One day, all brands will open their own café!

Published on 30/04/19

Cosmetics, ready to wear, even magazines…it’s no coincidence that big brands want their own café or restaurant! We have done the rounds of the unmissable hot spots that are continuously improving the customer relationship.

Coffee-shopping is the new way to shop!

Comfortably settled in a designer seat, you hesitate between an almond milk cappuccino and a virgin mojito made from mint, sugar cane and lime…But you aren’t in the latest trendy coffee house, or in any one of a number of George boutiques, but at L’Occitane, creator of perfumes and cosmetics.
The idea of creating a multi-sensory space where perfumes and tastes combine was born in 2017 out of a meeting between Olivier Baussan, L’Occitane’s founder and the chef, Pierre Hermé. Since its launch, the space on the Champs-Elysées in Paris has been full. Customers are delighted to buy the latest cosmetic creations and to taste the desserts and dishes of this leading chef. An isolated example, perhaps?

Glossier, Bulgari, Ralph Lauren…

It can be transitory, like a pop-up or during the renovation of a flagship store: the trend is to sit around the table together!
At a time when customer experience is constantly being reinvented, retail brands have found a fertile playing field, ready to develop a strong relationship and to draw out the time spent in the shop or at least to be in contact with the brand.

From American diner to English gin bar...

There’s something for everyone in the fooding world. For the fresh and trendy cosmetics brand Benefit, it’s in a 1950’s American diner in Los Angeles that it gathers its aficionados. Between testing mascaras, they can sip a milkshake delivered by waiting staff on roller skates straight out of an episode of “Happy Days”.
In a plusher atmosphere, the new Hackett’s store in London has a gin bar, pure men’s club style, waiting for its gentlemen. It’s an effective way to keep people in the shop a little longer.

So, does it work?

A good retailer doesn’t necessarily make a good restaurateur. The two are quite different, but here it’s not so much the venture’s profitability that’s important, it’s the image and the moment shared. Cafés are the contact point between the brand and its customers. What’s interesting is that it’s not necessarily the pure players who open this type of space, as if to make up for the lack of physical presence. It’s more about having a network to nourish the relationship and be closer to their target – like Néon’s café in the 18th arrondissement in Paris, where customers can meet journalists.
Here we have not just proximity but also visibility…because all these spaces are designed to be “instagrammable” and to feed the social networks!

Photo credit : Benefit
Photo credit : Glossier