Customer engagement in luxury retail in the age of sustainability: Round Table report

During the last Paris Packaging Week, an exclusive Round Table orchestrated by Luxus+ brought together leaders in luxury retail to explore the ins and outs of customer engagement in the age of sustainability. With the participation of leading representatives from the LVMH Group, Le Bon Marché and Arvato France, the event provided valuable insight into innovative practices and environmental initiatives.

On the occasion of Paris Packaging Week, Luxus+ organized an exclusive Round Table in phygital format on January 18 at 2.30pm, live from the Packaging Première show. The aim was to discuss the challenges and opportunities involved in raising brand awareness and enhancing the customer experience in a world faced with climate change. Among the themes discussed: a fluid omnichannel transformation, personalization as a virtuous criterion in the purchasing journey, optimizing delivery operations, and eco-design of packaging.

Moderated by Claire Domergue, Publishing Director at Luxus+, the panel featured Nicolas Martin, Sustainable Store Planning Manager at LVMH, Laurence Gayraud, Director of Operations and corresponding Environment at Le Bon Marché (LVMH), and Emeric Crepin, Managing Director of Arvato France, a logistics service provider working with major international luxury groups.

Speakers from the LVMH Group, Le Bon Marché and Arvato France shared their unique expertise, offering insight into how sustainability is transforming the luxury retail landscape.

In the context of sustainability and retail

The first part of the webinar began with a presentation on the LVMH group’s environmental initiatives. The luxury group organizes the LIFE 360 Awards for its Houses, a series of awards dedicated to the environment. There are eight awards to crown eight sectors, namely governance, energy and water, lighting, indoor air quality, interior design, maintenance and the envelope (exterior of flagships). Two years ago, Le Bon Marché won the lighting renovation award. Laurence Gayraud shared the vision and sustainable approach to the renovation of the department store’s spaces, highlighting eco-design and the creative use of existing resources, such as seaweed-based furniture and paint.

“We put all our energy into eco-designing our spaces. We’re trying to make something that’s thought sustainable thanks to our in-house teams,” said Le Bon Marché’s Director of Operations and Environmental Correspondent.

Nicolas Martin, Sustainable Store Planning Manager at LVMH, highlighted the importance of eco-design in store construction. “God is in the details”, he quoted Saint Thomas Aquinas as saying. “Our aim is to positively influence the Houses to do better and better to constantly improve the environmental aspect of boutique design. We love competition!”

Emeric Crepin, CEO of Arvato France, underlined the impact of the pandemic on retail trends, highlighting the actions taken to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030, including inventory management, the circular economy and the use of renewable electricity.

“Since January 1, 2023, the entire Arvato Group has been 100% renewable electricity. We’ve managed to reduce our carbon footprint by 32% since 2018,” he said.

Customer relations and commitment at the heart of discussions

The round table then highlighted Le Bon Marché’s sustainability-focused initiatives, emphasizing circularity. “Circular sales are a major axis for decarbonizing the business and responding to an important customer need to make the products they have bought from us last,” explained Laurence Gayraud.

Partnerships with entrepreneurial initiatives such as the online platform Nona Source were mentioned, enabling the reuse of luxury fabrics to create new pieces. Eventually, Le Bon Marché “aims to generate 25% of its sales from circular sales by 2030”.

Nicolas Martin discussed the challenges of sustainability, including organizational and management difficulties, as well as psychological objections. “On the price side, there’s only 3% extra cost on average for a greener solution,” he detailed.

The LVMH representative recalled Bernard Arnault’s words on this great shift towards sustainability, “an opportunity we must face with courage”, and the importance of communicating and collaborating with the ecosystem to overcome these challenges. For Nicolas Martin, the next major themes will be indoor air quality and air conditioning.

Finally, Emeric Crepin shared examples of innovation in inventory management and personalization, with the creation of boxes or kits to order. The digitization of the customer journey, developed by Arvato, is also a major asset. “Arvato has developed the C2C solution, which digitizes the end-consumer’s journey and eliminates the need to send delivery notes and invoices,” explains the Managing Director.

The need for greater transparency and close collaboration with suppliers and customers was emphasized. “This is something that is bound to develop over the next few years, soon there will be requests for results. It’s important for us to be able to measure where we are and where we want to go together.”

Emile Garçon’s circular pop-up store at Le Bon Marché

For the holiday season, Le Bon Marché invited designer Emile Garçon to present his new upcycled couture collection, (Re)born, from November 20 to January 10. Emile Garçon designs unique upcycled couture pieces that he reinvents with the help of craftswomen’s gestures and know-how. The stole collection is made entirely from silk scarves found in thrift stores around the world, as well as cotton or silk velvets from end-of-stock. Adhering to ethical and ecological principles, this collection reflects the spirit of the times by adopting the upcycling approach to conceive fashion in a new way.

Cohesion and communication for sustainability

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Featured photo : © Jean Christophe Hecquet

Picture of Hugues Reydellet
Hugues Reydellet
Hugues Reydellet is a young and passionate journalist whose favorite subjects are economy, culture, gastronomy, but also cars, and sports. With a sharp pen and an insatiable curiosity, Hugues is constantly on the lookout for new hot information to report.

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