retail matters are stirring up in sapporo's retail scene as aesop opens up shop. situated at stellar place center, a massive mixed-use complex in the heart of town, the store has been designed by fukuoka-based practice case real, featuring an aesthetic that's inspired by the juxtaposition of hokkaido's snow-covered urban and rural landscapes. this has been translated in the use of local, natural materials with both rough and smooth finishes. a chunky dividing unit, crafted from sapporo freestone, dominates the design, and is embedded in light grey stone which covers most other surfaces. shiny stainless steel, used to accent countertops and shelving, adds a sophisticated lustre to the retail setting. mortar flooring harmonises the overall palette, and maintains a tonal consistency with the other materials. the nw aesop boutique carries the brand's full range of skin, body and hair care products. location: stellar place center, kita 5-jo nishi 2-chome, second floor [central sapporo].