When a new prototype was initially created for ice cream heavyweight Häagen-Dazs (Oakland, Calif.), it was designed with the recent growth in Asia’s luxury market in mind. As that expansion slowed and changed, the brand called an audible. “Instead of pouncing on Asia, [the retailer] would take a mature market that was a bit stale and try to breathe new life into the concept,” says Jean-Paul Morresi, creative partner at Watt Intl. (Toronto). The brand settled on Europe – particularly Berlin – since, as Morresi notes, an eye toward Europe was what drove the trends in luxury and prestige in Asia.
Inside, materials lend a richness of texture that reflect the complexity of the company’s sweet treats. The design team pulled back on the traditional burgundy brand color and, instead, swathed the store in variations of a contemporary champagne-gold hue, creating depth.
It’s divided into two distinct experiences: The take-out line where customers can efficiently select their scoops on-the-go and the more relaxed sit-down table service area. “The brand’s findings in Asia drove the table service element,” says Morresi. “The Häagen-Dazs international stores are elevated experiences … They’re little temples to lovers of ice cream.”
The concept was rolled out across Europe, including locations in Paris, Germany and parts of Spain, and an opulent kiosk version was developed in Saudi Arabia to rise to that region’s grander definition of luxury.
With changing market conditions improving, Häagen-Dazs again began eyeing China. “The attitude of the Chinese target audience to luxury – and what had signified it – had changed dramatically,” he says. “The same level of an overt demonstration of luxury had become frowned upon.” Instead, a new concept focusing on localization was developed for the Asian market.
Article by Lauren Mang, VMSD Magazine
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