LINE spin-off company LINE FRIENDS is doubling down on bricks and mortar with the opening of a third store on 26 April at apm mall. The new shop will stock products from the LINE FRIENDS range, 11 colourful characters which were originally created as stickers for the LINE messenger app.
To differentiate itself from competitors like WhatsApp and WeChat, LINE developed cutesy characters which it features in ‘stickers’ – essentially animated pictures featuring cute characters, frequently used to express emotion. These characters have since been spun off into their own brand called LINE FRIENDS, which now operates more than 100 stores all over the world, including in Tokyo, New York, Seoul, Shanghai and Hong Kong.
LINE has created IPs including BT21, characters created together with global boy band BTS, Animation Running Man and Usamaru. LINE FRIENDS also has collaborated with a number of brands including LAMY, Beats by Dre and Brompton, to showcase their character products.
The new store covers over 4,000 square feet and will be offering a spacious brand-new experience in a number of ‘zones’. Currently, the shop stocks branded products such as special drinks, toys and plushies, cushions, slippers and a range of other items.
The apm store is the first in Greater China to stock the new BT21 range of products, and the brand is taking no chances – admission tickets will be supplied from a set location on a daily basis, with a maximum of a single ticket per customer, which entitles them to 30 minutes access to ‘BT21 Zone’ and the purchase of BT21 items.