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How Uniqlo is Creatively Elevating its New York City Stores

Uniqlo is shaking up New York City’s retail sector with an innovative brick-and-mortar concept.

When consumers visit one of the retailer’s New York City locations, they aren’t receiving the conventional retail experience. Uniqlo, with the help of Soho gallerist Jeffrey Deitch and fashion editor Carine Roitfeld, is transforming its Big Apple stores with influencer collaborations.

On Jan. 20, Uniqlo debuted “Art for All,” a collaboration with Deitch. The project promotes accessible art products and engagement with local artists, at its SoHo and 34th Street stores. The “Art for All” mini shops feature limited-edition items hand-selected by Deitch. The items, including accessories and home décor, are inspired by the work of established and emerging global artists and are available for under $100. At the “Art for All” mini shops, consumers will also be able to see a historical display of art products created by artists involved in the 1980 Times Square Show.

To celebrate the “Art for All” in-store launch, Uniqlo and Deitch will hosted a lecture Thursday at Deitch Projects and will hold live screen printing events with acclaimed artists at Uniqlo’s SoHo store on Feb. 4 and Feb. 11. Unlike traditional brick-and-mortar experiences, shoppers will be able to purchase unique merchandise and take part in local art initiatives.

“We believe Jeffrey will give Uniqlo customers insightful context to appreciate the original ideas of influential artists, while also helping us unearth the most exciting, next generation of creators,” Fast Retailing Global Creative president John Jay said. “This is a highly unusual collaboration; that’s what is so inspiring.”

Prior to “Art for All,” Uniqlo also heightened its 5th Avenue Global Flagship store with another trendy collaboration. In October, the chain partnered up with Roitfeld to launch the Fall/Winter 2016 Carine Roitfeld Collection, which combined Uniqlo’s functional apparel with Roitfeld’s chic career staples. The womenswear collection featured accessories, belts, knits, outerwear and suit separates priced under $200. Items highlighted the three key concepts of the collection, including trend, silhouettes and the contrast of masculine and feminine.

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As consumers pursue e-commerce more and retailers continue to battle for foot traffic, innovative brick-and-mortar concepts, including Uniqlo’s influencer collaborations, will continue to be a potential solution for this dilemma. When consumers have a memorable store experience, whether its witnessing art displays or purchasing a new collection garment, they are more likely to return.