A Day’s March has expanded and updated its flagship store in central Stockholm. We speak to co-founder and Creative Director Pelle Lundquist about retail post pandemic – and why he believes that it is far from dead.
When the basement floor below the A Day’s March flagship store on Kungsgatan 3 in Stockholm became available in the early spring of 2020 there was no hesitation on the next move. The address in central Stockholm is where it all started and the heart of the brand. ”This location means everything to us – it is the spine of the brand – the beginning of our journey and where our first customers got to know us” says co-founder and Creative Director Pelle Lundquist. ”Being able to expand on the same address was a dream come true."
Adding a women's collection and expanding in the middle of a pandemic seemed crazy to some, but the plan went ahead. ”People kept talking about the death of retail – but even in a pandemic, we strongly believe in our strategy – that our brand should not only exist online but need to be complemented with physical stores where we can show our quality and meet our customers,” Lundquist says.
Set over two floors, the store went from 70 to 350 square metres in total. Everything from floorplans to the custom made furniture have been designed in-house by Lundquist and interior architect Daniel Braconier. The design has been based on the building’s original features, including restoring vaulted ceilings that were previously hidden. The centerpiece is the new staircase that connects the store's two floors. The eight-meter-high room, clad in blue tiles, is inspired by the nearby Hötorget subway station. ”To me Hötorget brings many memories; this was my stop when travelling from the suburb I grew up in to the city. It was like a blue portal opening up to everything fun Stockholm offered as a kid,” Lundquist says adding that their first studio was also located here. ”We thought these were nice symbolic values to bring to the store.”
In the basement, a striking feature is a six-meter-wide artwork made of heavy upholstery fabrics where illustrator Daniel Carlsten has interpreted the A Day’s March name. There is also art curated by friend and chairman of the board, Michael Storåkers, who also happens to be an art advisor.
”We try to make each shop unique since we believe that being personal is an important pillar for our brand. We believe in the meetings in the store where we can get to know our customers in real life, and where they get to know us,” Lundquist says.
So, what will happen to these physical meetings, post pandemic? Will we return to normal, or are we seeing the death of retail after all? According to Lundquist, people will increasingly shop online, but physical spaces will become more important to showcase the brand identity since it’s easier to understand a brand in a physical context. Our stores are both profitable and have a high impact on how the brand is perceived. ”We still see a flexible way of shopping; some people want to touch and feel the clothes in store and then make the purchase online, or vice versa,” Lundquist says, and adds that after the pandemic people will most likely feel a longing for all that the city has to offer, whether it is visiting restaurants, cafés, museums or shops. ”When it comes down to it, the physical meeting means everything to humans.”