As luxury brands desperately try to get a foothold in China the store façade becomes and extremely important part of their brand strategy. Not only does the store façade act as an ongoing advertising and branding exercise for the brand, but if done well the store can become a landmark and architectural marvel. For luxury brands in China façade size and design is an equal top priority (with location and store size) when considering opening a new store or entering a mall. To maximize façade size many brands will opt for a duplex (and corner) store wherever possible.
In Beijing there are very strict rules on how ostentatious facades can be. The top luxury stores in Beijing face onto Changanjie, the main road crossing the city which goes directly past Tiananmen Square, The Forbidden City and The Government headquarters of Zhongnanhai. The closer along Changanjie to the centre of Beijing one goes, the more restricted facades become and at Oriental Plaza, one of Beijing’s long established high end malls, the stores’ external decoration and signage is limited to names only (no logos) written in generic white text on black background.
So with this is mind, The Maosuit has created a list of the top luxury store facades in Beijing. Facades are judged on size, location, exposure to passing foot/vehicle traffic, and logo display.
Tiffany & Co Beijing Flagship Store
The recently opened China World Mall Phase III features Tiffany & Co as the main luxury anchor tenant (above photo). Tiffany maximized their façade size and impact by being on a corner of the Mall. The store and can also be seen by traffic on the Eastern Third Ring Road (Beijing’s busiest expressway). At night the stores’ design and signature aqua blue lighting plus large Tiffany & Co. logo make it the prettiest store façade in Beijing.
Dolce & Gabbana Beijing Flagship
Located in the Yintai Park Life Mall Complex the Dolce & Gabbana façade scores very high for location. The façade itself is simple featuring just the brand name, however it is strategically positioned on the corner of Chang’an Ave. and the Eastern Third Ring Road, which are both major expressways through Beijing. The intersection of these roads creates a multistory intersection of roads and bridges all of which have a view over the Dolce & Gabbanna store. Considering that these roads are often gridlocked with people simply staring out the window Dolce did a great job in securing this site.
Giorgio Armani and Hermes Beijing Flagship Stores
The Giorgio Armani and Hermes Flagship Stores are also in the Yintai Park Life mall and have street frontage onto Chang’an Ave. The store façades for both Giorgio Armani & Hermes are both more elegant than the Dolce & Gabbana’s, yet they are far less noticeable and have less impact.
Burberry Beijing Flagship Store
The most recent edition to Beijing’s luxury retail market, the Burberry Beijing Flagship Store is their biggest store in Asia. The store’s three floors and corner location provide for maximum street frontage and impact. The store design encompasses Burberry’s signature check pattern for maintaining the brand heritage while large LCD displays give it an modern appeal a way to share product and fashion show footage. Burberry took a bold step with this store by opening adjacent to (rather than inside) Shin Kong Mall to beat other luxury brands to have the biggest façade presence in the area.
Gucci Beijing Flagship Store
The oldest store in the top facades list, Gucci’s Beijing flagship is situated on the corner of Jianguomen Ave. and Xidawang St. Shin Kong Place is Beijing best performing high-end mall and although the façade isn’t particularly spectacular it does have good visibility from the flyover bridge on Jianguomen Avenue.
Emporio Armani Beijing Flagship
The Emporio Armani Store wins big points for design and is easily the largest stand-alone luxury store in Beijing. The store has four full sides available for branding and logo displays, but unfortunately the store lacks any street frontage and can only be seen by walking into the Sanlitun Village pedestrian mall area.