Hybrid Retail: Guerlain Restaurant
French fragrance house Guerlain has recently renovated its Paris flagship with the addition of on-site beauty treatment rooms and a restaurant helmed by French Michelin-starred chef Guy Martin.
The overhaul, which doubled the size of the store, was designed by American architect Peter Marino, who described it as being conceived to feel “like you’re in a home and not in a commercial establishment”. As such, the interior channels a stately, glamorous residence with marble-lined rooms and Baccarat chandeliers. The overall ambience is that of an intimate experience, with all products fully accessible and on display – allowing shoppers to feel as if they’re gliding around a luxurious apartment. The absence of signage enhances the sense of privacy and discretion.
The restaurant, known simply as 68, is located in the basement of the flagship and serves food inspired by some of the ingredients from the fine perfumes, such as rose, ylang-ylang and tonka bean.
The initiative echoes the brand’s additional gastronomic collaborations, such as an exclusive range of teas inspired by its most iconic products – including the fragrance Shalimar and skincare range Orchidee Imperial. The move taps into the rising interest in the reinvention of tea for the luxury sector. For more, see Trends in Tea and Chocolate Innovation.
Guerlain is the latest in a growing number of luxury retailers aiming to enrich the in-store experience by incorporating hospitality into the space, including Italian fashion designer Roberto Cavalli, and American fashion designer Cynthia Rowley. For more on the wider convergence of the retail and hospitality industries, see Retailer-Restaurants and Hybrid Retail in the Future of the Store Industry Trend.