He’s back in business. Not that German retail veteran Andreas Feldenkirchen has kept away from it, but in the last years–since closing his Hamburg premium menswear trend store called A. Feldenkirchen in 2012–he was acting on the consulting side developing store and retail concepts for others, be it in fashion or other consumer goods areas.
In August 2020 the “retailmind” (which is also the name of his Hamburg-based consulting company) will become store manager himself again when he opens 'Matter – Urban Market'. Located at Schlankreye 71 right next to famous program cinema Holi, the space offers 200 sq. meters of sales floor in Hamburg’s bourgeois Hoheluft-West neighborhood.
“I think of ‘Matter’ in the sense of a ‘thing’ or a ‘topic,’ but also in the sense of ‘what matters,’ what’s relevant and important. It’s style over hype and trend,” Feldenkirchen says. “This comes with a sustainable approach–not as a strict, dogmatic idea, but rather as transporting a conscious consumerism by offering meaningful AND aesthetic goods of quality, longevity, value and timeless beauty.”
“Market” stands for the idea of a simple, yet refined concept, a platform with a modular and flexible angle. And so the name mirrors the wide range of product categories that Feldenkirchen will put on display: clothing for men and women, sneakers and shoes, accessories and jewelry, stationery, home decor and interior (from ceramics to furniture, with a special selection of scented candles), glass and ceramics, cosmetics and beauty, food and beverages, magazines and books.
Coming from the fashion retail side, people might be mostly interested in the fashion assortment that Feldenkirchen will put together: “It will only be a little ready-to-wear, but rather about single products that can all be combined to create a modern yet timeless look.” By now his orders for apparel and footwear include names such as Âme, Lee 101, Denim Lab, Wax London, Closed x Nigel Cabourn, Castart, MocT, Karhu, Autry, Solovair, more to be announced...
What puts it beyond is the multipurpose functionality behind: Matter is first and foremost a retail space, but at the same time it will offer variations of typical retail, such as a DtC marketplace for young designers and brands, and a quarterly three-day long mini market with local offerings and a platform for vintage or pre-loved products. As Feldenkirchen is a coffee lover, of course a café spot is a must, as well as an event/art exhibition space.
Matter will run on several channels so an online shop is a given: but also when it comes to e-commerce Feldenkirchen keeps a selection. The full product range will not be available; instead the online world is curated and features monthly changing topics/themes connected with a suitable product range, for example “outdoor,” “summer” or even color themes.
That all leads to one question: Why? Why again all the hassle? “I feel this urge to not just consult, but be on the floor myself again, talk about products and the story behind, give advice. Be hands on. And work 360°, from developing the store concept and interior to working with a store team, from writing orders to checking the logistics, from working on the marketing to search for new products and brands. And I would like to prove that retail is not dead, as long as one is brave enough to go new ways and overcome the traditional idea of a retail.” In fact, the main reason for his return is that Feldenkirchen has not only a retail mind, but also a retail heart.