Last month, retail chain Urban Outfitters opened up a multi-level store in Brooklyn with a rooftop bar and restaurant. The store carries local Brooklyn designers and hosts a pop-up store in the basement. Earlier this year, Japanese fashion brand Comme des Garçons opened up a similar multilevel concept store. And today, Women’s Wear Daily featured a number of brands that are centering their sales pitch around teatime in Hong Kong. Lanvin paired with Sevva to offer a Parisian inspired afternoon tea in December, adding its touch to the meal with Alber Elbaz sketches as placemats. British brand Cath Kidston provides a similar experience at Hong Kong’s East Hotel with hand creams and discount cards for attendees. Aurelia’s afternoon tea, held in partnership with Net-a-Porter, serves pastries made with ingredients also used in the skin care line.
Department stores and malls have always dining and hangout hubs, but brands are now taking that part of the shopping experience in their own hands and adding their signature to it. The creativity and variety shows brands are going the extra mile to have consumers spend time in their stores. Social platforms have made it possible to spread the word about events and in-store experiences, and engagement often results in user-generated content considered great advertising.