience on social networks.


Bons HackneyAnd elsewhere?
Bonds. Hackney in Londres

Blond wood, bricks, green plants, half studio, half boutique, Bonds.Hackney features a collective of artisans and their flagship product, an artisanal soy candle, which is made in the store’s workshop. Ceramics, fabrics and leatherwork flesh out their ultra-hype selection, which is also available online. Workshops and a café round out this living space, which is within walking distance of London Fields.

Trend 3: Play !

Surprise and fun are at the center of retail spaces, like at NYX.

In New York: NYX Professional makeup


NYX Professional Makeup, originally from Los Angeles, then acquired by L’Oréal in 2014, is a cosmetic brand that offers a range of professional products for all complexions and types of makeup to their target audience of digital natives. Present in 70 countries, beloved by vloggers, as well as its community of Makeupaddicts (3M Facebook fans, 13.4M on Instagram), NYX pushes the logic of multi-channel distribution to the extreme.

NYX cours de makeupThe boutique, located in Union Square, offers a fun space where you can attend a masterclass by makeup artists (reserved for customers who spend a certain amount). These sessions are also available on their website.


Boutique MontblancAnd elsewhere?
Montblanc, London

Playing also means playing with your image: for the opening of its new flagship store on Bond Street, Montblanc invited New York street artist David Paul Kay, who is known for his black and white ink style, to create a piece where he used an uncharacteristic shade of red specially created by Montblanc (referring to their RED collection) that didn’t match any of his other works. Some customers and a selection of guests were also able to contribute to the piece by writing their end-of-year wishes on it to make it more interactive. It will be displayed for the whole month of December.

Trend 4: Phy-social 

2018 confirmed the trend: social networks are diving into brick & mortars!

In New York: Amazon - 4 star

vitrine Amazon 4 star

After Amazon Books and Amazon Go, the e-retailer is expanding its offering of physical stores with Amazon – 4 Star, which opened at the end of September in Soho. The store offers a selection of games, books, household appliances and tech (including Echo, Kindle, and Alexa) that have received an online rating of 4 or 5 stars from their clients.

Fun fact: the items are organized like they are on the site (“most searched,” “New York favorites,” …) and offer two rates: the in-store price and the Amazon Prime price.


New YorkAnd elsewhere?

To see the Google Popup Store, Facebook at Macy’s, and the remarkable locations selected by our experts, it’s New York or bust.
So, ready to come to New York with us?

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Content & Insights Director

Sandrine Matichard is the Content & Insights Director at HUB Institute.

Transforming the media with a both an editorial and business eye, she began her career as a journalist, then a marketer in mainstream media (L'Equipe TV, L', La Tribune, Libération, etc.), and finally as editor in the BtoB Strategies media department. She is now devoted to the editorial strategy, for brands or for the media: background, form, timeframes, multi-channel deployment, new concepts, etc.