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San Francisco Retail

Later this year the International Retail Design Conference returns to San Francisco, and I’m already looking forward to the opportunity to show visiting colleagues and clients around my city. In fact, when IRDC’s director, Kristin Zeit, recently visited to scout locations for September’s events, I gave her some ideas about must-see shops and restaurants around San Francisco. A casual poll of my colleagues in Gensler San Francisco’s retail design studio started a fun conversation about the eclectic combination of classic, trendy, historic, modern, elegant and entertaining spaces that surround us. We’ve listed some of our favorite sources of inspiration – retail stores that successfully build loyalty by engaging their customers with unique and authentic brand experiences. Whether in San Francisco or your own home town, what are your favorites?

Forever 21, 7 Powell Street (pictured above)
Three floors of the hip, modern retailer inserted within the historic One Powell building. The contrast between the ornate of the past with the pizzaz of the present is a must see.

Elizabeth W, 900 North Point Street
Small and cozy, a soft and beautiful space with a pleasant “touch and smell” shopping experience.

Kara’s Cupcakes, 3249 Scott Street
A sophisticated twist on an old fashioned favorite and all the products are baked fresh daily from local and organic ingredients.

Barneys New York, 77 O’Farrell Street
Each location is unique and the San Francisco store doesn’t disappoint. "If you are a nice person and work hard, you get to go shopping at Barneys. It's the decadent reward." - Sarah Jessica Parker.

Agent Provocateur, 54 Geary Street
This pink and black boutique offers the most sophisticated of “unmentionables” where every shopper feels like a Bond girl.

Flight 001, 525 Hayes Street
This quirky travel store located in Hayes Valley is known for its trendy atmosphere and collection of chic shops, restaurants, and boutiques.

826 Valencia, 826 Valencia Street
This is an actual pirate store located within a non-profit writing center for kids and teens in the city’s Mission neighborhood with its very own blowfish aquarium.

Black Fleece by Brooks Brothers, 2223 Fillmore Street
As one of only two freestanding Black Fleece stores (SF + NYC), this is the hipper face to Brooks Brothers.

Paul Smith, 50 Geary Street
A striking mix of mid century modern and traditional turn of the century design, drawing inspiration from the Geary Street 1950’s façade, and brick face of the back entrance on Maiden Lane.

Ferry Building Marketplace, 1 Ferry Building
A must see for visitors to SF, this emporium of shops, restaurants, and kiosks focuses on food + wine and a foodie lifestyle. Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays offer some of the country’s best organic farmers markets. While you’re here, be sure to check out Gensler’s design for the McEvoy Ranch Store, too!

Big Daddy’s Antiques, 1550 17th Street
Unique one-of-a-kind items presented with flair and originality in a large open warehouse space in the Potrero Hill neighborhood. Not only are the items amazing and seductive to buy, but the visual merchandising is top notch.

Restoration Hardware, 188 Henry Adams Street
Located in San Francisco’s design district, this is not your typical Restoration Hardware. Occupying the former Ed Hardy Antiques showroom, this indoor/outdoor expression of the brand’s new design direction is not to be missed.

Michael Bodziner is a leader of Gensler’s global retail practice and principal in our San Francisco office. Constantly researching retail’s interrelation with society, economy and human emotional response, Michael is an advocate for authentic experiences that enrich the lives of both consumers and retailers. As a convergent thinker, he incorporates lessons learned from Gensler’s hospitality, branding and entertainment practices to create holistic retail environments. Contact him at michael_bodziner@gensler.com.

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  • Response
    Response: top eleven
    San Francisco Retail - Lifestyle Strategy and Design - Gensler
  • Response
    Wow all those outfits looks amazing. It's a pleasure to visit this retail market located in sanfransico. I really wish i would go there for better shopping to my family. Thanks for each and every details on the streets and address. It's quite easy to locate.

Reader Comments (1)

I wish I was coming for the conference just to check out your recommendations!
05.2.2011 | Unregistered CommenterKEK

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