In Dior’s new Paris flagship, LVMH redoubles its efforts in experiential retail – SURFACE
In 1946, Christian Dior founded his house in a majestic Parisian mansion at 30 avenue Montaigne which eventually became the French brand’s best-selling flagship. It closed in 2019 for a sweeping makeover, which involved the LVMH-backed house acquiring six adjoining historic buildings and combining them into a 108,000 square foot emporium offering a fully integrated Dior universe designed by the architect interior designer Peter Marino.
Along with offering womenswear, menswear, accessories, homewares, jewelry and beauty products infused with Dior’s craftsmanship, the flagship is packed with whimsical details like a light sculpture of Paul Cocksedge, suspended in an airy atrium, which mimics Christian Dior sketches falling from his desk. . An adjoining museum tells the brand’s story through the lens of its esteemed creative directors such as Yves Saint Laurent and John Galliano, while the on-site restaurant is run by French culinary star Jean Imbert. There’s even a stand-alone hotel room that allows customers to keep the store open all night for exclusive 24/7 access. “We wanted to build a sort of Luna Park of the senses,” says Pietro Beccari, CEO of Dior. fashion company. “Someone who comes here, if they liked Dior, they will like it even more. If they haven’t, they will be convinced of the value of this brand.
LVMH continues to make ambitious forays into experiential retail, which it sees as a key strategy for brick-and-mortar businesses to circumvent an evolving retail landscape that is increasingly shifting towards e-commerce. Expanding its luxury travel portfolio has been a priority, from expanding Bulgari-branded properties to Fendi pop-up cafes to acquiring upscale hotel group Belmond.
The conglomerate also recently financed the long-awaited renovation of the famous Parisian department store La Samaritaine, an all-in-one shopping destination that offers luxury brands such as Fendi, Balenciaga and Givenchy and offers five-star hotel accommodations. Cheval Blanc, also designed by Marino. The success of La Samaritaine remains to be seen, and LVMH executives are notoriously tight-lipped about sales numbers; at the inauguration, a publicist said: “we don’t want to talk about numbers, that would spoil the dream”. Still, HSBC estimates that Dior’s revenue has tripled from $2.4 billion to $7.2 billion since Beccari took the reins in early 2018.
Sales of the LVMH brand have skyrocketed during the pandemic, but the wisdom of its overall strategy for in-person experiences remains a bold bet on consumer behavior and brand loyalty. People want all the LVMH all the time? We are about to find out.