IADS Exclusive: Is private retailing the future of luxury shopping?

IADS Exclusive May 2023 Christine Montard

Private shopping is nothing new to retail. Think high jewellery and watchmakers, they have always traded in discreet ways. More recently, luxury flagship stores have increasingly developed private lounges. While they used to be opulent rooms with comfortable sofas, they have transformed and expanded into private floors, private apartments, and finally, full private stores that are only accessible to a limited list of VICs. This comes as an evolution for big spenders’ shopping habits. On one hand, top customers tend to spend more, hence expect to be treated accordingly. On the other hand, the pandemic created a new demand for one-of-a-kind or, at least, special experiences. 

Besides, in an environment where luxury brands intend to increasingly go direct-to-consumer and where resale is gaining traction and is considered a more responsible shopping behaviour, private retailing represents an additional and crucial strategy for brands to make a difference in the way they consider their best customers. 

While Covid accelerated luxury consumption, the private retailing trend is here to stay. Many options are available from full private stores, private suites and salons inside of the stores, to confidential retail spaces. The IADS pulled together the most relevant examples of what private retailing offers at the moment.

IADS provides its members with a weekly in-depth analysis on retail-oriented topics. This is an example of the themes the Association regularly addresses, and the topic of an article from the IADS members-only newsletter date 17 May 2023.

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