Banana Republic has launched a standalone store in New York for its upscale Monogram own-label.

Located in the city’s SoHo district, the single-floor trial shop opened on April 7. It has been created from an existing Banana Republic branch, which has been given a low-cost cosmetic makeover.

Banana Republic told Visual Thinking brand director Karl McKeever that the retailer is “keen to experiment with Monogram when times are harder, so that it is ready to roll out when the economy improves”.

The trial will last for nine months and the store features high-level brand statements in white, applied lettering, recessed wall bays that have been covered with coloured linen curtains and the standard Banana Republic stainless steel fixtures. Soft seating areas and round glass tables have been added to enhance the feeling of luxury.

Product density has also been reduced when compared with the parent brand. In addition, customers in this store will be given the option to pay without visiting a till. Shoppers are encouraged to sit while advisers process transactions and wrap purchases away from the shopper’s sight.

A viral approach has been adopted to marketing the new format, principally through word of mouth. The Monogram brand is available at Banana Republic’s Regent Street flagship, its first European store, which opened last month.