Bottomless pockets and extremely good contacts with the landlord are required in most major global retail districts to pull off a concept such as ‘By’ in Shanghai profitably.
Using space flexibly and creatively is a common dream of brands. It is not a new idea to mix offerings, switch concepts and curate new collections frequently in a pop-up fashion in various locations, or as in the case of By, in one location at Soho Fuxing Plaza in Shanghai.
Looking at the vast space of 815 square metres (8,2 sq.ft) it just seems unthinkable in high-rent cities such as New York or London to make a profit this way.
However, with its population of 26million, Shanghai is not like any other city, and within the brick-and-mortar retail world, size seems to matter there more than anything else. The bigger, the better.
And making a profit off this space is not the main goal here. Clearly, the streetwear online retailer By is testing the waters with a physical location as are so many other e-tailers.
‘By’ is also asserting and expressing the brand’s high-energy streetwear vibe, and attempting to engage its core customers with more opportunities to participate and express their fandom.
Shanghai and Kuala Lumpur-based architecture and design firm Spacemen designed the envelope space to be as flexible as possible.
They used various floor and wall materials to suggest division, but the main area is open and wall-less.
Flexible structures are used to set up various events, and to accommodate different products – including the initial clothing and Bearbrick displays.
Industrial vibes and construction material elements are suggested by the aluminum pipes and the 600 reclaimed shipping pallets – all easily moved and quickly reconfigured for new events and set-ups. Tuija Seipell.