LSKD, National The LSKD BAF (Big As ****) bus is not your typical double-decker automobile. Rather, it’s a vibrant and innovative addition to the LSKD sportswear brand, which is taking the brand on the road and across the country as part of its “Chase The Vibe Tour”. The brainchild of LSKD’s head of design Dylan Osborne, the concept came to life when the brand purchased the 1970s double-decker bus that once served as ‘The Love Bus’ in Byron Bay. Following a refurb, th
rb, the BAF bus is now complete with air-conditioning, comfortable couches, functional workout spaces, a full sound system, with eight speakers, a subwoofer, and LED lighting strips, and exclusive LSKD products. It has two distinct zones. The lower deck doubles as a retail store, replete with a TV, couch, and fridge, while the upper deck offers a relaxed atmosphere with bean bags, massage guns, and compression boots for recovery sessions. The bus is aiming to strengthen the brand’s connection with fitness and other communities across Australia, making appearances at gyms, community events, run clubs, boot camps, fitness centres, fundraisers, and wherever it can park. Meanwhile, LSKD recently opened its eighth retail store at Westfield Carindale in Queensland, which received its biggest store opening to date. R.M. Williams, Adelaide R.M. Williams has unveiled its South Australian flagship store at the iconic Rundle Mall, paying homage to over 130 years of Adelaide retail history. Designed in collaboration with renowned Australian designers ACRD, the 227sqm flagship uses artisan and bespoke details throughout. It also offers dedicated sections for each of R.M. Williams’ product categories, with a highlight being a curved boot wall inspired by the shape of an R.M. Williams boot’s heel. With ambient lighting, earthy tones and homey fixtures, R.M. Williams has endeavoured to create a warm and inviting shopping experience for customers. Other store details include locally produced furniture and joinery, wool carpeting from New Zealand, textural wall detailing with bricks by Krause – a family operated brickmaker hailing from Victoria – and custom-made display units that include showcase shelving and leather-lined drawers. Craftsmanship and sustainability is also at the centre of the new Adelaide flagship, with furniture supplied by Melbourne-based business Made By Morgen. There are also pieces made from Hydrowood, a sustainable timber collected from a drowned forest in Tasmania. Ralph Lauren, Victoria High-end fashion brand Ralph Lauren has recently unveiled its latest offering – a Polo Ralph Lauren store in Melbourne’s Highpoint Shopping Centre. The elegant new store is set to provide new and existing customers with key pieces from the brand’s Spring/Summer 2023 collections, which have been crafted for men and women. The Highpoint flagship underscores Ralph Lauren’s commitment to growing its bricks-and-mortar store network within Australia. This is consistent with the brand’s global growth strategy, which is focused on value creation while also cultivating sustainable and long-term international growth. Alongside the new Highpoint store, the brand announced the launch of its new Polo shop at Queensland’s Westfield Chermside Mall. It follows openings at Sydney’s Pitt Street and Chadstone Shopping Centre’s premium area, and a stand-alone store in Sydney’s The Rocks. The newly designed stores will reflect the brand’s classic American style – for which it has become well known – while also consolidating its presence across Australia. New Balance, Sydney New Balance’s new concept store in Bondi Junction, Sydney, is at the forefront of the brand’s expansion strategy in Australia. It is also meticulously designed to enhance the brand’s positioning and promote its core philosophy – which is to resonate with young audiences and to be at the intersection of sport, style and culture. What sets this store apart from competitors is its deliberate design. It seeks to minimise overstocking and clutter, prioritising open spaces and thoughtfully curated product displays. This is in service of creating a calmer shopping experience. Another point of difference is the absence of digital screens inside the store. This decision was informed by feedback from over 5,000 customers, who expressed a desire for a less tech-saturated shopping experience. Moreover, the Bondi store endeavours to emphasise community and connection. At the centre of the new store is a circular area with opposite-facing seating. This encourages customers to interact with one another and remove the all-encompassing pressure to make a transaction. Beyond the new store, New Balance’s strategic plan for Australia includes the opening of 18 concept stores over the next three years, as well as a ‘grey store’, which promotes exclusive and premium lifestyle products. With one grey store in each country, it will feature products that aren’t available for purchase elsewhere. Luxury Escapes, Melbourne Luxury Escapes’ new Chadstone Shopping Centre store aims to transform the travel booking process, and alter its perception as a barrier to overcome in enjoying an upcoming holiday. Luxury Escapes seeks to distinguish itself through focus on luxury as part of the travel retail process. The 400sqm store goes above and beyond, featuring elevated visual displays and offerings including, but not limited to, barista-made coffee, French champagne, a lavish six-star bar and a VIP events space that caters to special occasions and celebrations. The store also blends cutting-edge technology with face-to-face interaction. Customers can engage with a team of travel experts who provide advice, guidance and tailored recommendations. Meanwhile, Luxury Escapes’ trip planner technology streamlines the booking process, allowing travel consultants to assist customers in-store or online at a later date. At its core, this new location embodies the brand’s belief that the booking process should reflect the enthusiasm and joy of the actual trip. It also reflects Luxury Escapes’ commitment to providing the best in travel, from the moment you book until you return home. CEO and co-founder Adam Schwab says the retail concept “offers a truly elevated experience that combines the best of both the physical and digital worlds”. Acler, Sydney Minimalist fashion brand Acler recently announced the launch of its new store inside the Strand Arcade. The location provides customers with a more tactile and immersive experience to complement its e-commerce presence. The bricks-and-mortar store enhances Acler’s omnichannel aspirations,working hand in hand with online commerce to boost brand awareness. The shop also signifies Acler’s evolution after almost a decade in operation, crafting a physical space for shoppers to explore their meticulously crafted pieces. A key feature of the new store is the presentation of the brand’s signature three-dimensional draping techniques, which allows customers to engage with the craftsmanship on display and that is said to underpin each piece. Acler has also expanded its product categories, entering new areas such as bridal and jewellery. At the new store, staff will be on hand to guide customers through fabrications, fit and design details, with monthly arrivals of new styles and versatile delivery options ensuring a comprehensive shopping experience. Customers can also resolve online returns inside the Strand flagship. This story first appeared in the November 2023 issue of Inside Retail Australia magazine.