First Look: Swarovski looks to ‘sparkle’ with new digital-inspired store concept

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First Look: Swarovski looks to ‘sparkle’ with new digital-inspired store concept

By Marianne Wilson - 11/21/2019

Swarovski has brought its new retail format stateside.  

The Austrian jeweler, best known for its crystal creations, opened its first U.S. “Crystal Studio” location, at South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa, Calif., in the continuation of its global rollout.  Combining brick-and-mortar and virtual elements, the new format is designed to provide an interactive and socially-focused shopping experience.  Digital touchpoints — ranging from interactive tablets that provide styling tips to large screens displaying brand and campaign content — are integrated throughout the 600-sq.-ft. shop to enhance the purchase process and create an inviting, brand immersive space.

The heart of the store is the “Sparkle Bar,” a counter where customers can discover new products, curate their own unique looks with help from store associates, review product ranges virtually and even charge their phone. Shoppers are encouraged to try on products and take advantage of the variable lighting settings featured on the mirrors. Using the counter’s digital screens, they can also explore styling inspiration from Swarovski’s online community of influencers.

As designed by Milan-based designer Patricia Urquiola, the stylish interior contrasts energetic colors and tactile elements to create an engaging atmosphere, with materials that lend a studio feel. The wall displays are featured in mood board-like arrangements for enhanced storytelling. Swarovski's iconic blue hue is evident across the store's aesthetic.

"The new Swarovski retail concept truly puts consumers at the center: inviting them to experiment and style their sparkle with our products, giving them the opportunity to mix and match, like in a creative studio, but in an environment designed to integrate physical and digital dimensions,” said Michele Molon, executive VP, omnichannel and commercial operations, Swarovski.

Swarovski debuted the new store concept in Milan earlier this year, and has since opened it in Paris, Beijing and Shanghai. The company plans to open additional locations into 2020, both domestically and internationally, and also renovate existing locations.

Founded in 1895 in Austria, Swarovski designs, manufactures and sells crystal, genuine gemstones, Swarovski-created diamonds and zirconia, finished jewelry and accessories, as well as interior design and lighting solutions. It has a global reach with approximately 3,000 stores in some 170 countries.