[Investigation] What’s new in Luxury Retail? (Part 2/4)

As seen in the first part, department stores and luxury boutiques compete in ingenuity to capture the attention of their customers and arouse their desire. More than a scenographic design, it is about knowing and serving the customer better. In this field, they can make the difference with e-commerce platforms unable to provide a wide range of emotions born of a unique, memorable, and fundamentally human customer experience.


Dive into the heart of retail, the historical model of luxury distribution, in the light of the post-Covid era and the extended virtual worlds of Web 3.

The shopping environment: a pillar of the luxury customer experience


In December 2022, the MAD consulting firm – specialized in luxury retail – released a new study dedicated to the customer experience entitled “Process emotions.” But if emotion cannot be decreed, it is necessary to define and measure the conditions of its expression. And in this field, the muffled and designed setting of the boutique and the physical contact with the product contribute greatly to it.


“It’s not just a matter of having a fluid experience, it’s important that this experience enchants you, that it transports you to the height of what you expect from a House”, underlines Delphine Vitry (MAD).


In addition, Nicolas Rebet (Retailoscope) notes more identity-based spaces within each House where “the interiors are less standardized but driven by repetitions of themes that are very different from each other.”


Pop-up spirit


Nurturing the desirability of the point of sale starts by encouraging customers to visit the store through ephemeral animations. In this respect, retailtainment – where the store becomes a vector of entertainment – is experiencing a resurgence of interest after the deprivation of outings due to the covid. The pop-up store – a mini conceptual ephemeral store that appeared around 2010 – has evolved to erase the transactional aspect and offer ever more surprising immersive experiences. If China is leading the way in terms of creativity, Europe is more image-oriented. Just think of Dior’s ice cream facade in the Lake Songhua Resort or the candy pink “Tabby Shop” ice cream trucks of American leather goods manufacturer Coach in Singapore.


© Coach Tabby Shop Pop Up store


The model is both itinerant and versatile, as with the Carré Club Hermès. From Dubai to Ho Chi Minh City, via Paris, Los Angeles, Milan, New York, and Singapore, this temporary space allows people to sing a song, attend a design conference, learn the art of knotting a scarf, or practice skateboarding all in the same place.


© Hermès – Carré Hermès Club

Ephemeral facades


Inspired by the rhythm of collaboration launches (drops), these animations are modeled on the desires of Generation Z: unprecedented, limited in time, and visually adapted to the virality of social networks.


In Paris, storefronts are also becoming visual, even if their adornments are only temporary. Thus, the Saint Laurent store on the Champs-Elysées is covered with a reflective surface, the time to make a new skin. On their side, the Valentino Saint Honoré and Paco Rabanne stores on Avenue Montaigne took the opportunity of the Fashion Week to dress up: Pink PP in total look for the first one and armor chained with silver, bronze, and golden discs for the second one.


Front of the Paco Rabanne and Saint Laurent boutiques




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Featured photo : © Presse

Victor Gosselin
Victor Gosselin
Victor Gosselin is a journalist specializing in luxury, HR, tech, retail, and editorial consulting. A graduate of EIML Paris, he has been working in the luxury industry for 9 years. Fond of fashion, Asia, history, and long format, this ex-Welcome To The Jungle and Time To Disrupt likes to analyze the news from a sociological and cultural angle.

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