After launching stores across the U.S., Coca-Cola is continuing to emphasize in-person experiences with its first retail shop in London.
The shop, located in Covent Garden, is the latest iteration of the brand’s revamped advertising strategy and new tagline "Real Magic,’" which has focused on interpersonal connection and a focus on reaching Gen Z using Twitch and e-sports.
The London shop will sell a fashion line designed by New York-based streetwear company Staple Pigeon and stock limited edition products made in partnership with designers and retailers such as Lee jeans, Herschel and Bape. Visitors can also make their own personalized cans and have a drink at the shop’s beverage bar.
The brand has existing U.S. retail stores in Orlando, Florida’s Disney Springs, Las Vegas and Atlanta where consumers can buy and drink products. The company opened a store in Hong Kong in collaboration with 7-Eleven in 2020.
Coke is also emphasizing its sustainability efforts by selling products made from recycled materials in-store. The brand’s past environmental advertising includes turning its white ripple sign into an arrow pointing people towards recycling bins.
The new store falls in line with a rising focus on in-person retail experiences pursued by all kinds of brands. Lego opened a store in New York in October last year that married physical and virtual elements, allowing visitors to scan their lego creations and incorporate them into a virtual "brick lab" world. Krispy Kreme opened its first flagship store in New York in the thick of the pandemic in 2020.
Established brick-and-mortar retailers such as LuluLemon and Dick’s Sporting Goods have also doubled down on physical stores over the past few years, including restaurants, yoga studios and climbing walls.
But as it adds to its in-person store portfolio, Coke is also exploring virtual worlds, including jumping on the NFT bandwagon and coming out with digitally-themed limited-edition flavors such as a ‘pixel-flavored’ drink marketed using the video game Fortnite.
The new store’s launch will include a campaign including social media and out-of-home ads that can be seen at Covent Garden’s tube station. M&C Saatchi handled the campaign.