In Manhattan shops come and go all the time. Still, it was with surprise that New Yorkers watched the swift transformation of a retail space in Union Square from wine store to Puma concept store almost overnight. Thanks to the innovative “Store-In-A-Box” concept – inspired by the fold-out efficiency of mobile shipping containers – Puma was able to set up this store in less than a week. Puma’s new prefab retail system is a marvel of efficiency that anyone who has ever put together a retails store can appreciate.

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Puma store-in-a-box, Union Square, Manhattan, New York, Shipping container store, retail prefab, shipping container architecture, Paolo Luchetta, RetailDesign SRL, Mass customization

Designed by architect Paolo Luchetta of RetailDesign SRL, the store is a departure from the slick and polished look that Puma concept stores have become known for, but we think its a major step forward.

A shining example of mass customization, the store-in-a-box is to become the new blueprint for all the Puma concept stores. Since the first one rolled out in 1999 none of the 80 existing stores have undergone any design changes to date. Using the same standard ingredients each store will take on its own unique feel through the interaction between the existing space, the products and the prefab elements.

Easy to assemble and disassemble, the space becomes fluid and changeable. As a result the space becomes a playground for the expression of ideas connected with the Puma brand. Each store has the opportunity to take on a unique look and feel each season.

Why the change in strategy? “We needed to find a way to make the opening of a Puma store really easy, and the concept of a store arriving in a container was born,” Antonio Bertone, Puma global director of brand management, told WWD. We applaud this cleaver solution and hope that Puma will use all the spare time they presumably now have on their hands to come up with a way to recycle, reuse and reinvent the contents of the red containers that will be popping up like mushrooms in a big city near you.