Press Releases and Statements
In Bologna the first Benetton megastore to feature a multicultural environment.
Five Floors Dedicated to United Colors of Benetton Clothing and to Culture in the Internet Era
Ponzano, 7th September 2001. Benetton has chosen Bologna for the first megastore that is also – thanks to the collaboration of Fabrica, Benetton’s communication research centre – an experimental environment focusing on creativity, free thought and culture in the Internet era. The project has been realised thanks to the collaboration of the local authorities and their support of its goals. The vast spaces of the former Rizzoli bookshop, over 3,200 m2, have been restored and divided into five levels: four of which constitute a welcoming, pleasant and airy environment for quality shopping. The other, on the ground floor, is the first example of Fabrica Features, the spearhead of a network, a meeting-place of traditions, learning, people and cultures.
The Rizzoli bookshop’s original 19th-century decor will create the backdrop for Fabrica’s artistic production and for cultural “products” selected from around the world such as books, discs, videocassettes and design articles; a modern art gallery for visitors to visit and enjoy. Fabrica Features will also open its own areas to concerts, video projections, artistic performances, exhibitions and workshops, offering a precious opportunities for interpersonal contact in a multimedia, multiethnic atmosphere, with a watchful eye on our changing world. The programme of events will open with a retrospective of Fabrica’s young artists and the presentation of the upcoming issue of Colors. The next store with a Fabrica Features area will be opened in Lisbon at the end of this year.
In the retail areas the bright, varied colours of United Colors of Benetton’s full range of collections stand out against the clean, minimalist background that is emphasised by the materials used, such as white-painted ash panels. Women’s lines and accessories are on the ground and first floors. Men take over the second floor for clothing collections and accessories. The third and fourth floors host knitwear (women and men) and basic jeans (women and men) respectively.
The opening of the Bologna megastore is a further step forward in the development programme that is bringing the network of the Benetton image – a global brand with a distinctly Italian personality – to the most prestigious shopping zones in major world capitals. The megastores, including those directly managed, are the Group’s response to an increasingly saturated market where customers already have everything they need and have to be tempted by design, atmosphere, and by the quality of in-store customer services, satisfying even their unspoken or unconscious desires.
In 2001 the network has spread rapidly: directly managed stores, in particular, numbered over fifty at the end of June. The programme of new openings will reach its peak in the next few months when, coinciding with the launch of the autumn-winter collection, some 20 directly managed megastores will be opened in a number of world capitals including Paris (2 stores), London (2), New York (3), Madrid (2), Barcelona and Brussels.
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