They’re already de rigueur in London, but the shop-within-a-shop has yet to make big inroads in New York. Saks Fifth Avenue is leading the way with an in-store, single brand boutique devoted entirely to contemporary designer 3.1 Phillip Lim. The outpost on Saks’ fifth floor opens tonight.
More than just a way to feature its commitment to young design talent, the store-in-a-store is also a way for an established retailer like Saks to make brick-and-mortar retail more appealing. An elevator opens directly into the space, and the shop itself features a related art installation by the painter Nobuhiro Nakanishi. (Lim himself introduced Nakanishi to Saks.)
The exclusive Lim boutique also caters to Saks’ current customer base — while contemporary shopping is 20% ahead of company expectations and designer apparel still leads the way, the retailer’s classic apparel sector (marketed to a more mature demographic) is way down. Lest Saks’ efforts with Lim come across as an attempt to re-brand way too young, in fact, the new pop-up totally reflects what’s already happening to the store.