The design of Swarovski’s newly-revamped Oxford Street store concept is exclusive to London and will not necessarily be replicated brick-for-brick in other branches around the world.
Robert Buchbauer, chairman of the executive board at Swarovski, told Professional Jeweller at the launch of the Oxford Street store last night that the brand wants each of its major flagship branches to contain distinctive local attributes that are unique to them.
“People travel the globe and these days they get bored so they want to see different things wherever they go. We want Swarovski stores in great spots around the world to look slightly different and to offer different experiences,” he explained.
The jewellery brand has introduced digital features in store such as a virtual jewellery station and a video booth with Swarovski and London themed photo filters.
Buchbauer continued: “We’ve had the store for ten years and its worked very well for us, so it’s why we’ve said let’s take one that works already and make it better, less by redesigning fixtures and furniture – which is important, but it’s not the essence of the experience. It’s around new ways of exciting consumers and also being different.”
The newly reopened store has members of staff which have been handpicked from across the country with the guidance of Swarovski managing director UK, Ireland and Nordics, Hayley Quinn.
Quinn said that Swarovski has identified that “every customer shops in a different way” and that shopping habits are changing.
The idea of the store’s digital elements allows customers to take charge of their own shopping journey without the help of store staff.
Quinn said: “The whole point is that it’s something for everyone, and everybody wants to shop in a different way, so, yes of course we have to appeal to a younger consumer but if you’re 75 and want to buy crystal figurines that we give to you then it’s a perfect immersive experience.”
With more and more UK shoppers preferring to shop independently, whether that be online or in-store without the help of staff, Swarovski insists it is focused on catering for all types of customers.
Michele Molon, executive vice president omnichannel and commercial operations at Swarovski, said: “You want to be served, you get it, you want to be by yourself, fine as well. You want to have a click and collect or a click and reserve, also fine. So digital is an enabler and is respecting you and your habits, but the experience that we want to transfer is a Swarovski experience – digital or not.”
Swarovski plans on spreading the concept across some of its most popular stores located in some of the world’s biggest shopping capitals.
Molon said: “We want to add something which is just for Oxford Street in London, physical not even online, and we want to have something for Times Square and something for Chengdu. This is to combine what is a global brand but also to show that we respect the local elements in that city.”