Hudson Yards is doubling down on the retail industry’s favorite buzzword, experiential, with an entire floor of its urban mall dedicated to retailers that offer immersive experiences.
While the first floor of the Shops and Restaurants at Hudson Yards will feature luxury and premium brands, the second floor has been designed to offer consumers the unexpected. Besides retailers, the Floor of Discovery, as level two has been dubbed, will also feature Snark Park, a 6,000-square-foot permanent exhibition space housing design environments programmed by New York design studio Snarkitecture and tailored to appeal to children on one level and wink at adults on another.
Hudson Yards, the mini city developed by Related Companies, is located between 30th and 34th streets, and 10th and 12th avenues.
With a total of 77,000 square feet, the second floor will feature familiar retailers launching new concepts and digital native brands, including several that will be unveiling their first physical units. For example, inaugural stores for Mack Weldon, a men’s underwear brand; Rhone, activewear for men; and tech retailer b8ta will bow at Hudson Yards. Batch in its first permanent space will create a marketplace for home products, and U.K. swimwear resource Heidi Klein will make its U.S. launch.
The Shops and Restaurants, which will bow in March, will be anchored by Neiman Marcus and feature the first Forty Five Ten boutique in Manhattan, Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, H&M and Zara, among others.
Italian-made online shoe brand M.Gemi’s Italian cafe-inspired space will facilitate appointment bookings powered by Resy. Frankie CoLab, a Los Angeles-based retailer of contemporary labels, will open a flagship and L’Oréal will introduce a concept store. Muji USA president Toru Akita said its Hudson Yards store will not only be one of the largest in the U.S., it will feature “some of our most engaging retail experiences, including our embroidery station, which allows customers to personalize their Muji fabric products, and an in-store coffee service.”
Some of the more traditional retailers will include Madewell and AG Jeans by Adriano Goldschmied. Uniqlo will introduce a small-format store.
Momofuku’s Fuku eatery centered around chicken and Citarella with take-out and dine-in service are among the food options. The Drug Store from the parent of Dirty Lemon, which sells drinks enhanced with turmeric, collagen and charcoal, will feature a bar experience and cashier-less store. “We’re investing in experiential retail to test new concepts and connect with consumers outside of the digital space,” said Zak Normandin, founder and ceo. “Consumers can enjoy hand-crafted beverages and contribute to the process that determines our new product launches on a national scale.”
Brian Berger, founder and chief executive officer of Mack Weldon, said the decision to open a store at Hudson Yards was “a no-brainer,” adding that the brand and developer “share the vision that high-touch, immersive and unique customer experiences will continually shape the future of retail.”
“The addition of sought-after emerging brands and one-of-a-kind experiences rounds out our collection of leading brands in every category from luxury to fast-fashion,” said Esty Ottensoser, Related Companies’ retail specialist. “A spirit of creativity unites the Floor of Discovery, from shopping to dining to Snark Park’s imaginative exhibitions. It reflects our passion for creating a destination that fosters retail innovation.
“Retail isn’t going away, but the greatest form of commerce is experience, and people are spending lots of money on experience,” added Ottensoser.