Louis Vuitton, the flagship house of the LVMH group, the world's leading luxury goods company, inaugurated its new boutique in Lille at the end of April. It is housed in L'Huîtrière, a former Michelin-starred restaurant and renowned fishmonger established in 1928.
Located in the heart of Old Lille, this iconic art-deco building is classified as a historical monument. Decorated with stunning mosaics, it has been entirely restored by Louis Vuitton. Louis Vuitton called on local artisans specialising in ironwork, marble, and marquetry to transform the space into a two-level boutique, all whilst preserving the original spirit of the place. Decoration and layout have been entrusted to the architect Gaston Trannoy.
Designed in the style of an apartment, this 500 m² flagship houses a women's and men's ready-to-wear space, a second space dedicated to shoes, another space for luggage and bags, and finally one for perfumes and accessories.
This destination also offers a pop-up tearoom where visitors can taste Méert’s famous waffles personalised with the LV monogram. Méert is a bakery-pastry shop in Lille established in 1677.
Taking advantage of the digital boom, the luxury sector also benefits from a unique environment to shake up consumer norms. The sector's players have had to react quickly to the changes in an increasingly globalised and fast-moving market and reinvent their value proposition.
As a result, Luxury Houses have become customer experience destinations rather than consumer spaces. They are revisiting architectural heritage and reinventing it to transform themselves into immersive and inspiring places.
More than ever, these companies are integrating F&B into their flagships. Whether temporary or permanent, these locations take up the codes of luxury and translate them into memorable experiences for customers.
In a similar vein, Gucci Osteria, a chain of Italian restaurants designed by Gucci, recently offered a unique experiential journey to the heart of a Tuscan vineyard in Italy. The programme included a trip to the Gucci Garden, followed by a four-course gourmet lunch prepared by chefs Karime Lopez and Takahiko Kondo, and a visit and tasting at the Castello di Ama winery.
Similarly, Moët & Chandon will install its largest permanent champagne bar in Europe at the end of June in Harrods, one of the most popular department stores in London.
Finally, the famous wedding cake shop Lady M has teamed up with Baccarat, the world-renowned French crystal manufacturer, to launch the world's first luxury cake food truck at the South Coast Plaza shopping centre in California.
These initiatives are proof of luxury’s trend towards positioning itself as a major player in F&B. The F&B offer contributes to relaxing the codes of the sector and making it more accessible and open. It thus contributes to its democratisation, attracts a new clientele, and builds visitor loyalty by retaining them longer thanks to new experiences within the Brand's universe.