The Best New Retail Stores in China – June 2023
China is one of the most exciting countries for retail, with many innovative and high concept retail stores debuted here.
This month sees brands embracing museum aesthetic, vintage and their own heritage. We discovered a retro-futuristic fashion store, a luxury brand launching its own immersive exhibition, a perfumery opening a bookstore, and an eyewear brand that looks like a museum! Brands are also embracing WeChat to launch exclusive services, games and collections.
Here are our latest picks for the best new retail spaces in China.
Quirky e-com fashion brand Masonprince has launched its first physical retail space in Guangzhou, with an ambitious concept designed by TOMO.
The space is designed to evoke multiple time periods, with the building itself being from the 1930s, and the intermingled décor inside reflecting 1931, 2023 and 2231. The entrance is styled as a bus stop, and once inside, customers will be greeted by a curious humanoid, MP.01, sitting at a desk. Videos featuring the brand play on digital displays that customers can watch as they browse the collection of clothing.
The changing room has been designed to resemble a lift, and the bathroom looks like a vintage filing office, while the studio evokes a workshop. Retro objects are displayed throughout, such as a vintage typewriter, and with the silver and mid-century modern interior design, create a retro-futuristic experience for the shopper.
Gentle Monster, Chengdu
A new flagship retail space from eyewear brand Gentle Monster has recently opened in Taikoo Li, Chengdu.
The store resembles a museum focused on natural history, with animal skulls, full scale buffalos and other impressive displays. The brand has recently partnered with pop star Cai Xukun on a collection of sunglasses with the theme Special Agent. As part of the launch, the brand created a game in WeChat that allowed players to complete secret agent tasks as Cai Xukun. Players with the highest scores received a special package, with products from the Cai Xukun collection.
Le Labo, Shanghai
A historical building that was once home to a museum has become the latest flagship of beauty brand Le Labo.
The design team has maintained the original features of the building and carried the retro aesthetic throughout with an old telephone and typewriter displayed as decorative objects. Customers can browse the brand’s range of beauty products and its popular candles in a vintage style bathroom.
The second floor contains a perfume workshop called The Fragrance Organ, where Le Labo hopes to offer bespoke services, such as bottling and sealing scents in front of customers. Shoppers can also relax in the reading area with a pastry from the vegan café.
Documents Yuyuan Study, Shanghai
Yuyuan Road has seen the launch of a new concept store by luxury perfume brand Documents.
The new space is a book shop that also includes the brand’s range of perfumes. The books have been carefully chosen on the topic of trees and the collection contains 200 items. Each book is displayed alongside a synopsis that helps the reader set the book in context.
Documents plans to launch community events in the future and envisions the space as a hub for art, literature and other activities.
Iconic auction house Sotheby’s is celebrating its 50th year in Asia and has opened a new flagship at Suzhou Creek.
The expansive space is designed to be a headquarters for the brand in China as well as a showroom for local collectors. There are plans to host exhibitions and workshops as well as other events, with the aim to become a cultural hub for art enthusiasts.
Collectors can also use the Buy Now platform on WeChat, which broadens Sotheby’s offering beyond the typical auction calendar. Bidders on the WeChat platform can also collect their items anywhere in mainland China.
Gucci Cosmos, Shanghai
Gucci Cosmos is now open at the West Bund Art Center, Shanghai, China until June 25th. The exhibition will then tour the world.
The exhibition encompasses the 102- year history of Gucci, spanning eight different “worlds” such as Archivo, Duomo, and Eden. The collections highlight Gucci’s defining role in fashion across the decades, displaying famous pieces and those from its archives. Each “world” reveals a distinctive theme that has made Gucci what it is today, as well as reflecting its past.
The exhibition is the work of artist Es Devlin with curation from fashion expert Maria Luisa Frisa.
Go beyond the obvious. Get inspiration for your next retail space with a retail safari.