The luxury brands are always faced with the dilemma of trying to sell more while remaining exclusive. Perceptions are very important in the luxury business and one wrong step can dilute the brand. Louis Vuitton, over the years has managed this dilemma rather well. They manage to make their valued customers feel special through exclusive services. And mind you, it is not easy to make the very wealthy feel special. LV has a luxury apartment on top of their New Bond Street store in London. The access is restricted to the most valued customers through invitation only.
Guests in the apartment get the services of personal stylists while they curl up on couches and are served drinks by a butler. The concept of leading the special customers to the inner sanctum was initiated about six years ago by Louis Vuitton when they introduced the larger store format that they call ‘Maison’. The stores have grown more sophisticated with lavish decor, art exhibits and bookstores. Their Singapore store boasts of its own jetty. The results have been very positive as the stock prices of LVMH have risen 75% since then.
The Maison concept was first introduced in their Champs Elysees in 2005. The idea was to introduce features that would encourage the customers to keep coming back. Yves Carcelle, the label’s head, confirmed that the concept has been implemented in 11 more stores since then. These upgraded stores offer more than a simple shopping experience. The New Bond Street store, inaugurated last year is spread over 16,145 square feet. The second-floor apartment showcases works of art, including Basquiat’s Napoleonic Stereotype Circa 44. The apartment has three separate lounging areas and is served by six attendants.