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Four stores across the country look to rewrite the rules of the customer experience.

FORTY FIVE TEN

Since its opening in 2000, Forty Five Ten has been a premier destination for Dallas’ fashion-obsessed. Now, with its flagship moving to an even larger 37,000-square-foot location and a new store opening in Houston, both in November, the retailer is betting big on beauty, too. “We want to be a destination for beauty and fragrance,” says Brian Bolke, cofounder and president. “We are bringing an intimate experience to beauty, for the customer who doesn’t want the department store or big-box environment.” To that end, Forty Five Ten’s beauty space is growing from 250 square feet in its current locale to 1,700 square feet in the new flagship, with more than 71 brands and a private facial room. “Beauty is the most emotional category we sell. A customer who looks good feels good and that feeling is associated with the store,” says Bolke. “It’s instant gratification.”

Dallas: 1615 Main Street, Dallas, 75201

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Houston: 4444 Westheimer Road, Houston, 77027

 

SAKS FIFTH AVENUE

Saks Fifth Avenue may be the grand dame of New York’s department store scene, but with its new downtown flagship, the retailer is out to revolutionize how it approaches beauty. An 8,000-square-foot open-floor layout enables sales associates to stand directly with shoppers, versus being on opposite sides of a counter divide. An eclectic assortment of brands—70 in all, eight of which are new to Saks including Decorté, Smith & Cult and By Terry—was selected with a hip downtown customer in mind. “We brought in brands we thought the customer would really enjoy, as well as an elevated level of service,” says Kate Oldham, senior vice president and general merchandise manager of beauty. To that end, there are spa rooms, where facials, makeovers and skin-care analyses are available, complete with a catered lunch service, “mommy” makeovers in the morning and happy hour events in the evening. “We still have the great elevated service,” says Oldham, “just more accessible.”

Brookfield Place 225 Liberty Street, New York, 10286

 

MAISON 10

The Minimalist, art gallery set-up of Maison 10 houses a carefully curated selection of 100 products in 10 categories that changes every 10 weeks—hence its name. But what really makes the NoMad boutique stand out is its commitment to ethical consumerism. After deciding on the products—which include candles, fragrance and skin and body care—co-creators Tom Blackie, Henri Myers and Carsten Klein donate 10 percent of every sale to one of 10 charities. The beneficiaries, such as International Rescue Committee, a global humanitarian aid organization, are as meticulously selected as the merchandise. “There’s a limited selection of items, but every single one of them is really beautiful and special,” Blackie says of the store’s off’erings, which include brands like Joya, Immunocologie and Yoke. “We’re trying to curate 10 great things and say, ‘Don’t worry about the thousand others out there.’”

4 West 29th Street New York, 10001

 

FUMERIE PAR FUMERIE

Tracy Tsefalas opened Fumerie, a vintage inspired boutique reminiscent of Twenties French fragrance salons, to give niche perfumers a voice and showcase their unique creations. Although the store is only 500 square feet, it packs a punch, stocking more than 29 brands, including Nasomatto, Serge Lutens and Imaginary Authors. “We don’t have any pressure to try to sell the latest release because it’s new or needs to be sold,” says Tsefalas, noting fragrance swap events and in-depth consultations define Fumerie’s approach to service. “We work to find something that’s right for the customer, for a much more personal experience.”

3584 SE Division Street, Portland, OR 97202

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