Time for reflection. For brands, between confinements, curfews, health restrictions and change in consumption patterns, the last 18 months have been a source of questions. As for Galeries Lafayette, with the disappearance of international customers, prevented from coming to Paris by the repercussions of the pandemic, the period gave rise to a profound questioning of the offer.
A reflection whose fruits have been unveiled for this September start in the building dedicated to the Women offer. While the lingerie and children’s areas had already been reinterpreted in 2020, the first semester notably enabled teams to develop new concepts at levels 2 and 3 for ready-to-wear and 4 for footwear.
Between an international customer, who consumes via the online and live purchasing systems, which will return in the coming years, online purchases which currently account for a quarter of sales and a return from French or European consumers, the department store has had to find new balances.
“We have reworked the shoe offer with a proposal ranging from affordable to classic, from luxury to trendy,” Marianne Romestain, director of the Galeries Lafayette offer, explained during the presentation of the premises to the press. We have a wide variety of products and we had the pleasure of working with the Belgian architect Bernard Dubois, who imagined the new concepts to allow clients to orient themselves on the floor. 4,000 square meters which are dedicated to footwear and, while a designer offer is designed around the historic, renovated dome of the department store, three spaces, worked in different codes, allow the offer to be segmented.
The space offers a selection of accessible brands, presenting, in its Sneakers Gallery, in particular a wide range of sneakers via a huge white wall. The Designer Gallery area, designed to offer a special living room atmosphere with a view over the rooftops of Paris, presents a high-end offer. Finally, the Creative Galerie space highlights trendy labels.
“We looked at what was on offer in Europe but also in the rest of the world, and we believe that it may be the largest selection of shoes in the world with more than 200 brands and 10,000 feet, underlines Marianne Romestain. We also have 60 corners, including five new ones with Bottega Veneta, Golden Goose, Louis Vuitton, Church’s and Louboutin. And on the whole level we will have 70 exclusives signified by a special design “.
The department store management has applied particular attention to providing a notion of service and experience on these different floors. At the fourth level, this results in the establishment of the shoemaking space delegated to the French eco-responsible label Veja. But in order to put customers at ease, catering areas or taste delicacies have been installed, such as GL & NCafé, from London, Maison Michel, Kure Bazaar or even the Pierre Hermé house which offers its delicacies in terms of shoes. .
In the two lower floors, the months of closures were also largely used to redefine the universes dedicated to ready-to-wear. The third floor gives way to the denim offer with a multidenim space but also an area for large winter pieces. Above all, the management of Galeries Lafayette has largely introduced universes that one would not have imagined so widely present in a department store two years ago. “The idea was to provide a space to present and provide access to new consumption”, slips Mariane Romestain.
With this in mind, the department store created the Social Galery, a space dedicated to Instabrands brands, those brands that perform impressive on Instagram. Songe Lab, Janne Mill, Pretty Wire and Seven August have a great space for expression. An integration which also implies a capacity for adaptation and a new flexibility on the part of the Galeries Lafayette teams. “We work differently with these brands,” explains Alix Morabito, director of special projects for the group.
Another fully exploited universe, that of second hand and up-cycling. Near a huge corner dedicated to Club Couleur, the new concept of Irène and Thomas Cohen, the founders of Bonton, the (Re) store space presents in a modern and colorful light concept Restore, that is to say the solutions of seven actors second hand. “Galeries Lafayette has been working with second-hand players for a long time. What interested us was being able to show that these different players each have their own approach. In fact, it is about ‘curation of offers’. which makes it possible to reach different customers, depending on their approach or their positioning, ”explains Alix Morabilto. Relevance of this diversity of proposals of Monogram, Crush on, Entremains, Culture Vintage, Petite chineuse, Relique and Personal Seller? In any case, the space, where customers can also bring back their used clothes, was very active last Tuesday.
Finally on the second floor, the Galleries have also revised their approach. Here too, the management wanted to broaden the offer, claiming a renewal of 30% of its offer. About thirty new brands are entering the new 225 square meter multi-brand space called Creative Galerie, which completes the offer offered through the corners. “The question on this floor is both to reassure our customers about the offer of a selection of big names in fashion but also to surprise them. In this space we have around thirty brands including exclusives”, explains Mariane Romestain.
This selection includes French brands like Valentine Gauthier, actors like The Frankie Shop, Stella Nova, Anine Bing, Samsoe Samsoe, By Far or House of Dagmar. Specificity of the space: it also offers a selection of jewelry and accessories labels, in a concept-store approach, the initial results of which, we were told, are very encouraging.
In terms of corners, almost all of the stands have been revised, such as Zadig & Voltaire, Iro, APC, or even The Kooples, for this fall and new names have arrived such as the Italian Pomarède, which is opening its first French space there, but also Donsei.
In order to introduce these new names in corners or on the Creative Galerie, the department store has also reduced the average size of brand corners and recorded around sixty departures, with mid-range players such as Esprit or Guess. . Topshop’s bankruptcy also freed up a lot of space.
With this diversified offer, the Parisian department store intends to continue to seduce its historical clientele but also wants to attract the younger generations with a connected and committed proposition. The scenographic execution has cachet. The performances at the end of the year will give the first indications of the potential of these strong choices.
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