Shopping Centers Today

NOV 2018

Shopping Centers Today is the news magazine of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)

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S T O R E F R O N T S 35 of them for placement in the stores. The goal is for each HiO store to carry a regularly changing mix of moderately priced products that resonate with consumers at the local level. Each brand uses its own fix- tures to display its products, but HiO stores are intended to be a seamless shopping experience. Brands supply inventory to HiO on a consignment basis, and HiO and its brands each get a percentage of sales. "We want HiO to be a brand of discovery," said Meyer. "The pur- pose is to provide more choice to the American consumer. [Brands'] success will be measured in part by gradua- tion out of HiO into their own stores." For that first full-line store, the HiO team selected an array of brands intended to appeal to the many trend-conscious consumers who live, work and play in and around down- town Brooklyn. The City Point store offerings include writing instruments from Campo Marzio (of Italy); cos- metics from Compagnie de Provence (France); embroidered bags from Emma Lomax (the U.K.); sunglasses from Hawkers (Spain); handbags and jewelry from Parfois (Portugal); scented candles from Skandinavisk (Denmark); and beauty products from U.S. e-commerce brand Winky Lux. Direct Brands says it intends to open about a dozen additional stores over the next 18 months, subject to capital availability. Some future stores will be located in shopping centers, and others in street-front retail space, says Zoba, who estimates that there are probably about 150 to 200 "very hip" places in the U.S. that are appropriate potential locations. In some places, Direct Brands could open two HiO stores without any risk of repetition or overlap. "With 35 potential brands to pull from, we could curate two stores with slightly different themes," said Zoba. The initial full-line HiO measures 1,900 square feet, but future stores are likely to be much larger, allowing Direct Brands to allocate more space to individual brands and to include such amenities as a coffee bar, a flow- er shop and an Instagram wall. HiO's ideal size would probably be about 4,500 square feet, according to Zoba. Direct Brands also intends to launch a digital platform for HiO that will enable consumers to explore new brands and shop online. Marina Fernández Freijo, a man- aging director at SGN, describes the HiO shopper in one word: adventur- ous. Fernández Freijo has played a key operational role at HiO — specifically, opening and managing stores, hiring employees and overseeing other criti- cal tasks. The HiO customer, she said, "is someone who is willing to explore and appreciates a global brand," along with "exclusivity at an afford- able price point." Q Simplify your retail design experience

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