Despite nearly a 6 month delay to this year's World Retail Congress (thanks for the volcano, Iceland!), we were rewarded forour patience with a huge attendance by retail executives from all over the globe, excellent speakers, and the opportunity to visit - and shop - the beautiful city of Berlin.
Within a few blocks ofthe Hotel Intercontinental, where Congress was held this year, is one of Berlin's most famous shopping districts - Ku'Damm (Kurfürstendamm). Berlin's most celebrated department store, the Kaufhausdes Westens (known colloquially as "KaDeWe") is located in this district along with a who's who of global fashion brands: Nike, adidas, Bally's, Burberry, Versace... just to name a few along thistwo-mile stretch. One in particular that I first encountered at the 2009 World Retail Congress in Barcelona and was VERY excited to see again was Desigual.
[pic]Desigual is a women's, men's, andchildren's fashion retailer that began in Barcelona in 1984 and continues to expand their global operations. They entered the U.S. market with a store in New York City's Soho district and recently opened asecond location in NYC on 34th.
Desigual is known for their colorful and 'atypical' fashion style, something I personally ADORE them for. But beyond the style of Desigual's clothes, I want to callattention to one aspect of their retail approach that I find very 'atypical'. It's their "internal" outlet model.
Many fashion brands have an outlet presence. The lagging economy has pushed even morehigh fashion retailers into this arena. Outlets generally reside in a mall-like cluster found on the outskirts of the metropolitan core. Prada, Tommy Hilfiger, adidas, Dolce&Gabbana, Versace, GUCCI,Mango, Nike, Replay, Levis, and Burberry, just to name a few. Germany is NO different than in the U.S. in terms of the proliferation of outlets. In fact, before I went to Germany I was informed that...