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Benetton: numerous new openings in the East
20
Sep '10
Luciano Benetton will inaugurate a series of new stores in Russia, Mongolia and Azerbaijan, a number of them in partnership with eminent architecture studios: a commercial grand tour that demonstrates the Benetton Group's drive to invest in the future, underpinning its development with optimism, and moving apace with this changing, growing world.

In this region, between Russia and Asia, Benetton has invested in an innovative commercial development strategy that looks to the future, responding to the complexities of the market with energy and dynamism, and grasping growth opportunities wherever they arise. Some of the new stores in particular are part of the Opening Soon… programme, which applies new architectural and design ideas to retail spaces, combining the necessary modernity with a respect for the history of the building and for the environment.

In Russia, where Benetton already has over 120 retail outlets, the new stores are located in Kaliningrad, one of the largest Baltic ports; Irtusk, Yakutsk and Bratsk, in the Siberia region; and Khabarovsk, on the Trans-Siberian railway line, just a few miles from the Chinese border.

The large new store in Kaliningrad features a floor space of over 4,000 m² on two levels, and is located in a building on one of the city's main shopping streets. The design for the facade was developed by Studio Cino Zucchi Architetti of Milan, with a predominance of glass to maximise Benetton's latest signature theme of light effects that change according to the time of day. The building houses both Benetton and Sisley stores, with separate entrances, but communicating from the inside.

The refined interior design was conceived to create genuine departments, each developing the concepts of the various lines of apparel. Indeed, as is the case for all the new stores, each Benetton collection features a specific interior design concept: Twins for the Benetton Woman and Man collections, and System, designed to show the children's collections to their best advantage. Sisley also presents its new conceptstore, Esagram, which counts on an even more distinctive and sophisticated image, with a warm, bright atmosphere that is discreet, modern and refined.

The new double store in the old centre of Irkutsk, one of Siberia's most important cities, is integrated with the late nineteenth century architecture. The facade is designed by the Milanese Studio Arassociati, giving a classic yet modern order, in which the system of store windows and entrances is inserted, and on which the UCB and Sisley signs look like adornments when viewed from the street. With a total space of over 2,100 m² divided between two levels, United Colors of Benetton offers the complete collections for Woman, Man, Kids and Undercolors; Sisley presents its glamorous Woman and Man collections.

The opening in Yakutsk, a Siberian city some 450 km from the Arctic Circle, is again a double store housing both UnitedColors of Benetton and Sisley, for a total of over 1,600 m². The store entrance consists of a large foyer that leads to the Sisley and UCB Man areas on the ground floor, and up the large, historic staircases to the first floor, where the Woman and Kids collections are found. This subdivision has created four distinct areas, each characterised by the different identities of the collections.

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