Chain Store Age Announces 2018 Breakout Retailers Awards Winners

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The class of 2018 features five forward-thinking brands that are redefining their industry segments, and includes two digitally native retailers successfully extending their brands offline.

Chain Store Age Breakout Retailers 2018

Chain Store Age Breakout Retailers 2018

“Retailers have to go the extra mile to succeed in today’s highly competitive and disrupted marketplace,” said Marianne Wilson, editor-in-chief, Chain Store Age. “In their own unique way, each of the five winning brands are doing just that."

Chain Store Age, the leading source of news and analysis for retail executives, is proud to announce the winners of the Breakout Retailers Awards of 2018.

The annual awards, selected by the editorial board of Chain Store Age, honor emerging retail/restaurant concepts that are innovative and show strong potential for growth. The class of 2018 features five forward-thinking brands that are redefining their industry segments, and includes two digitally native retailers successfully extending their brands offline.

“Retailers have to go the extra mile to succeed in today’s highly competitive and disrupted marketplace,” said Marianne Wilson, editor-in-chief, Chain Store Age. “In their own unique way, each of the five winning brands are doing just that. They are also alike in their ability to engage and delight customers, online, in store or both.”

The winners will be honored at Chain Store Age’s annual SPECS Show (March 18-20, 2018, Gaylord Texan, Dallas). Heritage Fire and Security is the sponsor of this year’s Breakout Retailers Awards.

Here are the winners (listed in alpabetical order):

INDOCHINO

A digitally-native brand, Indochino offers made-to-measure suits and shirts with thousands of customization options. The company opened its first permanent retail space in fall 2015 and has since expanded to 20 locations, with 12 in the U.S. and eight in Canada.

Indochino’s brick-and-mortar format brings its online personalization experience to life in a contemporary, stylish-looking space that reflects its overall brand aesthetic. The company plans to open 18 locations in 2018, with a goal of opening 100 during the next decade.

PUNCH BOWL SOCIAL

Not everyone goes to a restaurant just to eat and drink. Some people want to play games too — especially Millennials. That’s part of the appeal of Punch Bowl Social, an expanding player in the “eatertainment” category. Launched in 2012, Punch Bowl Social combines diner-inspired, made-from-scratch food and craft beverages with an array of social games and activities (bowling, Ping-Pong, Skee-Ball, karaoke rooms, shuffleboard, and more).

The Punch Bowl environment is playful and visually dazzling, with Victorian, mid-century modern and industrial design details. With 11 locations to date, the company currently has six new locations in the works, including its Northeast debut, in Brooklyn, New York.

SHINOLA

Founded by Tom Kartsotis, former chairman and chief executive of Fossil, Shinola is best known for its expertly crafted and well-designed “Built in Detroit” watches, bicycles, and leather goods — an aesthetic that extends to its expanding lineup of lifestyle products, with the most recent addition being a line of audio headphones. The same aesthetic applies to its stores, which are designed as stylish lifestyle destinations that also reflect the vibe of their locale.

Shinola has grown from its Detroit hometown to 33 locations nationwide (and an e-commerce site), with some goods also sold at select U.S. retailers. It will open a branded-hotel in Detroit later this year, and plans to keep growing until it hits a sweet spot of around 75 to 100 locations.

SWEETGREEN

Sweetgreen offers a healthy and customizable take on fast-food eating — with the added bonus of seasonal dishes and sustainable sourcing. The restaurants are designed to emphasize the chain’s food transparency, its healthy, cook-from-scratch focus and local community orientation. Sweetgreen’s embrace of technology includes a no-cash policy, an online ordering platform and a strong mobile presence. It even has its own video channel on YouTube.

With some 80 locations and the trend to healthy eating only accelerating, Sweetgreen sees plenty of room for national expansion.

UNTUCKit

A simple idea — men’s shirts designed to be worn untucked — proved the taking off point for UNTUCKit, which has expanded its lineup to include boy’s and women’s offerings and additional men’s items. Mirroring its strategy online, the brand’s growth in physical retail — it opened its first store in 2015 — has benefitted from high-touch customer service. Associates help customers choose from the selection of “try-on” sample shirts on display. When the customer has decided on the style, size and fit, the associate retrieves the fresh item for purchase.

With approximately 25 locations and an e-commerce site, UNTUCKit plans to double its store count by the end of 2018.

For more information about Chain Store Age's Breakout Retailers Awards, contact Marianne Wilson at mwilson@chainstoreage.com. For more information about attending SPECS Show, visit http://www.specsshow.com.

About Chain Store Age

Chain Store Age is the leading source of news and analysis for retail executives, reporting on and analyzing trends and strategies in all areas of retail, including technology, operations, marketing, finance, real estate, store design, construction and facilities management.

In addition to a print magazine, Chain Store Age offers a variety of digital products, including a content-rich web site, a daily e-newsletter and weekly category-specific newsletters, and webinars. It also produces the annual SPECS Show, the premier industry event for retail and restaurant store design, construction and facilities.

Chain Store Age was founded in 1925.

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