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Brand context and control: the role of the flagship store in B&B Italia

Stephen A. Doyle (Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, UK)
Christopher M. Moore (Heriot‐Watt University, Edinburgh, UK)
Anne Marie Doherty (University of Glamorgan, Cardiff, UK)
Morag Hamilton (The Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, UK)

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

ISSN: 0959-0552

Article publication date: 6 June 2008




The paper seeks to explore the phenomenon of the flagship store from the perspective of brand management and brand context within the luxury furniture sector.


Adopts a case‐study approach, focusing upon Milan‐based furniture manufacturer and retailer B&B Italia and comprises interview derived data and archive material.


Recognises the difficulty associated with manufacturing/product‐orientated organisations to establish a brand context. It identifies that the forward integration of luxury manufacturing companies into retailing, through the establishment of flagship stores provides such companies with an opportunity to provide a context for their brand and exercise a level of control over its manifestation that is difficult to achieve through other distribution channels.

Research limitations/implications

Highlights the value of forward integration as a means of establishing brand context and experience.


Demonstrates the wider value of the flagship store as a brand management device and the potential contribution to brand communication for non‐retail based organisations.



Doyle, S.A., Moore, C.M., Doherty, A.M. and Hamilton, M. (2008), "Brand context and control: the role of the flagship store in B&B Italia", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 36 No. 7, pp. 551-563.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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