Global: L'Occitane opens first experiential boutique in Manhattan

Prestige skin and body care brand L'Occitane has unveiled a multi-sensory, flagship store in the Flatiron district of Manhattan in the US.

L'Occitane: experiential theme for flagship Manhattan store
L'Occitane: experiential theme for flagship Manhattan store

The store, which opened yesterday (14 December),  is a celebration of time, inspired by Provençal culture, with multiple layers for an immersive, yet individualized shopping experience. It begins with the exterior façade where bright golden L'Occitane shutters—a contrast to the neighborhood's cityscape—open wide to invite everyone in.

Upon entering, each guest is part of a modern day Provençal open air market with a community board expressing the boutique's in-store services, and a selection of the brands bestselling and top trending products. Venturing into the store, guests experience a more sensorial journey where they can discover and enjoy L'Occitane's collection of products and fragrance. All experiences take place under a 400sqft. trellis, an architectural framework stretching across the boutique, running down the middle of the ceiling, with seasonal changes to feature new ingredient stories.

The store also features the first L'Occitane Smart Beauty Fitting Room, where visitors can explore, discover and personalise their shopping experience on a digital platform, allowing them to browse products in a private, digital format and complimenting this with a physical, and sensorial product sampling experience. To continue to honor the brand's tradition of hospitality, L'Occitane Flatiron will also feature a person-to-person concierge offering amenities and services from sparkling water to fragrance engraving and custom gift creation.

The flagship store was conceived together together with brand creative agency School House, who were tasked with creating a modern interpretation of abstracted design, art, digital and cultural and environmental innovations, forcing a re-invention of brick and mortar retail and elevating Provence from a location to an experience.

Paul Blackburn, associate vice president design & construction, North America at L'Occitane said: "We are thrilled to open the first store of the future at L'Occitane Flatiron, one of our flagship stores worldwide and a premier shopping destination in Manhattan. From entry to exit, the multisensory boutique works collectively to create both an immersive and individualized shopping experience, offering clients an unparalleled assortment of product and service."

Christopher Skinner, founder of School House, added: "Beauty is a category that comes with a litany of challenges from an activation, creative and retail experience. Our multi-disciplined approach allowed us to design an experience, one that touches on architectural and fixture design, but is rounded out with digital, cultural and merchandising evolutions for the brand. We aimed to challenge the existing retail structure and antiquated working style for the next generation of consumers." 

In October, fashion accessory chain Accessorize combined visual technology and content to give shoppers a more personalised experience at its latest store opening at Westfield London.

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