The L’Occitane Group is opening a L’Occitane En Provence experiential store on 555 Fifth Avenue in New York City, designed to highlight the brand’s seasonal campaigns through social media, VR and merchandising-based experiences.
The store has a dedicated social media area that includes a video live feed of the company’s U.S. Instagram account, according to Glossy. Additionally, the location leans heavily on visual experiences, such as a “bike through Provence” where shoppers can ride stationary bikes against a scenic French background, and a 360-degree VR-powered hot air balloon ride over France where shoppers can get a free hand massage.
Up to 60% of the in-store setups will change approximately four times per year, depending on interest and engagement, according to Paul Blackburn, VP of Concept Design, Construction and Merchandising at L’Occitane.
A “rain-shower” sink is prominently displayed at the front of the store for shoppers to test products. Surrounding merchandise includes some of L’Occitane’s best-selling ingredient franchises, like shea and almond bath and body products.
The store was designed by Blackburn and Daniel Contorni, L’Occitane’s International Artistic Director. Spanning 1,870 square feet, it is larger than the company’s flagship Flatiron District location.
For the launch, the store has dedicated one section to the company’s sustainability initiatives. In May, L’Occitane partnered with international recycling company TerraCycle to collect empty bottles and packaging of all brands of beauty and skin care products from customers. In exchange, shoppers receive a 10% discount toward one full-size L’Occitane product purchase. Customers also will be able to engrave and customize L’Occitane merchandise and water bottles from Swell (which the brand has partnered with for the new store) with their names and other personalized designs.
The cosmetics company has made an effort to adopt a “glocal” approach to retailing, developing creative experiences specifically designed to attract local clientele. Last year, the brand debuted a similar sensory-focused redesign at its Canadian flagship in Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre.
Additional recent examples include new flagships in Brazil, China and London, each with their own exclusive style and portfolio of services; a unique concept store in Paris (86CHAMPS) in partnership with French pastry chef Pierre Hermé; a pop-up café in Singapore with Asian pastry chef Janice Wong (a protégé of Hermé); and L’OcciTruck, the brand’s first travelling shop experience on wheels, currently touring North America.
L’Occitane is making significant in-store investments across the board — the company opened 41 stores and renovated 153 locations during the past year.