Queen store opens on Carnaby Street as tourist shoppers return
The new Queen The Greatest experiential pop-up store opened on Carnaby Street on Tuesday morning with a big focus on apparel as Universal Music Group’s Bravado unit looks to take advantage of rising West End of London footfall.
David Boyne, Bravado’s MD, told Fashionnetwork.com that the location is an ideal one for the store as “you’ve got the footfall and the tourist element and the music heritage.”
Bravado is the biggest merchandising company in the world and in handling the merchandise rights for Queen previously saw success with a Bohemian Rhapsody pop-up back in 2018. This latest pop-up clearly aims to replicate some of that success, despite the challenges of physical retail at present.
Open only until January, the plans “are not to make it into a permanent store” (unlike the nearby Rolling Stones store that’s also Bravado-managed) “but such is the demand for Queen products, who knows”, Boyne said.
The positioning, not far from the Rolling Stones store, clearly takes advantage of the “similar audience for two great, iconic bands” and Bravado seems confident it can reach the “older, more mature audience” as well as a younger demographic that it has already connected with at the Rolling Stones location.
Boyne said that with the earlier Bohemian Rhapsody store “we got younger people coming in. There’s definitely been a new audience for Queen in recent years.”
That’s why the product in the store is pitched to have a universal appeal with sweats, tees and shirts alongside novelty items like Queen Monopoly games, Rubik’s Cubes, mugs, water bottles and plenty of music.
“Whenever we do these things, the centre has to be the music,” Boyne explained. “We’ve got the Queen Greatest Hits with an exclusive Carnaby Street cover, which is unique to the store. And over the next four weeks we’ve got exclusive vinyl from each of the four band members with their favourite songs”.
Boyne feels the timing is just right to open. Apart from the West End being only weeks away from the pre-Christmas shopping season, he noted that “footfall is really picking up. There are definitely more tourists in town. We’re seeing it and hearing about it and living it. The timing is really good. London feels like its’ really starting to open up again”.
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