Support the brand through technical design and project management for a four-store roll-out in China.
Maintain brand consistency by translating Wedgwood’s retail toolkit into a technical design pack, finding suppliers in China, and opening within six weeks.
Long Story Short
When you’re trading far from home, it helps to have a trusted partner who can bring your retail vision to life. Which is why Wedgwood asked us to project manage its first retail roll-out in China. We know how a Wedgwood store should look and what Wedgewood wanted to achieve in China. Our role was to produce the technical design that makes sure the original design work isn’t compromised by the use of different materials and techniques, and to find first-class local suppliers to uphold the brand values.
The timescale was tight: just six weeks for each store. We kept to schedule and fitted out the initial run of four stores to a standard that delighted Wedgwood almost as much as the retail experience delighted Wedgwood’s newfound Chinese customers.
The Finer Details
Brand identity is sacrosanct. So when Wedgwood made a move into standalone retail in China, it asked us to support the opening of its first four stores (Shenzhen, Shanghai, Hangzhou, and Xiamen).
Our part in the project was limited to technical design, production management, and production roll-out. Even so, we still faced a tough challenge because we had to find reliable new suppliers and contractors in China, and open each store on a rolling six-week schedule. A typical timeframe for a store opening is much longer.
For its Chinese stores, Wedgwood wanted an immersive retail experience with a tea-tasting area to encourage customers to engage with fine China instore. Above all, the stores should reflect the premium positioning of the Wedgwood brand. It was our job to maintain the integrity of the Wedgwood retail concept and, through our technical design, ensure that the use of local materials and suppliers did not compromise the original design.
We began by translating Wedgwood’s retail toolkit into a technical design pack, which we developed further in conjunction with suppliers who demonstrated they could meet our exacting standards. The next step was to oversee fit-out to a quality and standard that would bring Wedgwood’s retail vision to life.
As soon as each store came on stream, we moved on to the next. At the same time we worked with the retail teams to assess the performance of already open stores. We used what we learned to improve the fixtures and layout of the next store. These incremental improvements helped to make the stores the best they could possibly be.
All four stores opened on time (December 2020) and in a way that sparked conversations with eager Chinese consumers. They’re helping Chinese home-makers become more confident about expressing their personal style through the way they decorate their homes.
Since the original successful run of four stores, we have worked with Wedgwood on a further 23 stores in China.