Business_news The North Face just opened a new kind of store for outdoors enthusiasts, and it was made to smell like Yosemite


The North Face store in Soho, Manhattan.

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  • The North Face is revamping its global physical store strategy, debuting a new aesthetic starting with its store in Soho, Manhattan. The interactive store is centered on “base camps for exploration,” with differentiated spaces depending on activity type and apparel needs.
  • The North Face has also put a concerted effort into spotlighting its heritage and sustainability efforts, which are evident throughout the store.
  • We took a tour of the new space and learned about the inspiration for the refreshed concept.
  • Visit business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The North Face is rolling out a refreshed global retail concept, debuting its “basecamps for exploration” approach with a new 8,000-square-foot store in the heart of Manhattan’s shopping district.

On Friday, the outdoor retailer opened the doors to its new store in Soho, a sprawling, two-story location that reflects The North Face’s increased efforts around sustainability and celebrating its heritage.

Mark Parker, vice president of direct to consumer at The North Face, said the retailer was methodical in developing the new aesthetic, which integrates flourishes like chairs made out of recycled duffle bags, as well as a specially formulated scent intended to smell like a visit to Yosemite National Park.

Read more: Urbanites are dropping hundreds of dollars on hiking clothes — and it’s fueling explosive success for Patagonia and The North Face

“Instead of only providing a seamless consumer experience, which used to be the sole purpose of the store, now the purpose is to inspire and enable experiences, because that’s where we were born back in ’66,” Parker said. “That’s our heritage. We were born on a mountain and adopted by the city.”

The New York City location is the first in a forthcoming series of global renovations, which The North Face plans to roll out to each of its stores by 2024.

Parker took us on a tour of the store in advance of its official opening on August 9. Here’s what we saw.

Business_news The new North Face store in Soho, Manhattan, marks the debut of the brand’s new store strategy, which will be replicated across all global physical retail locations.

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The 8,000-square-foot Soho store is located on Broadway, which is one of the busiest parts of Manhattan in terms of foot traffic. Revamped Seattle and Cherry Hill, New Jersey, stores will open in the coming weeks, followed by locations in Europe this fall.

Business_news As soon as we entered the store, our eye was drawn to a gleaming light-up display of classic North Face styles, positioned in front of the company’s tagline, “Never stop exploring.”

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The store also has a distinct, refreshing smell. Parker explained that the scent was specially developed for The North Face to evoke the “smell of Yosemite.”

Business_news The new store is heavily focused on spotlighting The North Face’s storied history, including this replica of an early-stage design of the logo. The brand is named after the coldest and most unforgiving side of a mountain.

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“We really focused on our heritage and what you see is really part base camp, part archives,” Parker said. “It’s very different than a normal retail experience you would have felt at our previous stores.”

Business_news The store features several displays honoring the beloved items of The North Face’s founders and athletes, including the original duffel bag used by the Canadian rock climber Peter Croft.

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Business_news Also on the first floor, we found the sleeping bag used by rock climber Emily Harrington after especially challenging conditions rendered her immobile on the face of a mountain overnight.

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Business_news The North Face releases a small capsule collection each year as part of the Walls Are Meant For Climbing initiative, seen here.

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Business_news The store has essentials like the Denali fleece, as well as new features like individual booths with mirrors for shoppers to try on apparel and hooks to hang their bags and belongings.

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Business_news The first floor also includes a robust collection of bags and duffels in a wide variety of sizes and colors.

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Business_news The North Face has made a concerted effort to enhance its sustainability efforts to be on par with competitors and environmentally friendly leaders like Patagonia.

Bethany Biron/Business Insider

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