You hear it a lot, ‘Retail is dead’, or dying, or down (can’t argue that stat in some regards tho), etc. Overall, I think retail is amazing and there are some retailers out there delivering amazing experiences. Granted multi-brand stores are on the dwindle as most seem to be finding it hard to deliver a great experience around everything and still manage a solid $$$ stream. Flagships tho, they are where a lot of opportunities reside at the moment. Sonos, as an example, has an amazing set up on Greene St in Manhattan that is fantastic. 

Perhaps one of the challenges lays in running the success of a store around $/sq foot, maybe if there was a chance to look at it as more of an experience slash marketing investment slash online driver for sales you could get a different idea for what success might look like. A wild statement that probably has some retailers shaking their head at me right now. 

Overall, I’m not a retailer so feel free to hurl abuse at me, but I know what I like and the retailers below all have a pretty solid retail setup. Have a look, have a think, maybe visit them on your next ‘research trip’. Email us your favourite retailers if you get a chance, always keen to add to the database. 

Dover Street Market LA

DSMLA is the golden child of retail right now, well DSM is in all honesty and their latest opening – the LA store – is definitely getting a lot of love. Show me another retailer that can get their brand partners to create well designed, limited edition collections for the store opening (maybe Colette could have?). 

The store is located in LA’s Arts District in an old warehouse of sorts that is painted white outside, inside you’ll find concrete floors, white tiled walls and exposed beams. At 15,000sq foot DSM founder Rei Kawakubo had her work cut out for her designing the new space, but this is also the sixth DSM store so I’m sure she’s well versed in it all right now. 

The one thing I love about DSM stores is that each brand gets their space, and can – to a degree – do what they want with the area. Not unlike most US big box surf retailers do (used to, or still do?), but with more creativity and flexibility. 

“I want to create a kind of market where various creators from various fields gather together and encounter each other in an ongoing atmosphere of beautiful chaos; the mixing up and coming together of different kindred souls who all share a strong personal vision,” said Kawakubo.


AV Retail Space

The Apartment / Violent Green Retail space was born out of a common appreciation for quality and individuality, which is saying the two store neighbours enjoyed each other so much they merged and created one big kick-ass retail space. 

This is a recent development having only opened up earlier this month (Jan, 19), and from the images – I haven’t been up to visit yet – looks quite nice. The overall layout isn’t groundbreaking, but it’s clean, contemporary styling allows you to move through the store without being bombarded by product. You can never lose with styling like this. 

Both stores now live together under one roof at Level 1, 115 Queen St, Brisbane. So next time you’re up there doing your Universal run, go say G’Day… 


Now, Ssense isn’t an actual brick based retailer (although they have one flagship in Montreal that you can see here), they make their money online and damn they do it well. Perhaps one of the best in the street/fashion worlds! Their editorial platform is magazine level and they’re constantly pushing out interesting content based around the products/collections/designers they’re selling. 

Their Montreal store, located at 418 rue Saint Sulpice, is overall a concept store that houses a lot of pop-ups (Drake, Virgil for starters) and was designed by David Chipperfield Architects. The space serves as a physical rendering of the company’s ethos and homages the culture of it’s Quebecois home city.

Inside you’ll find a cafe, book store and two floors of change rooms which are open for appointment only styling sessions (arranged online or thru the Ssense stylist app). The modularity of the store layout allows for flexible floor layouts for the constant rotation of site-specific projects (again, see Drake/Virgil, etc)

Definitely worth a visit if you’re running through the area for some research and poutine, as the attached photos don’t entirely do it justice….

Images for this post were sourced from:
– Dezeen
– Aptmnt
– Hypebeast