United Colors of Barcelona

A new flagship store opens today in the heart of the Catalan capital: three floors for woman, man and child.

Ponzano, 17 December 2008. Benetton celebrates Christmas in Barcelona with the opening of a new three-floor store that perfectly embodies the brand’s strong identity and its capacity for investing in the future. Today, Luciano Benetton inaugurates the prestigious flagship store in the commercial heart of the city, Portal de l’Angel, which joins the already popular Benetton megastore in Paseo de Gracia. This brings the total number of Benetton stores in Spain to over 400, of which around 20 in Barcelona.

The new store, which covers some 2,500 square metres, is located in a historical building (the former Gas Natural headquarters) which Benetton bought in 2003 in an online auction. Following a transitional phase, during which only the ground floor was used for retail purposes, the building was fully renovated and converted into the flagship store of the Catalan capital.

The building was restyled throughout, introducing significant modifications to the architectural structure in order to turn the original two-floor layout, with minimum heights and small spaces, into a large retail space on three floors. In addition to the general enlargement, the main work consisted in creating a new lower-ground retail floor, restoring the building’s original height at street level and creating new floor linking systems: specifically, a large panoramic lift serving the three floors, another smaller lift (for disabled access to a section of the first floor) and an impressive panoramic, metal-framed staircase with white stone steps.

The eye-catching spacious window is designed to give a better view of the shop interior, thus enhancing brand communication and visibility. The crystal-clear glass (some six metres high) gives a streamlined, light look to the building’s classic façade and emphasises the elegant railed balconies.

Benetton Woman accessories and underwear are on the new store’s ground floor. The first floor is wholly taken up by Man collections, including clothing, accessories and underwear ranges. The lower-ground floor houses Benetton Child, maternity and accessories collections, plus Sisley Young. Each collection is distinguished by its own store-fittings concept. The flexibility of Twins fittings always ensures Benetton Woman and Man displays create a fresh, attractive shopping experience. System is designed to enhance the two main Child collections (Baby, for newborns and children from 1 to 5, and Kid, for children from 6 to 12) and the range for expectant mothers.

Special care was devoted to the Child area. For smaller children, the display concept echoes the characteristics of a baby’s bedroom, with pale colours, natural materials and warm, soft lighting. A relaxation area with fabric sofas and rugs creates a friendly atmosphere. For the older age group, there is a small play area dominated by a large lamp reminiscent of a castle. Children may also enjoy a delightful illustrated book by Letizia Galli, who created a story about the clothing world especially for Benetton. The book is offered free with every purchase and is available in 75 selected stores in Spain and Italy.


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