Since the time is all about self-reinvention, let’s take a look at department stores. Their name sounds old-fashioned and difficult to understand because, since their invention, many stores have become large and are ultimately just flagships. So, of what is a department store the name? Their promise is not to offer everything to everyone (too vulgar), but to activate everyone’s desire. Not the same. In other words, a promise of atmosphere, entertainment, hedonism, and even, for some, of being together in a strong architectural environment in the heart of the city.
Department stores need to produce unique moments to demonstrate that they belong to the modern world. The Parisian Galeries Lafayette understood this when they redesigned their flagship store. Nantes and Lyon should follow. The store decided to give a major place to social responsibility by offering young brands fans of circular fashion: upcycling, reuse of fabric scraps, natural, organic or recycled materials, short series… A choice combined with various incentives to snack, a responsible drugstore (knitting kits, laundry, water bottles…), a deposit sale because today’s customers will also be tomorrow’s sellers.
Then comes a space dedicated to brands that are active on Instagram, finely named the “Social Gallery”. “Instabrands” unknown to Boomers but ultra desirable for Gen Zers. Make way for the new consumers. But not just that, because department stores must not cut themselves off from an age group either. Hence the important place that Galeries Lafayette has also decided to grant to shoes, a sector that is not suffering from the crisis. Four thousand square meters dedicated to 200 brands. Unique in Paris. Shoes travel through time and targets without ever losing their appeal. We can, of course, buy all kinds of shoes on the net, but the possibility to see and try them all before choosing remains an incomparable pleasure. The huge choice is not always an obstacle.
Department stores have gone through the times, overcoming all the crises (the Great Depression, the arrival of supermarkets, the emergence of suburban commerce with shopping centers). Why would they succumb to the Internet and a virus?