2. The design and décor of the boutique has a distinct Japanese influence. Citizen considers itself an environmentally friendly watch company, citing as evidence its trademark “Eco-Drive” technology, which uses sunlight (any type of light, really) to power many of its watches’ movements and thus ensures they don’t need frequent battery changes as do standard quartz watches. Citizen also takes pride in its history as one of the very few internationally known Japanese watchmakers. These points of pride have made their way into the design of the new boutique. The wood used in the interior walls is Shou Sugi Ban, a Japanese cedar that has been treated in a process that involves charring wood, cooling it, cleansing it, and finishing it with a natural oil. The process uses no toxic chemicals, preserves the wood for up to 80 years and makes it fire-retardant. In addition, the layered, fabric-draped ceiling not only evokes the look of a Japanese silk lantern, but also serves as a visual tribute to Citizen’s Eco-Drive system: the three semi-transparent layers through which natural light travels to illuminate the store’s interior is reminiscent of the crystal and transparent watch dial through which light travels to charge a watch’s power cell.
3. Located at the “Crossroads of the World,” the boutique welcomes a truly international clientele. The Times Square area hosts about 330,000 visitors daily, or more than 39 million annually; thus, the new Citizen store’s prime location — at the bustling, centrally located corner of Broadway and 43rd Street, relatively distant from the uptown Madison Avenue digs of many of the Swiss watch companies’ branded boutiques — has been built with the goal of attracting, and engaging, these hordes of potential customers from around the globe. Citizen Watch Co. has incorporated eye-catching displays and interactive technology in both the interior and exterior, including a large LED canopy at the front of the store that will be visible from Broadway and 43rd, along with interactive display monitors on the walls that visitors can use to learn more about the products; sign the virtual “Citizens of the World” guestbook and create their own digital “Passports”; and watch videos of prominent guest bloggers offer their takes on various Citizen watches.
“We couldn’t be more pleased with the exceptional opportunity this new global flagship store provides us to communicate directly with our consumers,” says Jeffrey Cohen, president of Citizen Watch Company of America, who hosted the November 20 ribbon-cutting ceremony along with Grammy winning singer and Citizen brand ambassador Kelly Clarkson, “and [to] both share our vision of the brand and get their real-time feedback on our offerings and messaging.”