The 10 Best Retailers in New York City Worth Visiting

Plus, Brands and Key Trends Shaping the Future of Retail

The 10 Best Retailers in New York City Worth Visiting

Estimated Read Time: 6 Minutes

The National Retail Federation’s (NRF) showcase in New York City provided a captivating glimpse into the dynamic world of retail. Here’s a closer look at the 10 standout brands and their innovative approaches to creating immersive and memorable experiences.

Related: New York City Retail is Back & We’re Totally Here for It! Let’s Go on an Experiential Retail Tour in NYC

1. Aimé Leon Dore – Mulberry | 224 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012

Renowned as one of today’s hottest fashion brands, Aime Leon Dore (ALD) exudes an inviting and cool ambiance, reminiscent of traditional Polo Ralph Lauren spaces but with a distinctive edge. The stores offer a unique blend of welcoming sophistication, and the delightful scent adds a touch of luxury.

2. Descendant of Thieves – Mulberry | 247 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012

Built on fostering connections with consumers, Descendant of Thieves captivates with limited edition runs of every product. The store is an inviting and intimate space, featuring eye-catching communications that make the shopping experience both fun and memorable.

3. Wegmans Food Market – Astor Place | 499 Lafayette St, New York, NY, 10003

Since its opening in 2003, Wegmans has brought the spirit of its beloved brand to the heart of Manhattan. Beyond quality products, the lively space offers theater, exceptional service, and quirky communication, catering to both grocery shoppers and those seeking a delightful dining experience.

4. Dover Street Market – Kip’s Bay | 160 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10016

Dover Street Market surprises visitors with a mix of high-end fashion brands and innovation labs for emerging designers. The store showcases an eclectic blend of fashion, art, and culture through visually stunning merchandising and art installations, creating an ever-evolving experience.

5. Todd Snyder – NoMad | 25 E 26th St, New York, NY 10010

Similar to Dover Street Market, Todd Snyder’s NoMad location captivates with its wide-range of high-end fashion, art, and culture. The store boasts incredible visual merchandising and art installations that keep customers intrigued and engaged.

6. Tracksmith Trackhouse – Williamsburg | 147 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249

A haven for amateur runners, Tracksmit’s Trackhouse concept serves as a perfect embodiment of the brand. More than a retail landscape, it acts as a meetup spot for runners, offering a seamless blend of community engagement and top-notch products.

If you happen to enjoy running (or pretend to enjoy it!) check out our must-read The Art and Science of Running… and Ops: Discover the Parallels Between Running and Operations with Rob and Joanne

7. APL – Soho | 75 Prince St, New York, NY 10012

The sneaker brand APL brings a wow shopping experience through minimalizim and materiality that encourages shoppers to browse and take photos. Sneakers are shopped not by gender but by style and color way—all presented with an elevated appeal. Fitting rooms, affectionatly called “vanity rooms” are unique colored stone for the perfect heat-to-toe photo opportunity.

8. Crate & Barrel – Flatiron | 881 Broadway, New York, NY 10003

Offering one of the best flagship experiences, Crate & Barrel’s interpretation aligns with their brand values and product innovations. Educated associates and clear communication enhance the overall customer experience.

9. BR Home | Banana Republic Lifestyle Space | 515 Broadway, New York, NY 10012

With a mixture of home furnishing, decor, art, and fashion coming together this experience highlights distinctive collections with a lifestyle catalog-esque presence. The temporary pop-up blends every day and luxury options where there’s something everyone to enjoy.

10. PetCo – Union Squre | 44 Union Square E, New York, NY 10003

Opening last year, the two-story flagship is a wonderland for our furry loved-ones. The experience highlights curated visual merchandising moments and has multiple wellness destinations, including a special pet grocery kitchen, grooming, and on-site vet, that allow guests to take care of their pet’s every need.

4 Key Themes That Emerged From Our Retail Tour

After visiting a handful of retail locations, we started to notice these four key themes emerge regarding what made some brands stand out from the rest.

1. Service – Don’t Skimp on It!

Exemplified by Dover Street Market, Tracksmith, and Wegmans, outstanding service remains a driving force to attract consumers into physical spaces, whether through customization, hospitality, or simple courtesy.

Related: Are You Holiday Ready? The Importance of Staffing, Merchandise Availability, and Visual Merchandising for a Successful Holiday Season

2. Storytelling – Bring the Brand to Life

Wilson, Todd Snyder, and Nike showcase the power of strong storytelling in bringing brands to life. New York City’s retail scene continues to inspire visitors by delivering messages that transport consumers into the captivating worlds of these brands.

3. Product Innovation – Show Me What’s New

Crate & Barrel, On, and Descendent of Thieves highlight the importance of showcasing new product innovations. This approach not only tells unique brand stories but also demonstrates continuous connection with consumers and responsiveness to their needs.

4. Exterior – Pull Me In

Atelier Jolie, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Ralph’s Coffee exemplify the significance of extending a brand’s identity beyond the store’s interior. Creating a captivating exterior is crucial for an exceptional retail experience, setting the stage for what awaits inside.

Navigating the Future of Retail

As we explored the retail landscape in NYC, the brands that stood out not only offered exceptional experiences but also illuminated key trends shaping the industry. New York’s retail scene continues to evolve, guided by these trends that blend tradition and innovation for a future where exceptional service, compelling storytelling, product innovation, and exterior allure converge seamlessly. We implore other brands to jump on board and create extraordinary experiences for their customers regardless of where they are in the world.

Our teams offer a broad range of integrated services meant for this exact purpose, and we’d love to hear from you if you think we could help!

About Wayfind

Lost and in need of guidance? That’s why we created Wayfind—the WD blog designed to be your beacon in this rapidly evolving world. In these short, thought-provoking reads, you’ll discover insights into the minds of your consumers and be inspired to go out into the world to create your own extraordinary experiences.

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