Louis Vuitton unveils at Selfridges new retail store concept for department stores

Designed by French-born, Japan-based interior designer Gwenaël Nicolas and set over three floors facing  Oxford Street, Louis Vuitton‘s new mega concession ‘ Townhouse’ launches today at Selfridges in London. The new daring in-store retail concept features  art installations by British artist Barnaby Barford, made from thousands of ceramic and porcelain flowers, leaves and butterflies, embedded within mirrored walls.

The new space is roughly eight times the size of Louis Vuitton’s previous Selfridges concession, a highly productive, but small and crowded ground floor shop-in-shop, selling leather goods and accessories, where customers were often forced to queue and opportunities for brand storytelling were limited. By contrast, the new “stackable” Townhouse, which sells leather goods and accessories on the ground floor, also includes Louis Vuitton’s men’s and women’s ready-to-wear fashion ranges on the first and second floors, respectively, adding new richness and dimension to the brand’s Selfridges presence.

“The new lift alone is a wonderful example of how exciting the customer experience is going to be… The Louis Vuitton Townhouse is, ultimately, a true testament to our on-going commitment to pushing the retail boundaries to constantly amaze and surprise our customers,” said Selfridges managing director Anne Pitcher told BoF.

“Within London, each district has its own character; each street has its own energy. Bond Street’s tradition is rooted in the arts, having been the original home for London’s art galleries and auction houses. It is the home of the collector, the connoisseur,” Tom Meggle, Managing Director UK Ireland at Louis Vuitton told BoF. “Selfridges is democratic in its approach to fashion, effortlessly combining and curating the best of the British high-street and international luxury brands. The energy of the store is engaging and fast paced — it is a retail playground.”

Cleverly, each floor of the Louis Vuitton Townhouse opens onto a corresponding department at Selfridges, allowing the space to easily interface with the rest of the store and draw in relevant consumers. For example, the entrance to the first floor of the Townhouse, housing Louis Vuitton’s menswear, is located directly opposite Tom Ford’s menswear concession.

Critically, the Townhouse does not have a “bag bar,” a key feature of many Louis Vuitton stores launched in recent years, which has been criticized for its “over the counter,” transactional feel. Instead, the atmosphere is more personal and lounge-like. In fact, the Louis Vuitton Townhouse is the only concession on the ground floor of Selfridges to offer seating, along with iPad-wielding sales associates offering personalisation services.

adapted from The Business of Fashion