MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – Swarovski has opened an immersive new digital Sparkle Pop-up concept for the holidays at Canada’s Square One Shopping Center here.
Set inside the lofty grand foyer of Square One’s new luxury wing, a crowd looked on as dusk fell and a massive pink covering was craned skyward to reveal a formidable structure encased by digital screens bearing the single image of a bow-tied present. As the red-and-white bows were unfurled, onlookers were transported into a gleaming white crystal wonderland playground where Swarovski model Karlie Kloss and her friends celebrated the season and invited all those around them to do the same.
“This pop-up is not just a store experience. This is the foundation for something more,” said Aurélie Pépion, managing director, consumer goods business for Swarovski Canada. “A lot of brands wanted this. But we are the first to have this technology that can create this kind of consumer experience,” Pépion said just moments before the global debut for the brand, as well as the big reveal of Swarovski’s 14-tier holiday tree at Square One.
With the new pop-up technology, consumers are taken into an interactive digital experience, which represents a breakthrough for the retail industry, according to the French-born Pépion. Using technology developed by Swarovski’s European IT team over the past six months, consumers can now download headshots and do selfies with the celebrities featured in the Sparkle Pop-up video. Shoppers can use their headshots to experiment with Swarovski’s latest jewelry, watches and other accessories in this digital realm. That process, according to Pépion, gives customers a more accurate, real-life feel for how these items will look once worn.
The Sparkle concept also allows shoppers to click and reserve items for pickup. This new service, according to Pépion, will be tested throughout select Swarovski locations in Toronto to start.
Though future rollouts have yet to be revealed, Pépion foresees launches of Swarovski’s pop-up technology some time next year in the U.S., which is the brand’s number-one market. Other launches in Europe and Asia would likely follow.
“We, as a fashion brand, are thinking about the future,” said Pépion. “Our loyal customers – 72 percent of whom have signed on to Swarovski’s loyalty program – look forward to the novelties we offer. But with this launch we are expanding the brand’s reach to appeal to Millennials,” she added. “Millennials expect fashion innovations – and they want a story. It’s about more than just creating products.”