National Geographic Wear is set to launch in Australia with the opening of a bricks and mortar store in Melbourne and more to come nationwide.
Alquemie Group and The Walt Disney Company Australia and New Zealand has launched the first of many new planned National Geographic branded retail stores in Australia, which feature a range of National Geographic Wear premium outdoor adventure and lifestyle fashion apparel and accessories.
The first store opens in Melbourne Central on 20 May, followed by Westfield Chatswood on 25 May, and an additional Sydney pop-up conceptual store in the QVB, and a third full store at the Canberra Centre in June.
Richard Facioni, Founder and CEO, ACTA Capital and Executive Chairman, Alquemie Group, comments: “Our collaboration with The Walt Disney Company and National Geographic brings one of the world’s most highly-recognised and well-regarded brands to Australia and New Zealand within a new, engaging retail offering.
“We’re excited about the potential for National Geographic’s unique, elevated fashion and adventure wear and intend to strategically grow the brand, including significant marketing investment, advanced e-commerce and a portfolio of new experiential retail destinations across the region.”
Alquemie Group’s Managing Director, Licenced Brands, Matthew Robertson, adds: “the local range of National Geographic Wear has been developed in partnership with The Nature Holdings in South Korea and Disney, which gives the range a unique fashion edge that blends street style with technicality and practicality. We couldn’t be happier with the result.”
The launch collection for National Geographic Wear features a huge range of unisex styling and curated pieces for the local market, from work aprons to ski jackets and T shirts, in addition to signature National Geographic accessories and travel luggage.
The bricks and mortar stores are strongly aligned with National Geographic’s sustainability ethics. They will feature sustainably sourced hangers and shelving made of recycled ocean plastics, as well as seats in the store crafted out of recycled plastics and clothing.
The stores also feature a unique ‘portal’, National Geographic’s signature yellow rectangle reimagined for a physical experience. Designed in collaboration with students from RMIT School of Design, each store features a 3D printed ‘portal’ at its entrance made of an innovative bio-based material and patterned to reflect the biodiversity data of the surrounding area of the store’s location.
Artist’s render of a store concept.
Each purchase helps support the global nonprofit National Geographic Society in its work to ‘protect and illuminate our world through exploration, research, and education.’
Alquemie Group’s Managing Director, Licenced Brands, Matthew Robertson, adds: “We set out to design a store that incorporates the latest technology but, ultimately, allows the product to be the hero.”
The National Geographic retail store format, custom-designed by Alquemie, incorporates floor to ceiling LED screens, signature merchandising and powerful storytelling to deliver an immersive retail experience. The immersice screens feature scenes of local models in local natural landscapes, showcasing the unique biodiversity of the area with the Melbourne store even featuring a collaboration with legendary conservationist Valerie Taylor.
Tim Everett, VP & GM, Consumer Products for The Walt Disney Company Australia and New Zealand praises Alquemie’s involvement in bringing the store to life while maintaining National Geographic’s integrity it has fosters over its 135 year history. “This unique collaboration with Alquemie Group captures the spirit of exploration and discovery at the heart of the National Geographic brand and brings it alive through intentional product and immersive, interactive retail experiences,” he said.
On the ecommerce side, the online store is set to launch soon with the full range of in store items with the team working closing with The Walt Disney Company to adapt its ecommerce presence alongside the Disney+ app and further evolve its digital side, especially focused on mobile experience.
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