Glue's double-level brand buffet is a retail playground you won't want to leave
With online shopping putting retail in a shakier position than ever, bricks-and-mortar stores need to up their game. Want to see what the future of retail looks like? Just take a visit to Superglue. It’s inside Emporium, and you can’t miss it.
The double-storey, 1000-square-metre buffet of big brands is an extension of Sydney-based company Glue. If you’ve visited the Glue store in Melbourne Central and QV, then you’ll know it as a hub of casual men’s and women’s brands, ranging from the the casual, sporty G-Star, Henley’s. Le Coq Sportif, Ben Sherman and Academy Brand to the wispier Mink Pink, Finders Keepers and All About Eve.
To these brands, the third Australian Superglue store adds labels including British women’s designer Miss Selfridge, Camilla and Marc’s diffusion line C&M, and Dutch jeansmiths Denham. It's a similar layout to the Superglue of Highpoint – just even bigger.
And that’s just what you can buy. Stepping into Superglue on the basement level feels like entering a grab-bag of manufactured cool: to your right, a bearded hipster spruiks sneakers (including those rubber Converses you’ve heard about). Mounted fixies adorn the back wall. A chupa-chup machine is wedged between two couches and a coffee table. Lattes are served at the internal café, which you’re encouraged to hang out in and to use their free wi-fi. Near the back of the store, a DJ spins tunes from a vinyl cave, where records are also available to purchase. Hear that faint whirring sound? It’s the denim specialist from Denham, tailoring your perfect jeans, à la Brunswick’s Dejour. Following you upstairs is a huge, multi-coloured mural by Sydney artist Shannon Crees, with more artwork on the second floor, which is available for purchase (if you’ve got a cool $1000 to spare).
This ‘experience’-based concept isn’t new: the low-lit, thumping-bass trend began with stores like the US’s Abercrombie & Fitch, or the UK’s Topshop (which, incidentally, is owned by the same parent company as Glue). Call it over-the-top, but the retail theme-park vibe here does make it dangerous easy to keep shopping. Thankfully, the quality and breadth of brands here means that even if you do drop a week’s pay here, you know you’ve shopped well.