Coca Cola opens the first European flagship store in Covent Garden

Thursday, April 28, 2022 6:56 a.m.

Coca Cola opened the doors to its first flagship store in Europe today, in a vote of confidence for the West End.

After a number of stores in the US, including the beverage titan’s home territory of Atlanta, Coca Cola is testing the waters with an experiential destination in the UK.

The store is expected to be open until September for now, as bosses trial a direct-to-consumer store format in Europe for the first time.

Coca Cola has launched limited-edition collaborations on fashion products, as it seeks to claim a retail experience in London’s West End.

Shoppers will be able to purchase limited-edition merchandise, including fashion collaborations with Staple and Lees. Other collaborations include designers such as Soho Grit, Alma de Ace, BAPE, Herschel and BE@RBRICK.

Visitors can purchase mocktails made with Coca Cola products at a dedicated beverage bar. Drinks currently on the menu include Winners Circle, Mango Sunset and an Orange Lolly Float. Buyers also have the option of custom designing drink cans, complete with personalized messages.

Michelle Moorehead, vice president of licensing and retail, said the store will give shoppers “new ways to experience our beverages.”

“Through a collection of products made from recycled materials, it also gives us a great opportunity to share our sustainability commitments with people and take them with us on our journey to a waste-free world,” said she added.

Shoppers have been promised ‘new ways’ to enjoy Coca Cola’s drink offering, with special recipes available for purchase in its store.

It comes as retail giants have continued to push for a physical foothold in the West End, despite the departure of big names such as Topshop.

Furniture giant Ikea is set to open a store, having bought Topshop’s former flagship store on Oxford St for £378million.

” I do not think so [high street shopping] is necessarily dying, it’s changing,” said Alex Loizou, co-founder of online store Trouva. CityA.M. earlier this year. “Offline becomes more about experience and something different. Online is driven by transactional behavior.

In recent years, Apple and Nike stores have become weekend destinations for many, Loizou explained. “People will go to these destination spaces to experience and look at physical objects up close, even if people aren’t buying them there,” he said.

Retailers are considering how to approach their physical store offerings, following a pandemic-accelerated e-commerce boom.

Earlier this week, CityA.M. reported that Coca-Cola Co beat quarterly revenue expectations after raising prices and reopening theaters and restaurants.

In results released on Monday, the company said demand for soft drinks returned with enthusiasm after entertainment and hospitality venues reopened with the easing of Covid restrictions.

Net revenue rose 16% to $10.5 billion in the first quarter of the year, beating analysts’ expectations of $9.83 billion, according to Refinitiv data.

However, the soft drinks titan has warned that its suspension of operations in Russia will lead to a drop in annual profit worth four cents per share.