A “store-in-store” is how Strand marketing manager Lilly Widen described the new book shop inside Club Monaco’s flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York City. The famous used-and-antiquarian Manhattan bookstore has partnered with the clothing retailer on a new concept that combines the main product—the clothes—with other lifestyle add-ons. In addition to books, there is a cafe run by Brooklyn brewer Toby’s Estate. Widen said Club Monaco approached the Strand with the concept early in 2013, because, in part, it was expanding its New York flagship. The Strand, which inked a one-year contract with Club Monaco, has not signed on to do any other store-in-store ventures, but Widen said this effort gives the bookstore the chance to “explore the Flatiron neighborhood” (where it has never had a presence), and test selling books in another retailer’s space. On Club Monaco’s end, the books help in taking its five brand pillars—fashion, food, travel, music, and art—and integrating them more fully into the bricks-and-mortar experience.
The Strand’s Club Monaco store, which opened in September and is decked out for the holidays, carries 2,500 books, and 700 different titles, in both fiction and nonfiction. The store is stocked entirely by Strand staff, and there are usually two booksellers on the floor at any time.