United Colors of Benetton will open its first U.S. pop-up shop in over four years, according to a company press release. The concept will launch in Santa Monica, California, at Santa Monica Place on Oct. 25 and will run through Nov. 24. The store will feature items from the Milan Fall 2019 collection.
The store will not carry any inventory, although shoppers will be able to "try on and interact with the clothing." Purchases will instead be made online and then shipped to customers. Items will also be available through the retailer's new U.S. e-commerce platform.
The press release also mentioned Executive Chairman Luciano Benetton's interest in potentially re-opening permanent stores in the United States.
Italian apparel company United Colors of Benetton is preparing for a possible U.S. revival.
While the business fearlessly stated "United Colors of Benetton is Back" via its press release, opening one pop up for four weeks may instead be a strategic move to test the retail waters. The company's executive chairman has said the company is currently considering reentry into the U.S. market due to strong e-commerce sales.
The retailer's decision to open a location that doesn't carry products follows a trajectory similar to other store concepts that are gaining in popularity. Nordstrom executives announced this spring that its Local stores, which function like more of a showroom than a traditional brick-and-mortar store, are part of its long-term plans for success. Local stores are a place where shoppers can hang out, try out merchandise and make purchases that are fulfilled online.
"Let me be clear that is our model for the future," Erik Nordstrom, co-president of Nordstrom, said to analysts at the time.
United Colors of Benetton was founded in 1965 and became known for its bright sweaters. At the height of its popularity in the 1980s and 1990s it was known for its bold ad campaigns, which at times would take on controversial topics.
Sales slumped in the following decades, and the company closed locations in the United States by 2017.