February 25, 2019
French department store chain Galeries Lafayette is ushering in spring with a dose of bright color at a fashionable playground.
Through May 26, “Funorama” is popping up at the brand’s Paris Haussmann flagship store with vintage arcade games and colorful fashions. High-end retailers continue to look for interesting and interactive ways to lure shoppers away from their screens and inside stores.
“The whole idea of a ‘playground’ is fun and plays into the ‘retail is theatre’ idea of entertaining customers as part of the shopping experience,” said Kathleen Fischer, director of marketing at Boston Retail Partners, Boston. “Funorama offers customers a reason to visit by transforming the store into an exciting destination complete with Legos, creative workshops and even arcade games to appeal to their customers’ nostalgic childhood memories."
Ms. Fischer is not affiliated with Galeries Lafayette, but agreed to comment as an industry expert. Galeries Lafayette was reached for comment.
Funorama plays on nostalgia, with much of the curated clothing and accessories coming in candy-colored shades. The theme is present throughout the store, including the third floor’s sustainable section.
Cashmere sweaters by From Future are available in more than 30 hues, including neon pink and bright yellow. Primary colors also pop up, including red jackets and green oversized totes made from sustainable materials.
Additionally, graphic sweatshirts in retro colors are featured in the selection.
Reflecting the continued casualization of fashion, rainbow sneakers and sunny yellow slides are among the footwear selections.
For Funorama, footwear brand Iscream is releasing an exclusive collection of bi-color, bi-material shoes inspired by ice cream flavors such as strawberry or macadamia.
Shoppers will be able to play arcade games. Image credit: Galeries Lafayette
Arcade games can be found in the store’s “fun zones,” and consumers can try their hand at vintage records and other old-school games such as foosball.
To further engage shoppers, Galeries Lafayette is hosting fashion shows every Friday afternoon during the duration of Funorama. Shoppers can book their tickets online for 12 euros, or about $14 at current exchange.
The retailer has been evolving with the times, looking to create experiences that draw consumers in the door.
For instance, Galeries Lafayette hosted a variety of eco-friendly events to mark the launch of its “Go for Good” initiative with fashion brand Stella McCartney.
The retailer has committed to responsible business practices, in addition to spotlighting labels and companies who also value sustainability.
This partnership included the opening of the Good Spot, where consumers can grab snacks while they discover a number of brands that practice sustainability, support social justice or value local job preservation (see story).
Besides emphasizing the theatrical nature of shopping experience, Galeries Lafayette is also responding to digital shifts in retail through a new approach to training the frontline staff for its upcoming Champs-Elysées flagship.
The 300 sales advisors, who will be called “personal stylists,” will undergo a program developed by the Galeries Lafayette Academy and IFM to help them deliver an omnichannel, client-centric shopping experience to visitors.
Through in-person workshops and classes, as well as online learning, personal stylists will learn how to create relationships with customers and offer a customized experience. Galeries Lafayette’s plans for the Champs-Elysées store revolve around delivering the “retail of tomorrow” (see story).
“While mobile and online commerce continue to increase and expand, the reality is that the store still represents the majority of retail purchases,” Ms. Fischer said. “Retailers need to continue to find ways to attract shoppers to the store and one successful method is to surprise and delight their customers to ensure they shop again and again.
“The Galeries brand has influenced French style and living for more than 100 years,” she said. “Funorama is the latest submission in a long line of events and experiences that Galeries Lafayette has offered to inspire its French customers.”