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NYC’s Retail Wonderland: Top Store Picks from Top Retail Influencers

By Christine McBride

New York City, known for its vibrant and eclectic retail scene, offers a plethora of unique shopping experiences. In this curated journey, we explore ten remarkable stores, each recommended by a RETHINK Retail Top Retail Influencer. These selections showcase the diversity and creativity that define NYC’s retail landscape.

While you’re in ‘The Big Apple’ for NRF 2024: Retail’s Big Show, be sure to check these out!

The Fantastic World of the Portuguese Sardine

1592 Broadway, NY

Massimo Volpe introduces us to a store that’s a celebration of Portuguese culture. ‘The Fantastic World of the Portuguese Sardine’ is a carnival of colors and tastes, showcasing a wide array of sardines in artful packaging. This store isn’t just about sardines; it’s an experience that immerses you in a festive, cultural spectacle.

“Reminiscent of a festive carnival, this store marks the debut of Comur, a Portuguese brand specializing in artisanal tinned fish, in the United States. Spanning two vibrant levels, the store features an array of colorful sardine tins. Each tin is marked with a year, beginning in the year 1916 and extending to the present day, creating a unique fusion of culinary history and time travel.”  – Massimo Volpe

Bonus: Check out our Shop Next Docu Series featuring ‘The Fantastic World of the Portuguese Sardine’ HERE

Apple

123 Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn, NY

Shep Hyken recommends the Apple store for its cutting-edge technology and sleek design. Known for its innovative products and customer service, this store provides a unique shopping experience that’s quintessentially Apple.

“How can you not have Apple on the list? Their stores are the epitome of a cool retail space. Their salespeople have the latest sales tools. Their layouts are open, well-lit, and have a vibe about them. And they are consistent.” – Shep Hyken

Dover Street Market 

160 Lexington Avenue, NY

Hitha Herzog brings our attention to Dover Street Market, a fashion and design emporium. This multi-brand retailer is a fusion of art, fashion, and design, offering an avant-garde shopping experience that goes beyond the conventional.  

“When Barneys New York departed (RIP Barneys) Dover Street Market stepped in to take its place. The well edited collections that are both unique, intriguing and create a sense of fashion FOMO is embodied in all levels of the store. Also there are multiple locations all over the world so it’s not “city unique.” – Hitha Herzog

Camp

110 5th Ave (at 16th St), NY

Richard Kestenbaum highlights Camp, a store that reimagines the concept of shopping for children. It blends play, product, and programming in a way that creates a magical experience for families, making every visit an adventure.

“This is a children’s store that is unlike any other. The merchandise is almost entirely found only in Camp stores. More importantly, every store has activities and some stores have actual shows. When you revisit, the activities or shows have changed and rotate through the stores. They also have sponsorships by media or other companies of products in the store. It’s a unique experience for kids and parents.” – Richard Kestenbaum

LEGO

636 5th Ave, NY

Recommended by Ricardo Belmar, the LEGO store is a world of creativity and fun. This iconic brand offers an engaging experience for all ages, with interactive building areas and impressive displays. It’s a place that inspires imagination and brings out the child in every visitor. 

“If there’s a brand that knows how to immerse customers into their brand and products and deliver a lifestyle environment customers just want to stay in – it’s LEGO! This is how a toy brand should do stores. One of the most experiential playgrounds in retail you’ll find anywhere and a model for how LEGO sees the future of retail experiences. So many immersive activities for customers, you can’t help but go back for more.”  – Ricardo Belmar

Bonus: Check out our Retail Therapy Podcast Episode discussing ‘LEGO’’ HERE

Nike House of Innovation

650 5th Ave, NY

The Nike House of Innovation, selected by Vladimer Botsvadze, is a testament to the brand’s commitment to innovation and customer experience. This store offers a personalized shopping experience, showcasing the latest in sports technology and design.

“It’s simple and easy for shoppers to find what they’re looking for, including quality products and new items. Shoppers have quality interactions with knowledgeable reliable consultants who treat them perfectly. The retailer makes a difference in the lives of shoppers, who feel a sense of pride while shopping there. The exterior and interior of the store are appealing and captivating. Shoppers enjoy spending time there. The experience is how shoppers want it, with consultants who understand their unique needs, recommendations based on past behavior and rewards based on quality. Shoppers can shop where and why they want and the retailer knows their preferences.” – Vladimer Botsvadze

American Girl

75 Rockefeller Plaza Floor 1, NY

Melissa Minkow recommends American Girl, a store that goes beyond selling dolls. It offers an immersive experience that celebrates individuality and storytelling, providing a space where children can create lasting memories.

“There are smart takeaways for any retailer after visiting the American Girl store in New York City. The store is filled with opportunities to upgrade customers’ dolls and to spend tons of time with friends/family members in play mode. Different areas of the store have different stations: a beauty salon, a doctor’s office, and you can book appointments either at those stations or host a kid’s birthday there. Ultimately, it’s a fun place to be for families, and the ways the store keeps the product interesting to children is something other retailers should be thinking about for their products.”  – Melissa Minkow

Tiffany & Co

727 5th Ave, NY

John Ryan recommends Tiffany & Co, a store that represents luxury and timeless elegance. Discover Tiffany & Co. at The Landmark, New York’s reimagined crown jewel on 5th Avenue. Reopened in spring 2023, it offers an exquisite selection of jewelry in a setting that’s both sophisticated and welcoming.

Prada

2 Newtown Lane, East Hampton, NY

Christine Russo brings us to Prada, known for its high-fashion and luxury goods. This store, with its unique interior design, offers an exclusive shopping experience that reflects the brand’s iconic status.

“Breaking from the more sophisticated interior typical of a Prada Store – this store is awash in green stripes evoking a fun, playful aesthetic appropriate for a sophisticated beach town. The store is small with an emphasis on accessories – it feels appropriate to grab hostess gifts for garden parties.” – Christine Russo

Wegmans

499 Lafayette St, NY

John Ryan also highlights Wegmans Food Market, a grocery store that’s a part of NYC’s historic district. This store offers a unique shopping experience that combines quality, convenience, and variety, making grocery shopping a delightful endeavor.

“Wegmans Food Market, located in the historic district of lower Manhattan at 770 Broadway, spans 87,500 square feet and combines a rich array of culinary offerings with a cozy, inviting atmosphere that respects the historic Wannamaker building’s original design. This store, marking Wegmans’ second venture in New York City after its Brooklyn location, will further enhance its customer experience with the addition of an onsite dining room. This dining area, which includes a Sushi Bar and Champagne-Oyster Bar at Astor Place, is scheduled to open in the first half of 2024.”  – John Ryan


Each of these stores, handpicked by RETHINK Retail’s Top Retail Influencers, provides an exclusive peek into New York City’s vibrant retail scene. Showcasing everything from cutting-edge fashion to the latest tech marvels, and from whimsical creativity to childhood memories, these venues are essential stops for anyone eager to immerse themselves in the best of NYC’s retail universe. 

To enhance your experience, consider joining a Store Tour of the city during your visit – the perfect opportunity to explore more and engage directly with the unique stories and offerings of each store!