For the official Inauguration of the second Playlife store in Rome, Alessandro Benetton, President, Benetton Group, has chosen to tell how the idea to relaunch the Playlife brand and store concept was born through a book - AB. A Playlife Story – that was launched yesterday at the newest concept store at Via Cola di Rienzo 82.

The book is published by Electa and will be sold through bookshops and via the Playlife stores from 3 May 2013. It speaks about Alessandro Benetton’s personal style, important moments of his life and how the identity of Playlife was born. Playlife was devised to become a true container of brands, cross-cultural contaminations, products and objects that are daily companions such as special clothing pieces, photographs, experiences, sports, pastimes and passions belonging to the entrepreneur’s own world.

“This store was born with the aim to offer a new retail format different from the crowd of all very similar monobrand stores,” commented Giovanni Peracin, Playlife business unit manager. ”People are not involved in entering stores that all look the same and exactly identical everywhere in the world. For this Alessandro Benetton had the idea to create a new format where the young - especially 15-30 year-olds - can find a mix of interesting, high-quality, though affordable, apparel and accessories, gadgets and fun ideas.” Peracin continues: “Each store could look different and offer some different brands, often born from synergies with local designers or imaginative entrepreneurs. Plus everyone should feel at home. This is why we offer wi-fi zone and a comfy atmosphere where some young people often stop by."

Most apparel collections belong to Benetton’s stable of brands. In addition to Playlife apparel the store offers items from Benetton’s historical denim brand that was born in 1974 Jean’s West, women’s cotton items from Anthology of Cotton and outdoor technical apparel from Killer Loop. Among accessories and footwear they also offer Nike, Puma and New Balance. The products offered strike a good price to quality ratio. For instance a pair of jeans – made in Turkey – retail at between Euro 59 and 89 Euros.

Playlife presently counts 130 stores in Europe that will be partially redesigned according to the new concept. In addition to this they plan to open a series of new stores. 15 new stores have already opened in Italy and by F/W 2013 they to plan to expand in foreign markets. Their target is to open 20 new stores in Europe by end 2014 and 20 additional new stores by end 2015. They also plan to open 10 additional stores by end 2014 in partnership, as well as 10 more by end 2015. Of these plans they expect to open at least 20 direct stores in Germany and about 10-15 in partnership, while for France they aim at opening 15 own stores and 15 ones in partnership.

They will also start selling via e-commerce from S/S 2014.