L’Occitane Opens Concept Store in New York City

Perfectly timed for the holiday-shopping season, the new L’Occitane Flagship store opened its doors in the Flatiron District in New York City at the end of 2016. The week before Christmas, I had the pleasure of a press tour led by Christopher Skinner, founder of School House and designer for the space. The vibrant retail spot is infused with French-inspired details intended to whisk shoppers away to the lavender fields of Provence. “From entry to exit, the multi-sensory boutique works collectively to create both an immersive and individualized shopping experience, offering clients an unparalleled assortment of product and service,” says Paul Blackburn, associate vice president of design and construction for North America. The entryway mimics a Provencal open air market with a community board alerting clients of the in-store services and a selection of the bestselling brands. As they venture further into the store, guests can experience the Smart Beauty Fitting Room, a digital platform where clients can explore, discover, and personalize their shopping experience. “Beauty is a category that comes with a litany of challenges from an activation, creative, and retail experience,” says Skinner. “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.”