March 22, 2017
By Daniella Soloway
On March 16, Connect Retail West returned to the Conga Room at L.A. Live, attracting hundreds of commercial real estate professionals who enjoyed an afternoon of panels and an evening of cocktails and networking.
While the retail sector experiences constantly evolving trends, the Everyday Luxury panel discussed what luxury retail means, the importance of merchandising, and strategies that are working in the sector today. Moderated by Retail Design Collaborative’s David Sheldon, the conversation followed a path that architecture has been curating for decades, namely the act of creating experiences.
A few stand-out takeaways from the conversation are:
- DJM Capital’s Stenn Parton shared how being in luxury retail is about being highly experiential, not just having products at a high price point. He said, “We are in the business of influencing the way people feel… it’s about moments and memories, not big monuments.”
- NGKF’s Jay Luchs mentioned that the other panelists have the luxury (no pun intended) of being able to curate in malls and centers, but he’s been working a lot on prominent L.A. streets like Rodeo Drive and Abbot Kinney. With all the different personalities of retail landlords in such spaces, there’s a premium placed on bringing “back luxury streets through brands,” rather than being able to shape the physical locations.
- Drybar’s Denyelle Bruno made the point that “luxury isn’t about need. It’s about want. We want to attract those that want to enhance their lives. It’s not about price, but freedom and ability.” Companies like Drybar, therefore, create a certain demand and behavior, and because you can’t have such experiences online, tenants with services can create the experience and community.
- Irvine Company’s Lori Pawley expressed the importance of understanding your primary customers’ demographics, and that the number one luxury everyone needs more of is time. So, the ability to curate and merchandise with complementary co-tenancies can make or break a center.
For more coverage from the event, check out these recaps:
For comments, questions or concerns, please contact Daniella Soloway