Luxury items 

5 game-changing trends we can see in luxury retail


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In the presence of French President Emanuel Macron, the long-awaited reopening of La Samaritaine known as “the temple of the Parisian art of living” had been in preparation for 7 years.

Owners LVMH, the global luxury conglomerate, purchased the iconic glass-roofed building in 2001, and the concept offers a myriad of luxury touchpoints.

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But what can we learn from the strategy behind the relaunch of the 20,000 square meter retail space and other iconic retail destinations around the world, at a time when we have witnessed a record number of store closings around the world.

Experience is everything, but make it fresh

You do not to have to buy from a store, the rise of online shopping and the continued evolution of channel efficiency have highlighted this – you must want to shopping in a physical store.

And when it comes to luxury goods, that desire has to come from being more than just purchasing a product or service.

We’ve heard this before and seen a slew of restaurants and nail bars flocking to every retail outlet possible – from the Primark concept store tucked away on the edge of the Bullring in Birmingham, to Soho House bringing their top spa concept to life. range. Cowshed at Selfridges in London.

But we certainly can’t expect another era of space-filling, which has been done before, especially in beauty salons.

At the new La Samaritine, there is a reason for this ideal: “It was important to create a store that would stand out, given the competitive Parisian environment, so we designed it as a place to live. and walking, ”explains Eléonore de Boysson, president of DFS, Europe and the Middle East.

It may be one of the smaller department stores in Paris, but the concept and ambition seem powerful. Naturally there is a hair salon, beauty salon and spa designed with luxury for a consumer in love with luxury, for example, the spa is a new collaboration with Dior.

Yet beyond beauty, there is much more in development for a new era of experience retailing. At Selfridges in London, an intriguing concept was launched today.

Faithful to the strong desire to integrate more environmentally friendly initiatives, the department store announced the launch of “The Garden Center”.

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In partnership with horticulturalist Angela Maynard, this Selfridges collection has been designed to include gardening supplies, expert advice and a podcast dedicated to fans with green fingers.

Food, glorious food

Any department store worth its salt knows the value of food and how a great dining experience can contribute to profitability. Extended in-store dwell time can mean increased spending – but we’re now entering an era far beyond a traditional cup of tea and a slice of cake.

At Selfridges, Dior is back in the game with a cover of the Alto by San Carlo restaurant. Diners can enjoy rooftop summer feasts with the Instagram-worthy seating and setting designed by the fashion house in its famous web.

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There are many other food offerings in the Oxford Street store, London, including HIVE, a honey-based concept restaurant with occasional dining experiences with chefs like Claude Bosi, and a sweet nectar themed experience. from breakfast to dinner. The restaurant is located next to a large window showing the living beehives and bees which have been warmly welcomed to London’s West End.

Rent the gangway, resell the gangway

Department stores embrace all possible rental and resale market opportunities. Resale and rental models are incredibly popular with an audience that is increasingly aware of the implications of the fashion life cycle. Retailers know they have to either find a way to embrace it or potentially lose customers to other businesses that thrive on monetizing this aftermarket.

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Rent the Runway has announced a partnership with Nordstrom, adding more pick-up and drop-off locations.

Selfridges has partnered with HURR to deliver a pop-up clothing and accessories rental services, described by HURR founder Victoria Prew as “Akin to an Airbnb model where we connect lenders and renters. “.

Buyers can browse and select items in store or choose from over 7,000 items on the HURR website, which also allows lenders to earn money by renting their own items.

Items include designer dresses and exceptional evening wear, but renters are wary – even if your event is hit by a Covi-induced cancellation, significant cancellation fees may still be payable.

Granted, not everything is perfect in the world of department store rental and resale – but it seems clear that this will be an area that retailers turn to when the traditional retail space requires some innovation.

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Internationally impressive, local at heart

The relaunch during a global pandemic clearly focused the Samaritan offer on the importance of the local economy to the plan.

Eléonore de Boysson, President of DFS said: “It is important for us that Parisians come back to this place which is so special to them, that they come first out of curiosity and that they come back because they find the great experience. And if Parisians approve of the store, tourists keen to have a full and authentic experience of the French capital will follow quickly, when travel permits.

Do the right thing

Head to Selfridges from one of its Oxford entrances and you’ll see two words hanging in its infamous yellow “rose” – LET’S CHANGE.

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The elevation of Duke Street stores houses the rest of that phrase – THE WAY WE BUY.

The impactful message marks the presence of the retailer’s ‘Project Earth’ initiative, which will see Selfridges working with its suppliers and brand partners to strengthen the sustainability benchmarks of its product offering, while striving to become more circular. in its model, by offering a new range of in-store repair, reuse and recycling services.

Whether these efforts will sustainably and successfully reach international department store fans who love designer goods remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure – the department store as we knew it may well be dead. But the green (or yellow) shoots certainly show through.

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