Benetton's new Venice megastore will be inaugurated today by Luciano Benetton in Merceria Due Aprile, in the heart of the city, a few steps away from the Rialto Bridge. After a major restoration which has preserved the original external aspect, the huge new Benetton store extends over 2,000 square metres of sales surface in the oldest street of the city, a symbol of Venice's thriving trade economy ever since the thirteenth century.
The opening ceremony will feature a musical performance by three young soloists from Fabrica Musica, a department of Benetton's communication research centre.
Benetton's new megastore, with the entire range of United Colors of Benetton's collections for women, men and children, occupies four levels, ground, first, second and third floors, linked by three escalators. The new levels are set back from the original one; this architectural solution has created something unique for Venice – an overtly retail-centric environment – which allows customers to see the store's vertical sweep and it also gives prominence to the newly-restored original facade.
The project is in line with Benetton's store concept, with white as the dominant colour to create a luminous, relaxing atmosphere and to highlight the colours of the clothes. The use of traditional materials such as stone for the facade and windows makes the palazzo fit perfectly with the historic atmosphere of the city.
Thanks to a wide product offering continuously updated and top-quality customer services, today Benetton's megastores are the finest international showcases for the Group's brands, style and image. The worldwide network of stores, including those directly managed, is expanding rapidly: at the end of June 2002 there were over 130 megastores.