By  on December 22, 2005

HONG KONG — Lane Crawford is determined to create a retail experience that engages its sophisticated customers.

The firm's major store revamp here, which carried the risk of alienating the customer base, is evidence of that determination.

Shoppers in Hong Kong filed into the renovated Lane Crawford at the Pacific Place Mall with a mix of curiosity and trepidation when the store opened last month after nine months of construction.

The stakes were high, not only because Lane Crawford has been in Hong Kong as a retailer for 155 years, but also because the company's flagship at the IFC mall, which opened in 2004, set a powerful precedent of art and experience in a retail space.

While different from IFC in its offerings and vibe, the response to the 50,000-square-foot Lane Crawford in the Pacific Place Mall has been positive.

The flagship focuses on international designerwear and has a large lingerie section, something of a novelty for high-end goods. Pacific Place, on the other hand, now has a contemporary and casualwear focus with all the trappings of modernity: a CD bar with iPod sound stations, an i-bar where customers can check e-mail and a dry-cleaning conveyer rack that allows a range of trainers to be seen as they rotate from an outside shop window to inside the store, an inventive way to show products with limited space.

Within the store are modern technological installations. One, designed by Korean company Flur, projects an image onto a wall or other surface, then responds like a morphing wave as people pass by.

"One of the key elements of the store is the behavioral technology," said George Yabu of design firm Yabu Pushelberg, which conceptualized and designed the store, as well as the flagship. "What we are trying to convey is that there is always change — not just in the merchandise but in the experience of shopping" at Lane Crawford.

On the first floor and spanning 15,391 square feet, men's wear features some international designers such as Bottega Veneta and Martin Margiela, along with Prada Jeans and Prada Red Stripe, which are both new to the store. However, the bulk of the offerings are new-generation designers — B-used, Kimori Morisita and Neil Barret, among others — and contemporary collections such as Acne Jeans, Deja ROI, Quentin & Claude and Lincoln Mayne and Simeon Farrar, which are both exclusive.

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