The ‘concept’ – or brand-only – store is located at Westfield Fountain Gate shopping centre in Melbourne.
Although trading began on Friday 4 November, a launch event organised by the brand’s local distributor House of Brands (HOB) was held on Tuesday 15 November to mark the opening.
HOB CEO Karin Adcock confirmed more than 65 people, including local retail stockists as well as Westfield and Alex and Ani staff, attended the launch. She added that the feedback received was “highly positive”.
“Our guests commented on our use of natural elements such as soft-toned, brown timber panels and patterned woollen carpets – so the feel is homely rather than aloof and impersonal,” Adcock said.
“This is space people are drawn to. I think we have managed to embody our positive, eco-friendly approach to business in a store design and our guests responded warmly to this.”
Expanding presenceThe store, which measures 80 m2, is one of nine Alex and Ani company-owned retail outlets to open in Westfield shopping centres in the lead-up to Christmas.
The other eight locations are smaller-scale, 20 m2 free-standing ‘studios’, or kiosks, situated in shopping centres.
There are currently Sydney-based studios located in Chatswood, Miranda, Bondi and Brookvale as well as a Melbourne-based outlet in Doncaster.
All studios, including the remaining sites in Parramatta in Sydney, Marion in Adelaide, and Carousel in Perth, are scheduled to open by 5 December.
Adcock said the response to the studios had been “wonderful” with the outlets offering an “inviting” space that was different to traditional shopping centre kiosks.
“We have made creative use of the small format, installing freestanding cabinets that you can walk around and this makes the space feel welcoming and positive,” she explained.
When the nine store openings were announced in October, Adcock told Jeweller that rather than competition with existing stockists, retailers would benefit from increased brand awareness.
Alex and Ani launched locally in 2015 and there are currently more than 120 retail stockists in Australia and New Zealand.
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