The brand's new SoHo space continues to evolve the face of brick-and-mortar retail, placing an emphasis on genuine connection and a cohesive design

New York City is about as far from the wilderness as anyone can get. But with its new store, The North Face aims to bring the thrill of the outdoors to the concrete jungle. Thanks to a few thoughtful touches and even a custom scent, the space is just about the closest thing to a hike or a camping trip that Manhattan's retail environment offers.

The outdoor retailer‘s brand-new SoHo outpost, located at 584 Broadway, is a careful extension of the brand's values. The space is designed to come off less as a store and more as a “base camp,” as the company puts it. With reclaimed wood, metal finishes and a hexagonal motif that repeats throughout most of the store, The North Face is planning for the store to age just like its products.

And there are plenty of those products on display, both as merchandise and as museum-like exhibits—including bags and other equipment used by The North Face athletes on expeditions and climbs. The 8,000-square-foot store is divided into two levels of both retail and social space, placing an emphasis on connection rather than sales. On the bottom floor, for example, there's a fully-assembled tent meant to show city-dwellers that they aren't too difficult to handle.

The North Face

The centerpiece of the store is an area called “the campfire,” though there's no actual flame involved. Set up almost like a living room, it's where visitors watch the brand's videos, peruse maps and guides of nearby outdoor areas and interact with the store's employees to start planning their next adventure. For newbies and experts alike, this corner of the store is where connections are likely to form.

The North Face SoHo is another example of brick-and-mortar retail's evolving identity. Rather than treat the in-store experience as simply transactional, the brand is working to make sure that its customers know what they're getting—and what they can do—with their purchases.

The North Face

The North Face


Lead image: The North Face

New York City is about as far from the wilderness as anyone can get. But with its new store, The North Face aims to bring the thrill of the outdoors to the concrete jungle. Thanks to a few thoughtful touches and even a custom scent, the space is just about the closest thing to a hike or a camping trip that Manhattan's retail environment offers.

The outdoor retailer‘s brand-new SoHo outpost, located at 584 Broadway, is a careful extension of the brand's values. The space is designed to come off less as a store and more as a “base camp,” as the company puts it. With reclaimed wood, metal finishes and a hexagonal motif that repeats throughout most of the store, The North Face is planning for the store to age just like its products.