Mango strengthens its brand presence in the U.S.
From Katja Laska (exklusivly for EuroShop.mag)
Spanish fashion chain Mango continues its ongoing U.S. expansion. The retailer aims to create a uniform brand presence in one of the major world markets with a focus on sustainability, the promotion of young people in the industry and the metaverse.
“The opening of this new flagship store is a major step forward in our strategic goals for international expansion and our distribution ecosystem, but above all it is the first step to consolidate our brand presence in the United States, one of the most important markets in the world,” said Toni Ruiz, Mango’s CEO, at the opening of the retailer’s flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York. Spread across three floors of the Grande Dame building at 711 Fifth Avenue, shoppers now get to explore women’s, men’s and children’s wear featured in the nearly 23,000-square-foot (2,100 m2) structure.
The Grande Dame is a historic building from the 1920s and perfectly illustrates this first aspect: the fashion retailer made sure to reuse and restore the preexisting floors, ceilings, lighting, and installations versus using brand-new shopfittings. “In addition, the interiors have been designed using biodegradable organic materials. Up to 70 percent of the material have been reused for the store design project,” according to the company. Its commitment to sustainability is not only expressed from an architectural perspective but is also reflected in the actual sales area. Like its industry peers, Mango underscores recycling and features so-called “Committed Box” containers in the store. Customers can drop off and donate shoes and clothes, which can then be recycled.
… the metaverse
At the store opening, shoppers set off on a customer journey that went beyond your typical brick and mortar experience: Mango visitors also undertook a journey in the metaverse. The retailer has created and reinterpreted five digital artworks in NFT format based on works by three renowned Spanish artists. The collection will be displayed for about 14 days after the opening of the store on May 11 and will feature the physical artworks of Joan Miró, Antoni Tàpies, and Miquel Barceló, alongside screens on which the NFTs will be displayed. Mango’s brand identity is also reflected in this setting: to interpret the pieces, digital artists have combined various Mango garments from the existing collection in the store.
The collection will also be displayed in the Decentraland Metaverse, specifically at the coordinates 16.78 of the Museum District, thus merging the physical, digital, and virtual experience. Jordi Álex, Mango’s director of technology, data, privacy and security, says “through these new projects, Mango is connecting with new target markets so we can understand how younger consumers interact in these environments. “ In tandem, the five NFTs will be uploaded to the OpenSea platform – one of the leading marketplaces of non-fungible tokens that use blockchain technology – though they will not go on sale. Incidentally, this is not Mango’s first foray into the metaverse. The retailer also took part in the Metaverse Fashion Week last March. The store opening in New York exhibited both digital art and virtual clothing designs: the company sells garments from its women’s collection, including the Claudie blouse and trousers. The retailer also developed virtual sunglasses inspired by traditional Mango sunglasses.
… and promotion of young talent
Toni Ruiz was a very busy man on opening day. To strengthen Mango’s connection and ties to the U.S. market, he along with Ben Barry, Dean of Fashion at Parsons School of Design, have signed a collaboration agreement to support the studies and development of students enrolled in the “MPS Fashion Management Program” of the New York school by awarding scholarships. The program teaches the next generation of fashion industry leaders about various strategic areas, such as new technologies, sourcing, marketing, and merchandising to prepare them for the needs, demands, and expectations of the fashion world. The agreement is set to last for five years and provides the school with a fund of US$250,000.
Incidentally, the launch of the Fifth Avenue store is only the beginning for the Europeans and their expansion in the United States. The stores in New York were just a warm-up, so to speak, to prepare for the company’s next stops in Florida, which includes a store in the iconic Lincoln Road shopping district in Miami Beach. Texas, Nevada, Arizona, and several other U.S. states are likewise on the agenda. The retailer plans to open over 30 stores in the U.S. over the next three years.