Showfields billed itself as “the most interesting store in the world” prior to its opening at 11 Bond Street in Manhattan last year. It stands to reason that Tal Zvi Nathaniel, cofounder and chief executive officer, and the author of the boast, would aggressively move to expand the concept, and that’s exactly what he’s done.
Nathaniel told WWD exclusively on Wednesday that Showfields will this spring open its second location, on Lincoln Road in Miami. The 14,300-square-foot, two-level store will feature 40 to 50 brands and activation spaces housed in areas ranging in size from 60 square feet to 400 square feet.
“With traditional retailers, from mall stores like Papyrus continuing to go bankrupt, the expansion of Showfields shows that this new retail model, which brings together multiple brands and experiences under one roof, shows promising potential for the future of the brick-and-mortar shopping industry,” said Nathaniel, who spoke at the National Retail Federation in January about entertainment and retail.
The Miami Showfields will feature an indoor-outdoor food and beverage concept and speakeasy bar, theater for live performances, and space for installations, panels and other activations.
While real estate investment trusts and retail and shopping center analysts on Wall Street have been talking about entertainment for several years ad nauseam, the jury still seems to be out.
The 14,000-square-foot, four-floor Showfields in Manhattan’s NoHo had its challenges combining shopping with theater. During its early days, Showfields took consumers’ desire for instant gratification for granted. “One of the biggest discoveries we made was that customers want to shop and walk out with a product,” said Nathanel. “We’re building a platform and curating brands whose products you can take home.”
The Manhattan Showfields has partnered with the Council of Fashion Designers of America on a space where it would choose a brand to highlight, such as footwear brand Isa Tapia. Other brands at the location have included Klarna x Daniel Wellington, which allowed consumers to buy watches using Klarna’s payment solution, and Saint James, a French brand specializing in striped basics since 1889. All Things Fabulous, Freedom, Le Specs and Press Pause Project were featured through Brand Assembly.
Nathanel in July said Showfields completed its first funding round and was working on the next. “The goal is to reach hundreds of locations,” he said, adding that another unit will bow before the end of the year. Two additional stores are planned for 2020.