Even after all the ads plastered on every conceivable modes of public transportation, phone booth, news stands and billboards, you’ll most likely still hear patrons of UNIQLO asking “When will they open another store in New York City?” The answer is – Tomorrow.
Situated at the corner on Fifth Avenue and West 53rd Street is the newest global flagship of the ever popular Japanese retail chain. Encompassed four floors and at around 89,000 square-foot, it will also be the largest UNIQLO store in the world. Much of that will register once you enter the store front as a mammoth atrium, the height of the entire store, greets you. After the initial impression sets in, shoppers will have two distinct routes to meander through the store. If you’re in a hurry, the escalator will take you directly to the top floor. Or you can hop along the LED-lighted staircases dotted throughout the store. Whatever you select, there are bound to be surprises at every corner. For example, upon the mezzanine is an entire dedicated to the UNIQLO x Jil Sander +J Collection. Virtually sold out elsewhere, UNIQLO “refreshed” the collection for the two flagship stores openings in New York City. Another is the “mirrored hall” or “party tunnel” as dubbed by employees, a centerpiece with all of UNIQLO’s popular Heattech Collection on display.
Despite its ample size at 89,000 square-foot, the premium price of a retail space on the coveted Fifth Avenue meant architect Masamichi Katayama and his firm Wonderwall had to work miracle. One way to approach the issue of space is to stock the majority of inventory up front, thus freeing storage room needs and maximize each retail floors. Instead of it looking like another “big box retailer”, Katayama created an intimate shopping space, quite counterintuitively. With applications of natural wood floors, the combination of direct lighting, along with some 300+ LCD screens, and finally the compartmentize of UNIQLO’s different collections, Katayama was able to balance space efficiency with a certain “warmth”.
The UNIQLO Fifth Avenue Global Flagship Store is set to open tomorrow at Noon.
Photography: Poe for Freshness
UNIQLO Fifth Avenue
666 5th Avenue | Map
(@ West 53rd Street)
New York, NY 10016
Opening Date: October 14th, 2011 (Tomorrow!) | Noon