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Retail Inspiration: 5 Stores to Visit in NYC

Retail in Manhattan is as fresh and eclectic as its restaurant and art scenes. Make some time during FFANY to discover and be inspired by these five unique concepts changing the game of retail.

Flying Tiger
The Danish import, which made its U.S. debut in New York last year, is known for its branded products and quirky assortment of household and decorative items. While there isn’t a lick of footwear in the store—think novelty magnets, party accessories and whimsical storage boxes—its format is a lesson in traffic control. The stores are designed as mazes that guide shoppers through every department, ending at the cash wrap.

Domenico Vacca

Italian designer Domenico Vacca is redefining the luxury retail experience by housing everything the discerning customer could ever want under one lavish roof. The designer opened a New York flagship this spring, a completely renovated, 10 story building from the 1920s. The store features designer footwear labels for men and women, as well as an espresso bar, beauty salon, barber, a members-only club and 30 long-term stay furnished residential units, so you truly never have to leave.

Story has reached iconic status by taking an editorial approach to retail. One part pop-up shop and one part gallery, the store swaps out its merchandise every four to eight weeks to tell a new and timely “story” through a highly-curated selection of products and in-store events, including book signings, film screenings, talks and more. This store will get your creative juices flowing.

CW Pencil Enterprise
For all the specialty stores in New York—from records to pickles—CW Pencil Enterprise may be the best example of how one person’s passion can become a viable business, even with products priced as low as 30 cents. Caroline Weaver, an amateur pencil collector, opened CW Pencil Enterprise in 2014 and has proved that the functional and simple writing utensil is still a place in a hi-tech world. The shop is small but mighty with a knowledgeable staff and on point selection that doesn’t strays from its original focus.

Barneys New York Chelsea
Is New York large enough for two Barneys? The store’s new downtown flagship is a homecoming for the company—the 55,000 square foot store is located on the same block Barneys was founded on in 1923. With the Chelsea consumer in mind, the flagship offers an edited selection of goods that reflect the store’s trendier and more relaxed nabe than its uptown sister.