L’Occitane aims for a more immersive, more disruptive flagship
French beauty brand L’Occitane is trying to boost its appeal to Millennials and Gen Z with a flagship filled with experiential technology that it hopes visitors will find très chic.
The New York City flagship, which opened last week, is reported by DigiDay to feature a VR experience that takes a shopper’s field of vision on a 360 degree hot-air balloon ride over the south of France while, back in real life, a staff masseuse gives them a hand massage. A stationary bike sits in front of a screen depicting Provence to give visitors a chance at their own personal Tour de France.
Other features include:
- A “rain-shower” sink: customers can test-and-play with products beneath a shower of water from an illuminated canopy above.
- A curved communal bench set beneath the canopy of an “awe-inspiring” Mediterranean Olive tree.
The store also features a section detailing the brand’s recycling and sustainability initiatives. To keep customer’s engaged, about 60 percent of the store layout — outside of the social and VR experiences — will rotate quarterly.
“Customers will be able to explore the L’Occitane brand history and signature products through ever-changing and immersive installations that echo the Provencal art de vivre and rich story-telling moments,” said Christina Polychroni, regional chief marketing and e-commerce officer North America, in a statement. “Each customer’s experience is intended to be unique and we are excited to launch this interactive boutique.”
While L’Occitane has another Manhattan flagship featuring functional technology such as smart mirrors, the new store appears to focus more on the “wow” factor and is geared toward producing user-generated content for social media. A live feed of the brand’s Instagram account is displayed in-store.
While the new flagship is flashy, L’Occitane’s tech approach isn’t all focused about glitz. The brand announced in June that it was leveraging an AI-based personalization platform to analyze customer intent data and provide a more personalized online experience, according to PYMNTS.
- L’occitane Enhances New York’s Fifth Avenue With New Experiential Concept Store – L’Occitane
- L’OCCITANE raises the bar on customer experience and disrupts New York’s Fifth Avenue with its new experiential concept store – L’Occitane
- L’Occitane reinterprets traditional flagship-store idea with new experiential retail concept – DigiDay
- RETAIL L’Occitane Embraces The High-Tech Experience – PYMNTS
- Beauty And Brains: L’Occitane en Provence Is Latest Brand To Tap AI – PYMNTS
- L’Occitane en Provence Launches Augmented Catalogue – Mobile Marketing Magazine
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Is a flashy and “experiential” flagship a worthwhile investment for L’Occitane as it attempts to court a new audience? Is it possible that brands are overdoing it with the amount of “experiential” offerings they’re packing into their stores?