The Worlds first store to ever sell emotions. A few seedy locations in soho may well challenge that but nevertheless, this is a bold claim. Not the 'Worlds first' part, the 'selling emotions' part. Could this blacked out retail unit in Chelsea, NYC, really sell emotions? Lets see.
Step inside and we're greeted by an unexpected coolness. This definitely isn't a dodgy sex shop. A white box with flora and colour everywhere. Wonderfully propped with Manhattan style art and bell-domes neatly arranged on a long, slick white table. And the smell...the smell is hard to pin point as there seems to be a collision of tones in the air but its nice. Its warming and ever so slightly homely.
A host greets us with the uncanny NYC charm, asks us to sign in and register our bar code. Then we're introduced to Katie and Mel who lift one bell-dome at a time, explain each smell and teach us how to smell the different scents.
After this we are walked to a circular space with 5 doors. A bit Alice like and equally intriguing. Each room has been set with a theme. Relax, Flirty. Slightly cheesy but fitting. Step in to each room and there is a unique smell, each with photo opportunities for you to capture the essence of the room and embrace mood.
In fairness, the fun was over after the second room. The rooms become overpowering and your nostels felt abused. Not that that stopped SJR getting half naked in an attempt to win a prize that didn't exist. The experience over and yes, I did feel different and had certainly felt emotional at times. But where was the sell? Where was the trade of emotions for some other commodity?
It was only when we went to leave that we flicked through a book on the side and then realised who and what product was behind it all. And what a surprise. Totally unexpected.
. Glade candles. The store was selling candles! Now I'm not a candle type of guy but wow, I'd buy of the back of this. We love this kind of disruption. Flat out bonkers but relevant. A totally different way to sell candles, not just a new logo or new brand.
So is the claim justified? Its pushing it a bit so questionable. Was it an amazingly unexpected immersive experience that blew our minds? Hell yeah! Truly original and wonderfully executed. Only addition we'd add? Have a separate route out so as not to give it away on entry and display the product for grab and go purchases. You'd make a killing.
Hats off to Glade for one of the best and most unexpected finds on Manhattan.