Founded in San Diego in 1998, before being purchased by current chief executive and creative director Min-Liang Tan in 2005, the business has made a name for itself through its gaming laptops, accessories, software, and signature ‘black box’ store design.
These designs, which differ slightly depending on the market they serve, are inspired by Razer’s own products, according to the business’ senior director of global retail experience Christine Cherel.
“In terms of aesthetics, we work around our brand colours, Razer black and green, and our [triple-headed snake] logo is always the centrepiece. However, depending on the space and location, [the] elements that bring texture and appeal to the ‘black box’ concept will differ,” Cherel told Inside Retail.
“Just like our products, our Razer stores require the same level of investment, innovation and passion. We have a dedicated retail team who are constantly improving upon our past concepts, [and] with each store opening we’re getting better and better.
“We take a lot of pride in listening to our community so we want our stores to be a place where they can feel heard – and as a company of gamers we can anticipate what they need.”
Razer has several stores across markets, including Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, the United States and the United Kingdom, and it has both physical retail and e-commerce partners in many more.
Because the brand is made ‘for gamers, by gamers’, Razer displays its laptops, mice, keyboards, and headphones in the open to allow customers to test out the fit, feel and function of its products.
“Bringing gaming to fashion”
As gaming has gone from subculture to part of the mainstream culture, more big-name brands and celebrities are beginning to cross over into the space. Think rappers Travis Scott and Drake playing Fortnite with Twitch streamer Ninja, or Louis Vuitton creating character skins for playable champions in League of Legends – one of the biggest games on the planet.
Even furniture giant Ikea collaborated with ASUS Republic of Gamers to develop a range of gaming chairs, desks and accessories that combine high performance with ergonomics and slick design.
According to Mordor Intelligence, the gaming industry is poised to be worth US$339.95 billion by 2027.
And the collaborations go both ways. Though Razer has long sat within the gaming space, it also exists within retail, and has recently partnered with international luggage brand Tumi on a collection of esports-inspired travel gear.
“Gaming is a massive industry, already bigger than entertainment, so obviously many brands are clamouring to target this demographic,” Cherel said.
“We’re a natural choice for brands to collaborate with, though it’s also worth noting that as a lifestyle company, we do see a lot of adoption of our hardware, software, and services by non-endemic customers and through partnerships with like-minded partners like Tumi.
“However, while most brands try to bring fashion to gamers, we are bringing gaming to fashion.”
Within the fashion space, Razer recently announced its next line of apparel will consist of two streetwear collections called Genesis and Unleashed, each of which will retain the brand’s black and green colouring.
Razer’s associate director of business development Addie Tan told Inside Retail the business’ apparel team is focussed on creating streetwear specific to gamers.
“Our latest collections, Genesis and Unleashed, are designed with comfort in mind, consisting of styles that appeal to those who have simpler, more minimalistic tastes with Genesis, while Unleashed features bold and oversized prints,” Tan said.