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Retail spaces in the real world: 5 of the best we’ve seen lately

With the world in and out of lockdowns over the last couple of years and uncertainty being the main theme around the globe, it’s been great to see brands innovating and creating some truly impressive retail spaces, both in real life and in the metaverse.

From a walk-through billboard to a dual-purpose barbershop to a boutique that comes to you, we’ve selected few of our faves from the last year or so – take a look.

Old Spice’s Barbershop

The brand that reinvigorated its cool some years back with a man on a horse (and two tickets to that thing you love) has created a dual-purpose barbershop in the university district of Columbus, Ohio.

The first standalone bricks-and-mortar store owned and operated by P&G, the Old Spice Barbershop offers the full suite of barber services via a fully qualified team, as well as celebrity barber residency.

But here’s the cleverest bit – not only is it a barbershop, it’s also a fully-functioning content studio, ready to regularly pump out relevant and credible content for the Old Spice social media channels. Because who doesn’t want to flaunt their new fade on the ‘gram?

Amazon’s Uncommon Store

Amazon has been leading the way in ‘scan, grab and go’ shopping for years now, but this latest venture with the Hyundai Department Store group in Seoul takes things to the next level.

The new store works in the same frictionless way as other Amazon Go stores, but stocks a mix of convenience items such as snacks, soft drinks and fresh fruit from local convenience chain Nice Weather, through to quirkier things like instant cameras, glassware, Portuguese sardines and even sea salt soap.

It’s less about the products, and more about the store design, developed to create a quirky, retro appeal to South Korea’s young shoppers.

Situ Live London

Situ Live in London’s Westfield shopping centre might not be the first experiential concept store, but it’s certainly one of the best executed, with an ever-evolving array of new tech-driven products for customers to discover.

The store is divided into different ‘theatres’, themed around different lifestyle areas such as kitchen, fitness and gaming, and staff are all thoroughly clued in on all the tech specs the gadgetry has to offer.

Want to try a folding e-bike? Keen to set up a dedicated VR gaming space in your home? Situ Live has everything you need…and more.

McDonald’s ‘Walk-Thru’ Billboard

What better way to beat the summer heat in London than with a McFlurry in a hurry, served from a dual-purpose walk-thru billboard.

Part of the ongoing “Fancy a McDonald’s?” brand platform, the installation was a joint effort between Leo Burnett London, OMD and Talon, serving up a free McFlurry to anyone who fancied a cold, sweet treat.   

Jagermeister pulled a similar trick in Shoreditch last year, offering free coffee beans as part of the launch of their Cold Brew Coffee liqueur. Parked nearby was a caravan offering free coffees and take home samples of the new Jagermeister product.

Louis Vuitton’s ‘LV By Appointment’ trailer

Build it and they will come. And if they can’t come because of COVID…go to them.

Louis Vuitton stepped (or should we say ‘drove’) around lockdown issues last year by hauling a truckload of merch to loyal customers all across the US, from Manhattan to Malibu.

‘LV By Appointment’ allowed customers to book in a time for the mobile boutique to swing past their home with a personalised, curated selection of clothing, fragrances, watches, jewellery, leather goods and more. Your favourite prestige brand coming to you – now that’s the height of luxury.


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