Store Review

RH Chicago

…and relax

A change of scenery is sometimes needed to rediscover just how much we love home. For US retailer Restoration Hardware, its stunning new store has not only reinvigorated the building it calls home, but is also redefining how we interact with physical retail spaces.

Much has been written about the need for retailers to restore the relevance of physical spaces. How about creating a store that you would want to live in?

The latest store (if that indeed is even the right term) from luxury home furnishing retailer, Restoration Hardware, does not anchor a mall, but a neighbourhood. It is located in the historic and now beautifully restored Three Arts Club. Originally developed as a place for young women to study the performing and visual arts, it lay derelict for over 20 years.

You can describe RH Chicago, but really have to see it

The stated aim of RH is to blur the lines between residential and retail. The result of this particularly Restoration goes one step further. Having closed its existing store on North Avenue and relocated to one of the city’s least commercial neighbourhoods, RH Chicago has created a truly captivating crossover store, blurring the lines between retail, hospitality, and home.

You can describe RH Chicago, but really have to see it. In almost every respect, it is not a retail space: this is not about the product. Instead, it’s about a social and sensory experience. Everything you can see, you can buy. Everywhere you can sit, you can eat. The result genuinely makes you pause – to imagine new things, to think about the way you want to live, the way we eat, as well as to consider the way we want to interact—socially and with our retail spaces.

Make no mistake: you will not stumble upon this place while out shopping. There is no passing footfall. This is true destination retail – delivered in the finest, and most intriguing way possible. Its success is proof, if needed, that shoppers will travel for a great experience. Above all, RH Chicago demonstrates that to succeed in modern retail, sometimes you have to be brave

This article is taken from issue 3 of Counter Culture, our free digital magazine.


By Karl McKeever

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