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Swarovski’s Largest Flagship Store Opens in Shanghai

The Lab section of the new Swarovski flagship in Shanghai's Hong Kong Plaza mall.
The Lab section of the new Swarovski flagship in Shanghai's Hong Kong Plaza mall. (Swarovski)

The 600-square-metre location in Hong Kong Plaza mall on the downtown shopping street of Huaihai Lu is the second of the brand’s ‘Wonderlab’ stores, the first opened in Zurich last month.

But according to chief executive Michele Molon, the timing of its opening may be the only metric by which this Asian flagship can be said to be second.

“It’s really the biggest in the world and has been designed by our creative director Giovanna Engelbert. This will be one of a kind, no other store in the world will look like this one.” he said.

“For us, this isn’t a China-specific flagship, it’s one of the key pillars for the strategy worldwide. The vibe, the relevance of Shanghai across the world and in China is really unbeatable,” Molon added.

Though they might not look exactly like the gleaming Shanghai store, which includes a silver room equipped with robotic arms known as “The Lab”, a metallic pink “Wonder Room” that leads via a lucent staircase to a futuristic bedroom known as the “Dream Room”, more Wonderlab stores are due to open in the coming months in Milan, Paris, London and Lisboa.

In all, Swarovski aims to have 230 such stores in its global portfolio by the end of 2022.

Following 2021′s “transition year”, as the CEO puts it, which included his replacement of former chief executive, Robert Buchbauer; a rebrand; the first collections designed by Engelbert launched to the market; new store concepts implemented and, just this week, Nadja Swarovski announcing her intention to exit the company as of Dec. 31, the aim of 2022 will be to “drive success and long-term growth,” Molon said.

Nowhere will that be more important than in Greater China, Swarovski’s largest market, where it has a store network around 430 strong, 170 of which are independent or franchisee operations, along with its own e-commerce operation and a presence on both Alibaba’s Tmall platform and JD.com.

In the year ahead, Molon says the accessible luxury brand will continue its China push with a “full collection which is very dedicated and has been selected for China” as well as further collaborations with Beijing’s Palace Museum, local influencers and celebrities all on the agenda.

Learn more:

Swarovski Rolls Out a Rebrand and Store Redesign

The brand, known for its signature crystal, initiated the revamp under the leadership of Giovanna Engelbert, Swarovski’s first-ever global creative director, who was appointed to the role in May of last year.

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