LONDON — United Colors of Benetton is set to unveil its new London flagship on March 15 in a different neighborhood and with a variety of tech-driven elements, WWD has learned.
Located at 89 Oxford Street, the store is close to Tottenham Court Road station, which will soon be a stop on the underground line, the Elizabeth Line. The store is part of a rapidly developing area on the east end of Oxford Street and is a 10 minute walk from the former Benetton flagship in Oxford Circus.
The 16,145-square-foot shop encompasses three floors and features furnishings made from iron, stone and wood. There is Venetian terrazzo flooring, Italian cassettoni wooden ceilings and a mix of high gloss and metal mesh. A sculptural staircase that links the three floors has been done in glass and bronzed iron with a brushed finish. Live trees and plants are dotted around the store.
The store will stock women’s wear, men’s wear and children’s wear. Prices range from 25.95 pounds for knitwear to 249 pounds for coats.
The flagship will feature express checkout counters where shoppers can pay with smartphones or cards while large digital and touch LED screens will showcase interactive content created by Fabrica, Benetton’s creative, research and communications agency. There will also be a knitwear theater featuring interactive touch-screen tables that showcase product information as well as the brand’s initiatives. There is also a lounge area stocked with design and culture books and magazines.
A spokeswoman noted that tech-driven aspects were important for the brand: “We think the technological and interactive aspect within the store is a strategic tool to consolidate and create new relationships with consumers. In fact, in the second part of the year, a seamless omnichannel customer experience will be launched.”
The company declined to provide first-year sales projections. Its key markets are Italy, with 35 percent of sales, followed by the rest of Europe, with 40 percent, and the rest of the world, 25 percent.
“We see London as a global fashion center leading the way on trends and innovation and therefore essential in our brand relaunch,” said the spokeswoman. The label is present in approximately 100 countries and operates 5,000 stores and this marks the brand’s 55th store opening in the U.K.