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DFS Group’s CEO Philippe Schaus calls for localised shopping touch

Philippe Schaus CEO DFS Group Guangzhou - Retail in Asia

“The idea is to create ‘instagramable experiences’.”

That was DFS Group Chairman & CEO Philippe Schaus’s memorable catchphrase for how travel retailers need to imbue the shopping experience with localisation, flavour and adventure during his presentation at today’s TFWA-run China’s Century conference in Guangzhou.

“We have to blend our retail with the tourist experience,” he said. “We strongly believe that the time of huge marble corridors with boutiques left and right from the same ubiquitous brands presented in the same way all around the world is the way of the past.

“The way of the store is now about pop-up stores; where we use local artists; where we have a rooftop terrace – in Venice, for instance; where we have, say, the Long Bar from Raffles brought to the airport in Changi; where we work with local craftsmen creating unique collections as you see in Siem Reap, for example.

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“We believe that the localisation of the experience is absolutely critical. That localisation starts with the design of the stores.”

Philippe Schaus: “We have to blend our retail with the tourist experience. We strongly believe that the time of huge marble corridors with boutiques left and right from the same ubiquitous brands presented in the same way all around the world is the way of the past.”

Schaus spoke of how DFS is giving voice to that localised experience through its stores, the products it sells and through partnerships with brands. He showed a film of some of the retailer’s most iconic locations, including Venice, Siem Reap and Changi Airport, saying the aim was to create retail experiences that were “destinations in their own right”.

“You see,” he concluded, “there are no stores that are identical anymore. Each one is very, very different and is designed in the architecture and the product mix to fit that particular destination and to enrich your travel to that destination.”

(Source: Moodie Davitt Report)

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