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Tiffany’s new London store: A focus on experience

Tiffany

Tiffany’s new store in London’s Covent Garden marks another step in luxury’s attempt at relaxing its offering. Dubbed Style Studio, it’s less about the grand and the traditional and more about an intriguing, relaxed shopping experience.

The store, on James Street, close to Covent Garden’s famous Piazza, covers over 2,100 sq ft, and has features such as a perfume vending machine and while-you-wait leather embossing and engraving,

Vending machines and while-you-wait services are typically associated with retail further down the price scale, rather than ultra-luxury. But, here, this particular luxe retailer seeks to differentiate its offer from its high-end jeweler peers. And, of course, the embossing and engravings are by no means run-of-the-mill. In this case, customers can create their own monograms or designs on screens, and see them transferred to jewellery or other items.

WWD reported that the new approach also extends to the way the staff look and, again, moves away from the traditional high end approach. Dressed in black, as usual, they’re allowed to make their style more casual, to wear trainers, and to wear jewellery in more creative ways.

The company wants to shake things up with more special events too, rather than just exclusive shopping events. There’s a space at the back of the store for client events, exhibitions and parties, and artwork from young artists working with international art fund Outset will be on show.

It’s all designed to appeal to a new type of customer, one who’s often younger, who buys for his/herself rather than being the recipient of jewellery, who shops late (the store will stay open until 20:00), and who’s looking for personalisation rather than just luxury.

Tiffany also has London stores in luxury destination Bond Street and in the City at the Royal Exchange, both of which are more traditional. But Covent Garden is a younger, livelier shopping district and while it’s seeing a gradual move upmarket, it retains its offbeat character, which makes it an ideal venue for this store concept.

Experiential retail is a key area of focus and expertise for WGSN Insight. For more, read our Future of Retail Space 2020 here and Condé Nast Luxury 2018: Big ideas.

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