Great store, great Story
As a high-concept store, Story has had a lot of attention since its launch in 2011; every trend presentation on the future of retail seems to have featured the New York store at some point. There are always new concepts and new retailers doing things slightly differently but this one really grabbed the headlines and I was keen to see what the fuss was about when I visited NYC in March. The reason for much of this attention is that they change their theme (story!) every 6 weeks or so. This change affects the fittings, fixtures, concept and product offer, which is completely overhauled from one visit to the next. Story consider themselves as a gallery that sells products. Set up by Rachel Shechtman, formerly a brand consultant, Story goes about its daily business becoming “a matchmaker for brands and consumers” - isn’t that what all stores and brands should be doing?
We were lucky enough to catch the last day of Love Story, and as soon as I stepped in, I was compelled to look at everything. There were some beautifully designed posters from the couple that started a forty-day live dating diary, a hook which kept you interested in the theme of Love but also the store itself and a very clever experiment that caused debate and discussion. Because of Love’s short tenure, the posters felt really current and limited - which they were, as well as everything else. When the theme finishes, the stock vanishes with it. To where, I wonder? (I hope it’s not forced into another story.)
I was greeted in a typical friendly American style, but this time it was sincere; this was coming from someone who cared, someone who was passionate and knew every product in the shop as well as the story behind it. There was a confidence in this execution – quite simply, if the products didn’t have a story, they wouldn’t make the edited list. They all work around the theme whilst being diverse enough to keep the store – and the story – interesting. The space felt like a gallery shop and the mix of product was exciting and intriguing.
We were told more about the concept of Story. We heard that they were closing for two weeks (two weeks!) as of tomorrow to set up the new story and redesign the shop interior. Of course, no one knew what the next theme would be – feeding the hype of a new artist in town. I left with my purchases under my arm and the feeling that Story’s industry attention was justified. As a space and a store it has a mystique about it, it invites you in and it delivers. Even with the knowledge that the store you’re standing in will be short-lived, nothing feels temporary. It feels loved and curated. It just works.
The following day when we drove past, the windows were completely covered, and as we drove away, we could make out a simple message across the fascia that only added to the anticipation of what comes next
Story reopens in 2 weeks with a new story.