In this excerpt from PSFK’s New York Retail Innovation Guide, learn how top retailers in the city are curating their image to reflect the community they reside in, developing new products and opportunities to integrate themselves into customer’s personal lives

For many consumers, fashion is an important part of their identity, and they expect their favored apparel brands to help them express themselves and serve as a lifestyle partner. As a consequence of the ecommerce era, consumers are inundated with product options and seek instead to feel inspired or community-centered. Brands are responding by developing complementary products, services and other offerings that speak to the broader needs and passions of their customers.

Whether by offering superior customer service, one-to-one consultations or in-store events, New York’s premium apparel retailers are attempting to extend their reach and create new opportunities to integrate themselves into people’s daily lives. As detailed in PSFK’s New York Retail Innovation Guide, here’s how four premium retailers in the city are evolving with their conscious consumers by creating engaging, sustainable and community-centered retail experiences:

The RealReal 
The SoHo store of online luxury consignment company The RealReal showcases a modern take on merchandising and partner curation. Resellers have access to a full-service consignment office and by-appointment consultations with in-house authentication experts, while shoppers can enjoy a curated selection of the site’s best items.

“For a brand built on selling other brands, the retail space beautifully ‘puts a face to the name' of TRR. Not only is it impeccably curated to match the luxury brands it sells, but it also reveals the premium brand character in surprising ways, from the associates who know every last item in the store (which rotate constantly) to the cafe in front, aptly named ‘The CafeCafe.’”
— Abby Leber. Innovation Strategy Directory, Anomaly

Reformation Bond Street 
The Bond Street location of sustainable clothing retailer Reformation is one of the company’s testing grounds for in-store technology. Visitors use touch screens to choose items they wish to try on and can select other colors and sizes without leaving the fitting rooms.

The Nolita location of French womenswear brand ba&sh has a radical concept: every Friday evening from 5-7pm, visitors are allowed to borrow clothing for free and wear it over the weekend, as long as they return the items by the following Monday. By making clothing available for rent free of charge, ba&sh is creating an easier entrypoint into the brand.

Making Space 
Making Space is a concept store in Brooklyn by women’s apparel retailer Eileen Fisher that offers a community-centered retail experience and highlights the brand’s commitment to sustainability with a curated selection of items from its RENEW and REMADE collections. Making Space aims to serve as a local hub by engaging the community through artist-led workshops, film screenings, gallery exhibits and neighborhood events.

Finding ways to make room for premium fashion within the everyday shopper’s lifestyle is but one of New York retail's many strong suits. For more about how top retailers from all industries in the city are breaking new ground in experiential shopping, see PSFK’s New York Retail Innovation Guide, available for download now.

Lead image: stock photos from Zoran Orcik/Shutterstock