In an excerpt from PSFK’s New York Retail Innovation Guide, top heritage brands in the city are connecting with consumers using immersive opportunities, exclusive offerings and purposeful collaborations in order to revitalize their legacy

Heritage brands are using the physical store to create immersive experiences that transport New York shoppers into the world of their brand, telling the brand story and highlighting the brand’s unique attributes while rekindling the emotional bond that shoppers have with the company.

Although heritage brands are inherently built on the foundations of the past, PSFK has noticed that innovative leaders in legacy retail are reinventing themselves by re-exploring their brand values, allowing for the past to inspire the new. As detailed in PSFK’s New York Retail Innovation Guide, here’s how four top heritage brands are reenergizing their influence through thoughtful collaborations, interactive experiences, customized on-site decoration and more:

Champion Store
Athletic wear brand Champion’s New York flagship store blends modernity with a focus on the brand’s heritage, which dates back to 1919. Juxtaposing the old with the new, the location features a specialized showroom inviting visitors to peruse the brand’s earliest innovations, including classic pieces from the Champion archives, while a customization booth allows shoppers to add their own Champion-branded embroideries and patches to their garments. The store also contains the most comprehensive assortment of Champion products in the U.S., aiming to be the ultimate retail destination for shoppers.

FAO Schwarz 
Iconic toy retailer FAO Schwarz has created a playfully interactive retail experience that immerses visitors in their world of toys through interactive destinations, such as a Build-A-Bear Workshop and a Transformers shop. It also features in-store magicians, demonstrators, and employees dressed as toy soldiers and other childhood classics.

Filson New York Flagship 
The outdoor outfitters’ flagship store is designed to bring the brand to life and transport visitors to the Pacific Northwest, with an entryway featuring reclaimed Douglas fir and art by artists from the region, such as a sculpture of a wolf carved by a chainsaw. The store features Filson’s entire product line of luggage and apparel, along with a selection of handcrafted specialty products.

Levi’s Time Square flagship is the apparel brand’s largest store in the world, at nearly 17,000 square feet, and features the largest selection of Levi’s goods under one roof. The store focuses on customization and personalization, with four on-site tailors and direct-to-garment (DTG) printing capabilities. Shoppers can browse in-store iPads for style inspiration and create custom garments printed in store using photos and images from four New York-based artists. The store also features a mobile POS, associate-assisted ordering and fitting rooms with call buttons to make the shopping experience more seamless.

Blending innovative, modern retail strategies with traditional brand heritage is what makes the legacy market stand out in a fast-paced city that is paradoxically prone to nostalgia. For more about how top New York retailers from all industries are breaking new ground in experiential retail, see PSFK’s New York Retail Innovation Guide, available for download now.

Lead image: FAO Schwartz via Instagram