In June 2021, Clarins opened a unique boutique at 45 rue Vieille du Temple in Paris. Located in the trendy Marais district, it offers a very different customer experience than other stores. Clarins has opted for eco-design. In addition to specific materials, the store also features the group’s first perfume refill station. Finally, the store is a showcase for phygital, a forerunner of what tomorrow’s retail can do to win back customers’ hearts.
A feeling of harmony and serenity emanates from the store when you first enter. The store is very bright and gives pride of place to beautiful materials.
The window display, in particular, is remarkable. It is primarily used to communicate the ingredients (only 2-3 products in the window). The store also has many screens to display visual messages related to the brand. One of them shows, for example, where the plants used in the products are grown. Some of the plants come directly from the Clarins estate and are identified thanks to a logo on the products concerned.
Eco-design, the trademark of this Clarins boutique
After the first visual discovery, you have to open your eyes to understand the subtlety of the design. I would like to thank Fanny for her explanations and perfect knowledge of each detail. Without explanations, it isn’t easy to understand the efforts made to make this store a model of eco-design.
Of course, the plants in the window give a clue, but discovering the other facets is worthwhile. We note thus:
- the floor is made from recycled marble debris and cast in a resin (the effect is impressive)
- the use of beech wood, chosen for its fast growth and coming from French eco-managed forests
- the replacement of gluing by steaming to make the wood waterproof
- the realization of the furniture in krion k-life resin, which contributes to the purification of the air in contact with the light
Eco-design is the submerged part of the iceberg. The visible part is the phygital, and it is the subject of the next paragraph. And to make the transition, what better way than to talk about the perfume charging station. This “zero waste” device aligns with the times and echoes a practice I had already observed at Guerlain long ago. Clarins adds a “techno” dimension.
The refill station for eau dynamisante and eau ressourçante
If zero waste and “refill” have become very common in food retail, it is much rarer in luxury. Perhaps the image attached to refills is not premium enough. Clarins was able to break the codes and make the refill a high-end experience. The machine used (which was not developed by Clarins) can be used to refill 2 references: the Eau Dynamisante and the Eau Ressourçante.
The ceremony is well-trained to ensure that the filling experience aligns with Clarins’ positioning. After filling, a few manual steps are taken to “finish” the bottle and personalize it with a ribbon.
Clarins’ concept store: ultra phygital
While the charging station is a technological device, it can’t be called a phygital device. Customers cannot interact with the machine.
Nevertheless, there are still many truly phygital opportunities at the point of sale. Customers will be able to try:
- a device I hadn’t seen anywhere else yet that allows you to “feel” the different levels of pressure to be applied according to skincare
- the virtual make-up via a QR code (this has become quite common during the Covid, but it is still outstanding)
Clarins’ latest outlet is a real success, both aesthetically and technologically. The icing on the cake is the quality of the customer service. Fanny, who received me and guided me through the store, was perfect. I would like to thank her here.Tags: market research france, retail