The Best Flagship Stores

Megan Hotson


Physical environments matter. 

While digital commerce remains hugely influential, brick-and-mortar stores still dominate.

And with many customers preferring to interact with brands IRL there is a huge opportunity to create spaces that are a physical extension of your brand.

Here at The One Off, we have tasked the team with picking their favourite and most memorable flagship experiences. From across sectors and countries we unpack the most impressive physical retail spots to know.  

James Hanson – Managing Director

Nike House of Innovation – Paris 📍 


The key here is focus on experience, which is even greater than any previous Nike flagships.  

The level of investment in temporary campaign spaces to create amazing experiences makes the store feel different every time you visit, and Nike have expertly considered who is shopping and how frequently.  

In comparison to older, more cluttered flagships, the level of O2O integration makes it super simple to actually come away with a physical product. 

Apple – Mall of the Emirates, Dubai 📍 


What at first glance appears to be a standard Apple store, opens up to reveal the most breath-taking view of the Berj Kalifa (and certainly one of the best angles to photograph it – on your iPhone of course).  

The store’s location and view create an incredibly emotive response that means that the visit to store stays in the memory much longer than others.  

 Lego – London 📍 


The iconic Leicester Square store offers interactivity centred around product personalisation and delivered in a really simple way.  

There is a brilliant link through to local culture with large scale ‘selfie moment’ props and gamification offered through the Lego passport initiative.  

The store also provides a great physical test bed for new innovations and technology.  

Louis Vuitton – Ginza 📍  


With the impressive glass façade, it is hard to think of another store globally that gives such a ‘wow’ factor from just the exterior.  

The store was also the first to include a café concept, of which the menu was created by a Tokyo local providing both a local cultural connection and a reason for people to visit who aren’t in the market for a luxury bag.  

Phil Rowberry – Executive Creative Director   

Dior – Paris 📍


Recently renovated, the Paris store is a space which mixes retail, culture, art and hospitality. I particularly like the gallery’s beautiful white spiral staircase surrounded by vibrantly coloured iconic products from their past.  

Puma – New York 📍 


The store puts experience first – letting visitors train with their favourite sports stars in the Skill Cube, race F1 drivers in the professional simulators and tourists can shop NY only product hauls curated for visitors to the city.  

Lush – London 📍 


This shout out is mainly because of the Lush store staff – they are particularly helpful and passionate about the products and provide brilliant information and guidance to customers.  

Converse – Soho, New York 📍 


An older store, but this doesn’t diminish its impressive nature. The Converse brand have a deep understanding of who they are and inject their DNA into their stores. They use their product in a creative and expressive way to create statement and sculptural pieces.  

Rich Collier – 3D Creative Partner  

Nike House of Innovation – New York 📍 


This huge store hinges on fashion forward lifestyle credentials and a commitment to athletic performance. The customisation zone for example allows customers to select colours, laces, patches and tongue tags for shoes ready for collection or shopping a week later.  

The upper floor has the largest collection of Nike shoes in a single store and customers are given the opportunity to book personal styling sessions.  

Samsung 837- New York 📍 


Taking experiential and hybrid retailing to the next level – Samsung’s New York flagship focusses on trialling, entertainment, local connections and immersive play.  

The three-storey space is dominated by 'The Screen'. The store-height set of 55" digital screens hosts branded content and film screenings, while a 'Selfie Station' lets shoppers broadcast photos of themselves on the big screen. 

Samsung also hosts events ranging from Oscar-night movie screenings to neighbourhood jogs. There's also a café, created in partnership with local food and coffee brands. 

Charlotte Hurd – Research Director  

Neighborhood Goods – New York 📍 


Conceived as a local hangout, these spaces showcase direct-to-consumer brands, both established and new, in pop-up shops straddling fashion, beauty, homeware and electricals.  

Shoppers can use the personalised app to find out more, shop the product and then order a glass of wine to mull over their purchases.  

A future facing department store, it is a full spectrum space with events, podcast recordings, a restaurant, and co-working space.  

Starbucks Roastery – Milan 📍 


For coffee lovers, Starbucks had a job to ensure their high-end roastery concept would work. The space is a celebration of the city’s coffee traditions and combines an elegant tasting room with a state-of-the-art Roastery.  

The space offers something for everyone, any time of day. From the main café to the mezzanine bar customers can discover Starbucks drinks whilst learning more about the history of the brand.  

Anya Hindmarch – London 📍 


Post pandemic, Anya Hindmarch bought Londoners together with the launch of her Chelsea based community.  

At the heart of the village is the Anya Cafe, the perfect place to grab a coffee and a Hindmarch inspired pastry before visiting The Plastic Shop, The Labelled Shop and The Bespoke Shop.  

The Village Hall is however the most impressive element – embodying different creative concepts and collaborations every few months. The space has been home to a hair salon, a pet grooming concept and most recently an ice cream parlour.  

Ikea – Szczecin 📍 


In 2020, Ikea opened a brilliant concept in Western Poland as a placeholder for their full flagship launch. Dubbed the ‘House of Tomorrow’ the core aim was to show consumers the possibilities for eco-friendly interiors within the parameters of existing spaces and materials.  

It included a relaxation area, a ‘house farm’ with a vegetable and mushroom garden and a kitchen, where plant-based dishes are concocted during workshops.  

The brand also amplified a social agenda, inviting locals to attend forums with city officials and waste specialists.  

Simon Gittus – 3D Design Director  

Galeries Lafayette – Champs Elysées 📍 


The store has a particularly impressive showcase entrance and central space which is both impactful and engaging. These guys really know how to scale down the department store and present customers with product in an innovative way.  

Bailey’s Home 📍 


An impressive independent ‘flagship’ in the Cotswolds – selling everything gorgeous! Their focus on sustainable living makes it easy to come away with something new every time.  

Selfridges – London 📍 


Selfridges show everyone how to do retail. They have remained relevant and interesting for well over 100 years.  

From their gaming destination to the ever-changing corner store – they are forever expanding and evolving to suit consumer needs.  

Meg Hotson – Research Executive 

Glossier - London 📍 


Glossier's London store is nestled in London’s historic Covent Garden. With its minimalist and Instagram-worthy aesthetic, the store showcases Glossier's cult-favourite skincare and makeup products.  

Customers can test and try the products, receive personalised recommendations from knowledgeable staff, and immerse themselves in the brand's inclusive and empowering beauty philosophy. A personal highlight of mine is the conveyer belt in-store, which delivers your purchase to you in a separate room once ordered through a member of staff. 

AESOP - London (Regent Street) 📍 


AESOP's store on London’s iconic Regent Street embodies the brand's commitment to simplicity and quality.  

Known for its luxurious skincare products, the store's sleek and minimalist design reflects AESOP's ethos. With its warm , ambient, and inviting atmosphere, the stores atmosphere is a stark juxtaposition from the hustle and bustle of such a busy location in the city’s centre. 

The brand offers a personalised skincare consultation experience allowing customers to explore the brand's range of botanical-based products. Visitors can also book 1-1 beauty appointments in the floor below shop level; customers travel down to lower level using an elevator, which moves slower than usual to give the impression it is taking you further underground. This is one of many added details which helps create a relaxing, and unique customer journey. 

Uniqlo – London (Covent Garden) 📍 


Uniqlo’s newest London location is situated in Covent Garden. The brand has taken over a grade II-listed former Victorian carriage hall, which features an open courtyard and vaulted glass atrium.  

Inside, there is not only a wide range of Uniqlo products and accessories to browse, but a repair, reuse and customisation area, a T-shirt design station, and the brand’s first in-store café with a dedicated rooftop area to sit and enjoy a refreshment.  

This stores also features a plant and flower pop-up with brand JamJar, offering potted plants, flower presses and prints. 

There is a great use of storytelling throughout the store, with a special feature wall dedicated to items trending on TikTok, demonstrating the brands continued social relevance and growing popularity amongst GenZ. 

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