Retail Global

This edition we explore brand partnerships, new stores, and ways in which Swarovski shines!











Crocs is on the rise thanks to its diverse range of high-profile brand collaborations. From teaming up with famous pop artist Justin Bieber, Disney’s talking race car Lightening McQueen and even collaborating with fast food giant KFC. They have most recently launched ‘Buddy the Elf’ inspired Crocs from the 2003 festive favourite film, Elf. Crocs’ ambition to push the boundaries and challenge the norm of traditional brand partnerships demonstrates the industry’s vast adaptability. Crocs states ‘When we create brand partnerships, we are looking for three key criteria: authenticity, creativity, and relevance’ Michelle Poole, Brand President. Crocs is on track to launch over 60 global partnerships this year.

Crocs brand partnerships

Oxford Street, London is one of the world’s most recognizable shopping destinations, with popular brands occupying shop space. It’s not just famous for the diverse range of global brands, but for the extraordinary experiences they create for customers. To enrich this, retailers are now doing more than the standard ‘seasonal shop window’ facelift, they are giving the term ‘experiential retail’ a whole new meaning…

We saw CoachAirways do this in our last edition of Retail Global and as excitement builds in the run-up to IKEA opening their first store on Oxford Street, it seems IKEA has taken a page out of Coaches book. IKEA has dressed their new 100,000 sq. ft store in its infamous blue bag, creating immense social buzz and encouraging onlookers to snap a shot to share.

Ikea Oxford Street

The Chinese luxury market is on track to reach $131 billion by 2027, with a predicted $89 billion being spent in mainland China. Shanghai Design Week announced during London Fashion Week plans to evolve into a world-class design capital by 2030. Retailers are wasting no time investing and updating retail environments. American apparel retailer Gap has been on the decline in China for several years, desperate to reignite the brand and customer excitement, they sold to e-commerce solution provider Baozun earlier this year, giving them exclusive rights to design, manufacture, promotion, and distribution for all products in China. Sandrine Zerbib, Baozun Brand Manager says, “It is critical for us to interpret the DNA of the Gap brand… rather than simply copying and replicating Gap globally”. Baozun has a powerful reputation and successful track record across social platforms, so it’s no surprise consumers are eager to see how Baozun will translate the brand DNA and create memorable in-store experiences across the Chinese market.

GAP store


Apple opened the doors to its first flagship store in Mumbai, India.

In April, Apple opened the doors to its first flagship store in Mumbai, India. Situated in a vibrant complex, the 22,000-square-foot BKC flagship store is a dynamic ecosystem for customers to fully immerse themselves in a unique retail environment that encourages product exploration. The store is a marvel of architectural excellence including features such as a glass façade that floods the interior with natural light and provides shoppers with panoramic skyline views.

The store is powered by 100% renewable energy, fixtures are manufactured with FSC-certified timber and where possible, local materials such as Indian granite are used in the store’s construction, generating a unique eco-conscious retail experience. Apple’s dedication to carrying its sustainable values through to store design enriches the brand-to-consumer relationship, shoppers are no longer just exploring products and services but engaging and connecting with Apple’s values. A true testament to their customers, local communities, and environment.



Swarovski continues to dazzle their customers as they open the doors to their first ‘Swarovski Optiks’ store in Austria.

Inspired by their heritage, Swarovski founded Swarovski Optik in the 1940s, using their expertise in glass manufacturing to create lenses, binoculars, and telescopes. The customer’s journey through the store is enriching as we browse the range of optic equipment while simultaneously being immersed in the company’s history. The new store design and concept are guided by Swarovski’s passion for nature and sustainable commitments. The store uses renewable energy sources, all products are packaged sustainably with climate-neutral packaging and wherever possible produced locally. Swarovski Optik is the perfect example of brands embracing their heritage while investing in the future.

Swarovski Optiks

Meanwhile, in China…

Swarovski’s ‘Master of Light from Vienna to Shanghai’ exhibition has amazed customers and fashionistas around the world. Located at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Shanghai, the exhibition highlights the brand’s rich and diverse heritage in the fields of jewellery, fashion, and culture with a labyrinth of seven different chambers to explore.

Swarovski takes us on a journey through time, from learning about the revolutionary crystal-cutting machine that put them on the map, to pop-culture artifacts that shaped the music and film industry. The ‘Time Chamber’ is home to the most legendary outfits of all time from the world’s greatest designers, including Karl Lagerfeld, Christian Dior, Vivienne Westwood, and more. Here live artifacts like Dorothy’s iconic ruby slipper from ‘The Wizard of Oz’ movie and Harry Styles’ flamboyant crystal Grammy jumpsuit. Visitors are reminded of Swarovski’s incredible evolution when they enter the ‘Jewellery Box Chamber’, as the room dazzles and shines with past and current collections. Our Shanghai team enjoyed visiting the exhibition, so we are very excited for the exhibition tour to reach our other global locations.



Fashion retailer giant Zara is set to open their largest store in the world in Rotterdam.

Boots is opening its first-ever beauty-only store inside London’s iconic Battersea Power Station.

Retailers are migrating their pop-ups to beach resorts across the globe. You can now explore your favourite brands’ pop-up while catching a tan and cooling off in the sea.


Published November 2023


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