Sydney Harbour was home to the world’s first-ever floating pop-up sunglass store with the launch of Sunglass Hut’s latest store at Circular Quay.
The floating store will move to Darling Harbour and Manly Wharf over the weekend selling an exclusive 150-piece collection of sunglasses that will not be available for purchase anywhere else in the world until next year. The store is designed around the Sunglass Hut circle logo, incorporates a DJ booth and features a transparent fit-out to capture the 360 degree water views. Luxottica Asia Pacific CEO Chris Beer said retail is “no longer just about four walls and a door and you cannot go past Sydney Harbour for an outdoor store – you would be hard pressed to find a better setting for selling sunglasses in the sun”.
Luxottica’s Senior Designers, Tim Bennett and Michael Cramp, who have designed approximately 600 stores over the past 16 years, were on board for the sea trial.
In an exclusive interview with mivision Mr Bennett revealed that the floating store was “by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done”.
…you cannot go past Sydney Harbour for an outdoor store – you would be hard pressed to find a better setting for selling sunglasses in the sun
“Everything was hard. There are over 500 lineal metres of steel beam in there. You can’t see it, but… that floor is a structural floor. It has got to take the rock and the roll (of the harbour).
“The concept presented constant challenges, such as how to ensure valuable sunglasses stayed put on open shelves in all weather conditions” said Mr Cramp. While the experienced design team said they “love” the finished product, they’re relieved the complex project is over.
But, it may not be the last challenge for Mr. Bennett and Mr Cramp, with Sunglass Hut Marketing Manager Kate Gretch indicating there may be more imaginative concepts in the pipeline!
“Anything (is) possible. We may see it (the floating store) again next year, who knows … we can always make it one step better, can’t we?” she said.
The Sunglass Hut floating store was open to the public at the following locations and times:
- Friday, 18 November, Darling Harbour, 10am – 7pm.
- Saturday, 19 November, Darling Harbour, 10am – 7pm.
- Sunday, 20 November, Manly Wharf, 10am – 7pm
Ten percent of all sales from the floating store were donated to Luxottica’s OneSight Foundation, a program dedicated to improving vision through outreach, research and education.