Last week I paid a visit to the Soho location of H&M's long-awaited new venture, & Other Stories. Rather than spend too long about the perfectly curated variety of unique merchandise, let's talk about their visual merchandising! I wish I could live inside of an & Other Stories store (which is more than I can say about their parent company's stores).
When I walked in, the overall ambiance was that I was in a shopaholic's apartment-- but not the "my closet exploded" kind. This shopaholic had found a way to turn her Pier1 Imports-filled, aesthetically-pleasing space into a tidy display of all her favorite pieces.
Rather than a departmentalized, boring display, merchandise is untraditionally juxtaposed. Nail polish sat beside small matching wallets. Jewelry counters were near the registers, which stood across from a huge sink, whose counter space displayed over 10 different sugar scrubs. The surrounding area featured coordinated perfumes, lotions, body oils and even a few cosmetic products. The shoe section was filled with succulents, this season's purses, and large potted plants.
The clothes are contemporary, fresh, and more timeless than trendy. Customers are encouraged to shop by "mood" (‘Poetic and Dandy’, ‘Minimalism and Contradiction’, etc.) instead of by trend. It's the perfect balance between minimalist and bohemian interior design.
If the overall goal was to give the impression of a one-stop-shop for all one's not-so-basic fashion needs, while maintaining laid-back, natural-posh vibes, & Other Stories succeeded.