Dress sharp, this is not a drill.
Sydney lovers of slick contemporary design, listen up. Sydney is getting its very own Monocle Shop, albeit in pop-up form.
Launching at The Stables in Surry Hills next weekend, it’s the second time the impossibly dapper brand has taken up a temporary address in Australia; after a similar pop-up in Brisbane’s Scrumptious Reads last year. If that venture was anything to go by, put aside your money now.
After beginning life as a global affairs and lifestyle magazine before spinning off into the world of radio, retail and even coffee, Monocle currently owns stores in London, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Toronto, Singapore and New York. Here, the brand sells must-have products designed to make you look roughly one thousand percent cooler — luxury travel luggage, designer furniture and high-end fashion. Basically, it’s where you want to direct all of your wealthiest friends about a week before your birthday.
The Sydney pop-up appears to have been strategically timed to coincide with Vivid Sydney 2015, where Monocle founder and international man of mystery Tyler Brule will appear as part of the Vivid Ideas Game Changers series, which features talks by leaders in global creative industries.
No word on exactly what items the Sydney store will be selling, although we’ve got a wish list that’s about three miles long. The pop-up opens on Sunday, May 24, and will run until Sunday, June 21.
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE OF RETAIL LOOK LIKE?
G'day, Anders Sorman-Nilsson here futurist, and occasional chief strategist at Georg Sorman, an old school family business that's been in our family since 1916.
Today we've done our autumn shoot here at the Stables Co-op in Surry Hills in Sydney. It got me to reflect on the fact that the future of retail is constantly shifting.
The future of retail at the Stables recently featured in Monocle magazine, as one of the coolest mini malls around the world, highlights to me that the retail experience needs to shift to be fundamentally relevant in the future. We've all heard about the digital disruption of retail impacting us around the world, be that Borders is going out of business, Blockbuster going out of business, and online retail is even being displaced over the last few years. We're also seeing online retailers like I've reflected on in my book "Digilogue: How to Win the Digital Minds and Analogue Hearts of Tomorrow's Customers." really looking to the kind of bricks and mortar world to reach out to wear their - in a sense analogue hearts on their sleeves, reaching out to consumers around the world, to try and kind of give a sense that even online retailers have a human and analogue soul. I'm thinking here of Mr. Porter, for example, publishing a magazine or a newspaper reaching out in the real world, and then asking us to buy stuff online. What are bricks and mortar retailers to do? Well, one good example is here where we've shot the Georg Sorman calendar for 2014. The Stables in Sydney was voted, as I mentioned, by Monocle Magazines to be one of the coolest kind of concept stores around.
We're sitting here in the café portion of a place in Surry Hills, close to where I used to live in Sydney, that is a mix of café, mix of bar. We've got a publisher upstairs. And of course, the retail presence out the front. But it shows you that a retail place is more and more of a showroom, a concept store somewhere where we like to hang out, where we like to have some food. And I think what really is the key for retailers in the future is to make sure that linger about. The digital experience of convenience, speed, customer reviews, recommendations, and the kind of Amazon style recommendations of people like you who bought this item, also like this. That kind of cross-selling actually elevates our expectations on the consumer experience. So that once consumers do invest the time to go into a place like the Stables, they actually do have very, very high expectations on the customer experience. And they want to be wowed when they hang out in a space like this, where you can really hang out for a whole day, exploring various facets of consumer retail, the media, as well as some really, really good food.
That's a little bit of food for thought for retailers as you think about how you want to create a space and place where people hang out, so that you don't lose all your business to the online disruptions.