After opening its new “On Canvas” concept stores in Milan and Moscow, United Colors of Benetton has recently inaugurated a new store in the heart of Berlin, in Tauentzienstrasse 18A. The new flagship occupies more than 1,000 sq. meters over three floors and presents the complete United Colors of Benetton brand selection for women, men and children. The “canvas” remains a central element for the new course of the brand upon which it builds its seasonal collections, colors, and materials. Similarly it characterizes the store with a light and simple structure, yet solid, almost invisible and versatile.
Martin Beucker, CEO Benetton Germany, comments on the new opening and explains some of the strategies behind Benetton's relaunch in Germany. Interview by Maria Cristina Pavarini

Exterior of the new Benetton "On Canvas" store in Berlin
Exterior of the new Benetton "On Canvas" store in Berlin

Is this new On Canvas store in Berlin very similar to the already existing ones?
Our On Canvas concept is modeled on Milan's store, but adjusted to meet the needs of our capital's consumers. You can see this in the various On Canvas spaces and the product segmentations in store.

Are you planning to redesign or open any new On Canvas stores in Germany?
We opened a brand new store in Essen, on Limbeckerstr. We are currently refitting the store in Wiesbaden and other stores will come soon.

What strategies will you focus on for relaunching Benetton in Germany? What target do you aim to reach?
On Canvas is a key element, for it gives us immediate visibility. However, all stores in Germany remain focused on the collection concept and we have been investing to improve communication with the consumer in all stores [also read about projects for Sisley’s relaunch in Germany here]. We see the results in consumer response: sales and margins at the start of the season are significantly improving. This proves that more consumers are buying in Benetton stores, looking at us for orientation in terms of what’s going on in fashion.
Our overall aim is to undust the brand – than it is in line with our overall communication strategy and get back on the end consumers' shopping list. This takes time. It's not accomplished in just a few seasons. It's a matter of consistent work on the retail environment. All aspects of the store experience need to be focused on.