Known as The TDE Apartment, the 120 square-metre store is organised into four distinct areas – a bedroom, bathroom, sitting room and study – featuring luxurious fixtures and furnishings, including Italian terrazzo marble, brass detailing and designer lighting. Meanwhile, TDE staff wear sophisticated uniforms custom designed by Australian designer Christopher Esber.
Almost everything in the store is available for purchase, from the artwork on the walls to the contents of the wardrobe, thanks to TDE’s partnerships with fashion and homewares brands and independent artists.
This is in addition to TDE’s own line of handbags and accessories, which are displayed both on custom-built shelving and in situ throughout the apartment.
Conceptualised by TDE co-founder and CEO Alyce Tran and designed by Josh Cain and Lily Goodwin of Pattern Studio, the store is intended to immerse customers in the brand’s aesthetic and point of view, rather than simply drive transactions.
“I want to create an experience and a reason for people to come and shop with us. If customers just want a standard shopping experience, where they add to cart, don’t talk to anyone and check out, it’s easy to get that online. But if customers make the effort to drive to a shopping centre, pay for parking and walk into your store, I think you need to offer something more,” Tran told IRW.
The new Sydney store is part of a global retail concept that TDE started rolling out in September, when it opened a standalone store featuring a lounge room design in New York City. It has also recreated a penthouse bar for a store that will open in Melbourne’s Chadstone Shopping Centre at the end of November. Next, it will open a store with a courtyard format in Los Angeles.
Together, the Sydney master suite, New York lounge room, Melbourne bar and LA courtyard form The TDE Apartment.
“We’ve always created a range of lifestyle products. We’ve always had a desk [accessories] range. So creating a store like this is just putting those products in context,” Tran said.
TDE has also partnered with brands in order to stock the full range of household items required for an apartment. For instance, it offers beauty products from supermodel Jessica Gomes, linen bedding from Sydney brand In Bed, clothing from New York-based women’s fashion designer brand Tome and artwork from independent artists like Caroline Walls. The items are also available online via a TDE microsite.
“It’s really cool to bring a whole house of products together and be able to support other businesses,” Tran said.
TDE itself started off as an online-only leather goods retailer, before venturing offline at the beginning of 2016 with a concession in David Jones. In March of this year, Oroton Group took a 30 per cent stake in the handbag business, which recently reported $23 million in sales in FY17.
This article first appeared in Inside Retail Weekly magazine.
Access exclusive analysis, locked news and reports with Inside Retail Weekly. Subscribe today and get our premium print publication delivered to your door every week.