American Eagle is celebrating its 40th anniversary with a new retail concept serving as a collaborative platform between the brand and its customers, as well as external creatives. Designed by Checkland Kindleysides, the so-called AE Studio is a community-focused affair based in NYC’s Union Square. It successfully transforms merchandising areas into spaces focused on customer experience – ultimately providing reasons for customers to linger and create their own brand experiences.
Said Michael Goldberg, VP, Executive Creative Director at American Eagle: “Retail is alive and well, but consumer expectations about shopping have changed. In close collaboration with our retail design partner Checkland Kindleysides, American Eagle is reimagining our retail strategy to reflect our consumer’s desire for engaging in-store social experiences, and genuine opportunities for co-creation with the brand.”
The progressive 1,476 sq.m. space is home to the brand’s social media team, facilitating direct dialogue between the brand and its customers by sharing content in real time. On the product-side, The Maker’s Shop within the Jeans Gallery is a key feature, inviting customers to create one-of-a-kind pieces by way of adding personalization to their American Eagle jeans, which they might have tried on while using the fitting rooms’ digital concierge iPads. There’s also a collaborations space, housing capsule collections co-created with new brands, emerging designers and artists. Aesthetically, the store reflects the work-in-progress attitude by centering on pared-back functionality and improvised materials.
Taking one step further in enticing customers to treat the store like a second home – that holy grail of modern-day retail – students of the nearby university are invited to put on a load of laundry in-store, free of charge. While waiting for the wash to finish, they may want to sit down to study at the Studio Bar, using the free wifi and nibbling on complimentary snacks. Now that’s what we call hospitality.
19 Union Square W,
New York, NY 10003,