Rebirth Of Luxury Retailing – Store Design

When thinking about store design, the companies that come to mind are the traditional luxury retailers such as Harrods and Les Galeries Lafayette. These stores reflect refined luxurious interior designs such as the Egyptian elevator at Harrods (see below) where it can be considered as more of a museum than a store.

harrods-egyptian elevator

The coupole, or the dome, of the Les Galeries Lafayette (see below), is considered the most important masterwork in the French retail space. According to TE Carhat, at the BBC, This glorious dome resembles ‘a ballistic missile (that) is lodged vertically, ready to launch’. With influences from the Chartres Catheral, the peacock blue, the reds and the oranges distinguishes it from other ceilings in the French retail space.


The store design of luxury retailer has metamorphosed from traditional to modern sculptural and architectural influences. This was reinforced after visiting the Patrick Roger store located on La Place de La Madeleine; which was a real polarizing experience. The store is designed by Patrick Roger, a renowned French sculptor in association with architects from XTU. The retailer was in the process of changing their window display at the time, making it unclear to visitors that it was a chocolatier. However, earlier this year the chocolatier showcased original Patrick Roger chocolate sculptures of monkeys (see below).


On the top floor of the store, Patrick Roger displays his chocolate sculptures for which he had received abundant praise. On the ground floor, the chocolates were presented in elegant glass plates in blue/green boxes, resembling the display of engagement rings in stores like Tiffany’s. This translates into the concept that the chocolate is a valuable gift such as the engagement rings found in the “little blue box” at Tiffany’s. The store is strikingly lit, where lightbulbs are sporadically inserted in the ‘caverns of cut and angled metal pipes’ (see below).


The complexity of the store design at Patrick Roger can be seen in the layout below:


The store design of luxury has been influenced by architectural traditions and is under metamorphosis by modernism. Traditional luxury retailers such as Harrods and Les Galeries Lafayette were influenced by architecture from historical times (Ancient Egypt and Italian Renaissance respectively) whereas today’s luxury retailers, such as Patrick Roger, displays an architecture design that symbolizes contemporary trends.

What can we learn about this? Retailers are using store design to better convey the brand experience. The Patrick Roger example demonstrates the clash between two worlds: fine chocolatiers & futuristic design. What are your favorite store designs?



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