Canadian supermarket clothing brand Joe Fresh has left the food aisles behind and is now a serious contender as a fashion retailer.
And nowhere is this more evident than on the corner of 43rd Street and Fifth Avenue in New York, where the retailer that is part of the Loblaws grocery empire has its US flagship.
Here the Joe Fresh store, which has been created by Toronto consultancy Burdifilek, is housed in a listed two-floor, 13,688 sq ft, mid-20th century glass box that lays the interior bare to anyone who happens to be in the area.
Until now, wood, glass and powder-coated metal have formed the DNA of Burdifilek’s interiors for Joe Fresh, but in homage to the modernist nature of the building, the wood element has been left out and the concentration here is on glass and steel.
It’s hard not to stare at this store, whether it’s the seeming acres of plate glass, the glowing white ceiling, or the big brand signs that seem to leap out of the store towards the onlooker. And as this is a listed building, all of the in-store equipment is freestanding as it is not allowed to impinge upon the perimeter or touch the ceiling.
The product offer succeeds in making shoppers forget the brand’s food retailing provenance and perhaps feel that they have strayed into a quasi-designer emporium.
This is fashion retailing that has taken an unconventional route to get to where it is now and the Joe Fresh stores back home in Canada also feel distinctly un-supermarket-like. Joe Fresh has more than a few lessons for supermarket clothing retailers in this country.
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