7. April 2022 | Chapter China, Expo & Event Marketing, Feature, ReTell

Max Brilliant is a renowned prop manufacturer and long-time friend of China in-store, a member of the international EuroShop family. Together they organized an event. In addition, Chairman William Situ told our colleagues how the industry is doing overseas at the moment. 

On March 10, the Max Brilliant Factory Tour under the theme of “Shaping Your Design with Dynamic Props” was held successfully in Shanghai. This event was jointly organized by China in-store and Max Brilliant. About 20 industry insiders from fashion and cosmetics retail, retail space design as well as solution providers explored the secrets of Max Brilliant.

Ms. Serena Liu, Project Director of China in-store, said: “Having been impressed by Max Brilliant’s digitalized production, diverse material applications and high quality, we joined hands with them to organize this factory tour for retailers and designers and discuss the infinite possibilities of retail space.”

Mr. William Situ, Chairman of Max Brilliant, said: “Despite the ongoing difficult situation brought by the pandemic, so many participants still made it to the event. This shows a true love for technology and design. We would also like to thank China in-store for their organization, which made it possible for everyone to meet here and learn about our production capacity and services.”

In the case sharing session, Mr. Qi, General Manager of Production of Max Brilliant, shared the design process of the Estée Lauder Group’s booth at China International Import Expo (CIIE). The Crystal Palace for Estée Lauder’s first CIIE participation was made up of thousands of acrylic crystal pillars. The crystal clear and romantic appearance makes one feel like stepping into a fairy tale. Its ceiling, floor and walls were all completed by Max Brilliant. For environmental considerations, 70% of the materials were reused for Estée Lauder’s second CIIE participation. For the third edition, Max Brilliant had adopted a completely new design with 6,000 stainless steel tubes, 169 metal columns and over 30,000 screws. But not a single screw could be seen from the outside. This is not only an artistic branding, but also a representation of Max Brilliant’s design, construction and craftsmanship skills.The Estée Lauder Group’s booth at CIIE.

From raw materials, props to the realization of a retail store, there are many processes and procedures that only the factory knows about. Through a tour of the assembly line, participants were able to gain an in-depth understanding of the prop forming process and design value of each piece. Props don’t stand alone, but rather serve the entire shop design.

During the event, participants were impressed. Some designers commented: “Max Brilliant is the leader of the prop industry, and our tour shows how intelligent manufacturing is being applied in prop production. The smart equipment can make more refined props to meet the different needs of designers. We are grateful to China in-store for organizing such an event, which allows us to take a closer look at the factory. We hope to see more events like this to bridge communication between factories and designers.”

As an old friend William Situ, also talked to our colleagues about the current developments in retail in China and worldwide as well as about the future plans of Max Brilliant.

People at the event in Shanghai; copyright: Max Brilliant/China in-store

© Max Brilliant/China in-store

What are the characteristics of the Chinese retail industry and how are stores different from those in the U.S. or Europe?
William Situ: We have been in the prop industry for over 20 years and have always had our eyes on the overseas market.
In recent years, e-commerce has boomed in China, which has also led to changes in the offline market. Nowadays, brick-and-mortar stores tend to combine the “online” and “offline” model to offer customers a new shopping experience.

How have the Covid pandemic affected you as a company?
For the past few years, the overseas market, which we actually focus on, has been on hold. Our export business has dropped to less than 10% since the pandemic broke out. In the last two years, we have focused more on the local market. With the pandemic subsiding this year, the number of new overseas business is starting to pick up again. We received a lot of new orders in the first quarter, but the store design is not much different than in the past, and we don’t see any changes in the design of the customer experience.

What are Max Brilliant’s plans for store expansion?
We had the idea to further expand our existing business in sports, carpentry and fashion. In 2020, we produced Estée Lauder’s booth at CIIE. The Crystal Palace was designed and built by us, which was well received by the customer. It’s been a long time since we’ve done exhibitions, and now we’re back in this business, thanks to the trust of our clients, who have given us such an important task. Exhibitions are now a part of our business expansion.

We also work in store fitting and props for cosmetic stores. We have always been in the prop business, but we stopped store fitting years ago. We are now resuming the shopfitting business of the past years for our customers in the cosmetic industry to develop in this field. In addition, we also supply hotel furniture. Last year, we completed two Jiletang hotels, Blackstone Apartments and boutique apartments.

Will Max Brilliant collaborate more with designers in the future to help shape future trends?
That’s exactly what we’re doing now, communicating and collaborating with more young and inspiring designers. The biggest pain point of designers is that they can’t find competent partners to implement their design concepts and ideas. It is difficult for them to have their designs made and their design concepts realized.

Max Brilliant’s philosophy has always been to be the brand behind the brands. We specialize in brand customization and have worked with many renowned designers. For example, Estée Lauder’s Crystal Palace was produced in a short period of time and required strong support and expertise, which is one of Max Brilliant’s greatest strengths.

In the future, there will be more emphasis on (technical) “intelligence” and “sustainability.” How do you implement this?
More than ten years ago, we visited a German manufacturer and looked at their equipment, management and quality requirements. When we came back, we bought a lot of German equipment and used their system. At that time, we also introduced intelligent management. By then, we were already one step ahead of China.

The same applies to environmental protection. It has become a central concern for everyone. Both international and domestic brands are paying attention to the issue and doing their part. We started environmental protection measures seven or eight years ago. Global brands have certain environmental requirements for us, and they test and inspect our products. Therefore, we have taken many measures in this area. I believe that environmental protection is the trend of the future, and we need to do a good job in this, especially in reusing, recycling and recovering materials. We also plan to provide recycling and remanufacturing services for our customers, which is where we will focus our attention.

Max Brilliant has been participating in China in-store and EuroShop for many years, what is your main insight?
We started exhibiting at China in-store in 2015 (back then the show was called C-star). At first, we just went there to try it out. But since then, we have participated in the fair every year. We see that China in-store can really help and benefit us. We are happy that we can communicate with our customers through this platform and at the same time meet new companies and new customers to raise our profile.
The same is true for EuroShop. We were at EuroShop in Germany in 2017 and we will be there again in 2020, despite the pandemic. EuroShop can make Max Brilliant known on the international market. It allows more brands in the European and American markets to know Max Brilliant and China. We need to make it known that as a Shanghai-based company, we can offer them props and shopfitting for development.

About City Talk
As a side event of China in-store, City Talk will be held in different cities in China, covering fashion, beauty, lifestyle and other retail themes, exploring new business opportunities for retailers, designers and retail space solution providers.

Source: China in-store/Max Brilliant

Tags: China, EuroShop2020, booth construction, design, expo, expo architecture, interior design, stand design
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