Photos by Ross Honeysett
American-born natural beauty brand Burt’s Bees is opening stores in Asia, starting in Hong Kong with a standalone store in Telford Plaza, and two shop-within-a-shop locations (inside Queensway Plaza and Ocean Terminal department stores).
Founded in Maine and now based in Durham, N.C., the company famous for its all-natural ingredients (the lip balm!) is looking to spread its brand popularity around the world. “In the United States, we have a well-known and established brand that is a leader in natural beauty and personal care, after 30-plus years in the market,” says Felipe Toledo, director of international strategy for Burt’s Bees. “In Asia, the brand is starting to develop, and having retail stores helps us to create a place where consumers can engage with the brand in a multisensorial, interactive way—products can be seen, touched, smelled and tried.”
Burt’s Bees tapped Australian design team Landini Associates to create a store setting that would best tell the brand’s story.
“In the highly competitive Asian skincare market, there are certainly expectations from customers that informed our design,” explains Rikki Landini, managing director, Landini Associates. “It is a market that highly values naturalness and knowledge/history. Storytelling is important in order for the customer to comprehend both the product and the brand.”
In the Hong Kong store, the 100-percent-recycled wood shingle walls are reminiscent of the Maine cabin of company founder Burt Shavitz (who died in 2015), and a large image of him working with his bees graces the store’s back wall. Embossed bees are scattered throughout the store as well, for a touch of whimsy. Other natural materials used include Bole flooring, and underlit shelves made with recycled wood and cuarva glass.
“We have used a simple palette of materials and colors, emphasizing sustainability, which is core to Burt’s Bees philosophy, naturalness and the warm glow of honey and the beehive,” Rikki Landini says.
Another homage to the naturalness of Burt’s Bees is the honey wall, which features “honey jars” filled with other ingredient elements.
“We wanted to reference the origins and importance of bees and honey to the brand, and the honey wall is an expression of that,” says Mark Landini, creative director, Landini Associates.
By focusing on the brand’s qualities of naturalness, efficacy, sustainability and history, the design team was able to create an environment that embodies Burt’s Bees, and that has us all a-buzzzzzz.