Bringing to life the essence of L'Occitane: A 360 flagship experience in London
Back to Nature
French natural beauty, skincare, and fragrance brand, L’Occitane en Provence, came to UXUS to design and develop an experience that could immerse guests into the world of L'Occitane right on London’s Regent Street. The starting point for the design direction was to capture the spirit of Provence, as the soul of L'Occitane, through an engaging and memorable flagship that could redefine expectations for brick-and-mortar within London. At the time, luxury, niche shopping destinations were trying to engage customers with an emotion-led journey, and we wanted to cultivate the same level of elevated execution for the L'Occitane experience.
Out of Focus
The existing L’Occitane customer experience was inconsistent, and fluctuated across touchpoints. Insights from customer data revealed that the perception in the current retail offering was undifferentiated from its competitors yet overwhelming with overload of choice. By understanding that today’s consumer needs were ever-evolving, L’Occitane wanted us to unify the experience by creating signature touchpoints and a more engaging journey. In partnering with L’Occitane we understood that a great 21st century experience needs to be transformational not transactional and sell an ownable and meaningful experience over selling services. The new L’Occitane experience needed to be a brand destination that would captivate new customers whilst delighting loyals, thus strengthening overall customer perception and their connection with the brand.
“The store was designed around iconic views that are highly sharable. The Botanical World, placed at the Regent Street entrance was designed to attract foot traffic by its striking visual presentation, inviting passers-by to snap and share on social media.”George Gottl, UXUS Founder/ COO
Aromatic flavours of Pierre Hermé’s signature macarons can be enjoyed with the complimentary service provided at the Hand Care Bar.
A Tasteful Balance
We needed to develop an ownable engagement model that would extend and enhance L'Occitane's rich brand DNA into the physical environment. We identified shopper’s expectations for retail experiences to surprise, inspire, and delight through personalized journeys that immersed them into brand worlds.
L’Occitane’s drive for retail reinvention came from surveying current in-store shoppers who were not engaged with the ubiquitous shopping model and needed to reach a new standard now expected within the beauty/wellness category.
To build a more personalized experience with touchpoints that encouraged added levels of engagement, we wanted to encourage longer dwell and shopping time. The space itself balanced education with entertainment by using ‘phygital’ tools to create more dynamic storytelling.
L’Occitane needed to reflect this new era of experience and shopping where personal transformation is more important than consumption through a meaningful journey with memory-making experiences. The customer is able to interact with products in a more advanced way whilst offering space to connect with staff and the community.
Doorway Into Provençe
The store gave L’Occitane the opportunity to transform into a holistic lifestyle brand by dimensionalising their assets and story into a new brand destination. The flagship experience was built by three key pillars: place, poetry, and people.
It’s a living landscape of signature experience where it activates customers' senses by emphasizing the power of L’Occitane's botanical ingredients. The space is highly flexible and accommodates ever-evolving experiences that changes based on season and time of day. Fusing its tradition of Provence with contemporary conviviality, it blends brand moments with best-in-class beauty experiences.
A new brand beacon, the facade showcases the power of botanicals and brings to the energy from inside onto the street. Warm materiality and a sensuous design, inspired by Provence, invite customers into the L’Occitane brand world. Customers are immediately immersed into a highly sensorial experience that tells the brand’s origins story and poetic scenographies of the luxurious product offering.
On arrival, customers are offered a complimentary hand treatment and encouraged to explore their personal skincare regime. An illuminated centerpiece surrounded by generous display products invites self-trial, an inviting moment of rejuvenation with a unique sense of ritual and product demonstration. The warm and luxurious interior palette highlight the natural ethos of the brand in an emulation of the Provencal ‘golden hour.’ This showcase creates a WOW-insta moment, but also facilitates a natural meeting point for artisans to welcome customers, a focal point that connects all elements of the space. Enriching the skin and mind with an offering of new products, techniques, and knowledge of botanic benefits, the attractive bustle of activity promotes deeper interaction, creating an iconic experience prompting curiosity outside and inside the flagship. An immersive wild garden reveals L’Occitane’s entire fragrance family, enriching the emotional connection to botanicas through personal fragrance trial—with refreshments and Pierre Hermé macarons served while customers relax. A bustling Living Beauty Bar is the social heart of the flagship experience. Flowing vista of an eye-catching golden pathway draw customers upwards to continue exploring on the first floor, where they can indulge in the full retail range and trial products as they go. Upstairs, a living landscape weaves authentic, domestic cues with vibrant botanical gestures. Personalized services—like a botanic-inspired gifting station, a tea herbarium, and personal Beauty Concierge— are placed adjacent, providing tailored and exclusive services that upsell and educate; trial stations nestled among the range and generous sampling area invite self-exploration and social connectivity. Pre-departure, customers are gifted a scented friendship bracelet, ensuring their L’Occitane experience lingers, and the brand narrative lives outside the store.
“We are thrilled to secure our first UK Flagship store on London’s iconic Regent Street. This new store sets our customers at the heart of an unforgettable retail experience, with personalisation and customisation at the core. The unique concept design creates a truly multi-sensorial experience."Jamie Taylor, Retail, Wholesale and Property Director at L'Occitane UK
The Results and Learnings
Personalization, engagement, and longevity were the three key aims employed to create a consistent brand narrative across the store experience. Interactive display features define this store as a uniquely immersive retail experience. Personalization and engagement across various touchpoints throughout the store ensure that the L’Occitane experience lingers with a brand narrative that outlives store visits. After the opening, the staff has conducted over 3,000 service rituals—10 times more than L’Occitane’s previous central store. Visitor dwell time increased to 15 minutes, driven by enhanced service rituals and the café. Footfall is up by 180% compared to storage average, and turnover is currently 8 times that of the average L’Occitane store. Conversion rates have risen to 40% from 28%; and the impact on sales and market share have increased the average transaction value in-store by over 55%. Outline points of contact between staff and customers invite take away mementos, naturally lending themselves to sharing on Instagram. Ultimately, the design itself became a catalyst for brand promotion. To instill longevity, memory prompts uniquely engagement with customers, consolidating a browsing and immersive event that cannot be justly experienced online.
- average increase in sales since the opening of the flagship
Bringing to life the essence of L'Occitane: A 360 flagship experience in London
L’Occitane commissioned UXUS to create a retail experience at the brand’s flagship store on Regent Street: an inspiration to the senses.
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