Sunglass Hut and Prada launch concept store

NEW YORK: Sunglass Hut and Prada eyewear, both Luxottica brands, have partnered to launch a temporary concept store promotion - April 28th to May 5th - as part of a brand awareness and brand equity effort.

NEW YORK: Sunglass Hut and Prada eyewear, both Luxottica brands, have partnered to launch a temporary concept store promotion - April 28th to May 5th - as part of a brand awareness and sales effort. The collaboration aims to reach consumers by leveraging Prada's heritage in nine key Sunglass Hut locations, which tout exclusive styles and store designs reflecting the aesthetic of the original 1913 Prada store in Milan.

"We certainly want to generate sales, but the short-term goal is about creating more of an awarenss of the Prada brand with American customers and an awareness of Sunglass Hut as carrying luxury brands," said Jack Krause, GM at Sunglass Hut. "[We] could really leverage the [Prada] history in a unique way."

The teams began planning the initiative eight months ago, inspired by the success of Prada's recent partnership in Italy with ready-to-wear retail stores for similar concept boutiques, explained Matteo Sessa-Vitali, licensing director for Prada in Milan.

“We discussed we wanted to try to do something a bit more interesting [than front-door promotion]," he said. "The concept boutique is just for sunglasses. It's exciting and new.”

Prada's in-house PR team is working with Sunglass Hut and the retailer's PR agency, Rogers & Cowan, on promoting the collaboration. Tactics include store tours for editors at New York's Rockefeller Center location; outreach to key media outlets, bloggers, and online publications; and direct marketing to core Prada and Sunglass Hut customers. On May 6th, the teams will promote the partnership on Sunglasshut.com, which will then serve as an outlet to sell the exclusive Prada sunglasses when the store initiative ends.

“We're promoting the collaboration on our Web site which is a huge source of business,” said Krause. “Fifty percent [of our customers] pre-shop [there] before coming into our store.”

Neither team would disclose information about the budget.

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