Retail roundup: beyond transaction

Selfridges Pangaia Corner Shop 2021

I can’t wait to go to shops. While lockdown news has focused on the e-commerce successes, the UK high street is doubling down on getting punters back through the doors. For me, shopping is not only about buying, but also about socialising and seeing what’s new. The best stores have always been more than transactional destinations; from Topshop, Oxford Circus (R.I.P) to Dover Street Market, they’re discovery zones and temples of worship to community and culture.

While there have been more losers than we care to count, we’re also starting to see a few newcomers. Goossens, The artisan jewellers (once a supplier to Coco Chanel and now owned by Chanel’s Paraffection stable) opens in Burlington Gardens this month, Studio Nicholson (below 1) is opening a store in Soho, and there has been a great deal of buzz around the relocation of Browns to Brook Street, a move that points to a wider revival of New Bond Street, now that Crossrail is in sight. Alongside its phygital tech wizardry, Browns will be elevated by a courtyard eatery – always a plus in my book. In New York the new Bode Tailor Shop (below 2) in Hester Street incorporates the 40-something-year-old coffee walk-up next door, recently vacated by its owner but adopted by Emily Bode and her partner Aaron Aujla. The new store will also offer alterations of everything from Bode menswear to Levi’s jeans.

Studio Nicholson store in Soho, London
Bode Tailor Shop by William Jess Laird

Meanwhile, new to L.A is the brand-new Heaven store (below), a kind of Marc by Marc Jacobs retail playground for Gen Z. With its playful Seunjin Yang balloon furniture, Sonic Youth posters and 90s kitschcore fashion, if this can’t wrestle Generation Depop from their phones, what can? (Marc Jacobs is planning 15 new U.S retails stores this month, each adapted to the local customer, according to WWD.)

A Look Inside Marc Jacobs’ Heaven Store in Los Angeles
A Look Inside Marc Jacobs’ Heaven Store in Los Angeles

In London, Selfridges is readying its reopening with a new PANGAIA* ‘brand experience’ (top and below). Selfridges has always been a retail innovator. I’ve been going there since they had brown carrier bags and to this day, the Brass Rail is where I meet my mum for our salt beef sandwich and coffee dates. Come April 12th (until May 2nd), the Duke Street corner will be given over to a PANGAIA ‘temporary installation’. In keeping with its Corner Shop concept – previously hosting everyone from Pat McGrath Labs to Michèle Lamy – this prime real estate spot offers valuable window visibility. You may know PANGAIA for its influencer-endorsed lockdown loungewear. But it’s actually an extremely innovative company, working with materials scientists to create unique textiles, such as FLWRDWN (a puffer style material made from dried wildflowers) and PPRMINT (peppermint oil coated fabric delivering naturally antiseptic properties, resulting in less frequent washing).

The Selfridges pop-up will mix entertainment with education as per the latest buzz-phrase ‘retail edutainment’ via a specially built structure that will bathe the space in new age-y prisms of light. But you can also buy some very cool clobber there alongside exclusive new products including PANGAIA chocolates and notebooks. Read more here or book a virtual shopping appointment here* shop the post here*.

Selfridges Pangaia Corner Shop 2021
Selfridges Pangaia Corner Shop 2021

WORDS: Disneyrollergirl / Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGES: PANGAIA; Studio Nicholson; Bode Tailor Shop by William Jess Laird; Heaven x 2; PANGAIA x 2
NOTE: Most images are digitally enhanced. Some posts use affiliate links and PR samples. Please read my privacy and cookies policy here

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