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Brief Published: 7 Apr 2015

BbyB Store Indulges Asian appetite for chocolate, Japan

BbyBy, Tokyo

Tapping into Asian consumers' growing appetite for confectionery, Antwerp-based chocolate brand BbyB has unveiled its first store-plus-café beyond Belgium, in Tokyo's central shopping and entertainment district of Ginza.

Japan is currently the largest confectionery market in Asia – with more than 2.0 kg of chocolate consumption per capita per year, according to 2014 findings from UK market research firm Canadean. Meanwhile, demand for chocolate in the Asia-Pacific region is forecast to grow at twice the global rate until 2017, according to London-based market research firm Euromonitor, making it a key market for retailers to invest in.

Conceived by prolific Japanese design agency Nendo (see our profile for more), the long and narrow space boasts a laboratory-like aesthetic with clean white interiors and brightly coloured product packaging. Items are presented neatly in translucent, stacked drawers that cut through the centre of the space like a sleek museum display case. For more examples of laboratory-esque retail spaces, see the Hyper Play Space & The Wonders of Science section in our Confection Destinations report, and Scientifically Styled Spaces.

To boost dwell time, the rear of the space hosts a café area that's also used for tastings – painted all black to contrast with the clinical feel of the front part of the store, and to reflect the design of BbyB's signature black packaging.

For more examples of retailers merging hospitality and retail to increase engagement, see our Evolution of the Retail Flagship report. See also Retailer-Restaurants and Hybrid Retailing.