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Made in Detroit, the lifestyle brand Shinola’s key factor of success.

Matthieu JOLLY
3 minutes


After the prosperous years of General Motors, Eminem or Motown Records, Detroit is beaming one again thanks to the lifestyle brand Shinola. At the heart of this success is a claimed and asserted marketing position based on the “Made in Detroit”.



When Tom Kartsotis, founder of Fossil watches, bought Shinola in 2011, his challenge was to transform the brand that had become popular during the Second World War, notably thanks to the expression « you don’t know shit about Shinola », into a trendy and refreshing brand. Tom pulled it off, and amongst its clients, the brand has two former American presidents: Bill Clinton & Barack Obama!

The brand owes its success to its simple market positioning: made in Detroit.

In real terms, the majority of the components come from the USA and they are assembled in Detroit. Choosing this location wasn’t at random, the city was in an economic slump following the sub-prime crisis, and the automobile industry left a lot of people jobless, allowing Shinola to benefit from a skilled labor force.  Since setting-up in the old General Motors research and development center, the brand has created over six hundred jobs. Shinola is aware of the positive impact it’s had on employment and displays photos of its employees throughout the brands 30 different points of sale – of which all but one are inside American continent (located in London). Leatherwork, bikes, watches and even stationery… not only do clients buy a premium quality product, but they also have a social impact. This creates a very strong brand DNA and strengthens customer loyalty.

Why visiting the store ?


Create the watch of your dreams

You dream of owning a unique and elegant product. Choose your favorite dial, select the wristband and create a unique watch that won’t look like anything that your friends have.


Meet the craftsmen

The brand is proud of its origins, of setting-up in Detroit and of its societal role. This is proven by the display of photos of employees having contributed to the creation of various products such as watches, bikes or even key rings.


Drink a cola made in Detroit

Why drink something that comes from Atlanta? Without getting into the Northern/Southern debate, Shinola offers its own Coca-cola, made in Detroit. 


Customize your items

A smart product can become even more elegant! All you need to do is ask for it to be customized in store. You can, for example, get your initials engraved on a watch.


Benefit from the lifelong guarantee.

Buy a Shinola watch and benefit from the lifelong guarantee including component replacements and even the possibility to switch the watch for a different model of the same price.

Discover the brand in video

Live the experience in Photos

Matthieu JOLLY
Facing with the changes in retail, today's innovations help Matthew to think about tomorrow's relationship between the brand and the consumer.
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