Coach Play in Chicago ushers in new retail concept
When it comes to playtime, Chicago is Coach’s kind of town. The New York heritage legacy brand chose the windy city to unveil its new retail concept, 'Coach Play Chicago' as the first in a series of updated store designs to be replicated in other cities globally.
The store concept takes an interactive approach encouraging customers to ‘play’ and explore the spaces informed by the local community and infused with rich New York history. The opening kicks off other stores to follow the play concept with Singapore in March, Tokyo's Harajuku in April, and Salt Lake City’s City Creek in June, with more to follow.
“Coach Play store in Chicago is the first of a new hyper-physical concept where we encourage customers to play and explore in our stores. Building on our positioning of expressive luxury, we are focusing on creating emotional connections with our customers and creating spaces where they can confidently express themselves,” said Sandeep Seth, global CMO and president of North America in an email interview with FashionNetwork.com.
“We chose Chicago for our newest concept location inspired by the unique character of the city and designed a space that reimagines Coach’s heritage mixed with local elements into a one of kind immersive experience for the community. Our new store concept allows Coach to connect more closely with our customers and the neighborhoods that they are a part of,” he continued.
With nods to New York via vintage subway and street signs, the store—which stocks all-gender ready-to-wear, bags, and accessories—infuses Chicago’s culture via its vintage street signs, a 16 vintage baseball glove installation, and a marquee screen continually updated to reflect community happenings. Sustainable stools and mirrors made in Brooklyn at Skilset and Coach leather chairs made by Elise McMahon of like-minded objects in Hudson, NY, are paired with locally sourced vintage furniture, bespoke postcards, pin, patches, monogram hang tags, and local flora.
Customization will play a vital role in the concept of play anchored with an artisan’s leather bench, aka craftsmanship bar, with the brand’s newest expression of 'Coach Create'. The store will host workshops with local artists using 15 3D craft tools where clientele can make one-of-a-kind pieces, such as the popular Rogue bag, with additional styles rolling out. Personalization is realized in 100-plus Coach Create stamps as monograms, embellishments, and digital prints, including special patches and pins specific to the River North locale.
The new store sits at 444 N. Michigan Avenue, replacing a former Coach location at 625 N. Michigan, and is adjacent to the tony shopping district on Michigan. River North is known for its design-related businesses stocking upscale home furnishings, bars, restaurants, and nightclubs, and is popular with locals and tourists. Dining establishments such as Obelix, Frontera Grill, Le Select and Bavette’s Bar and Boeuf, and gilt bar complements shopping destinations such as Classic Remix, After-Words Books, P.O.S.H., Trunk Club, and the infamous IKRAM Chicago
River North is anchored by architectural and historic buildings, The Merchandise Mart and The Apparel Center, now known as 350 North Orleans. The area is also home to iconic architectural structures such as the Marina City towers, the IBM building, and the nearby Wrigley Building.
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