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This morning we took a trip to the brand new concept store for Tourneau on New York's Madison Avenue. The purveyor of fine watches has been the go-to source for any timepiece needs, from purchasing a new watch to repairs, and even trading-up. We spoke to James Seuss the CEO of Tourneau and asked him about the new store design that they'll be rolling out across the US. The next locations to get the retail makeover are Long Island, Los Angeles, and Palm Beach.
Seuss said that he had wondered what an Apple store would look like if it sold watches instead of computers and gadgets. This curiosity led him to the design firm Eight Inc, who is the brainchild behind Apple's store approach. Smart man because their work for Apple has pretty much altered the retail landscape as we know it. Seuss hired Eight Inc because he wanted to make the shopping experience less intimidating and more interactive.
You'll first notice that the barrier between the customer and the sales associates has been removed. The counters are now all islands. This allows the shopper to easily view all of the timepieces—Tourneau prides themselves on offering one of the largest selection of watches. Seuss wanted to provide a unique experience for customers. To that end, there's a wall that displays the digital clock and even a floor-to-ceiling panel of screens that can feature imagery of watches as well as short videos of the watchmaking process.
The back wall is called the discovery wall because it showcases all of the new watch complications and brands that traditionally wasn't visible on the sales floor. Seuss was thinking why shouldn't they bring the watches that an industry insider would find at Basel and bring them directly to the customer. Here they are displayed in a way that highlights their features and sets them in an environment apart from the rest of the collections.
All of these changes add up to a pretty innovative design and merchandising philosophy that is geared to engage customers in a more relational way. And let's face it, when you're making an investment purchase such as this, you want to have a relaxed, low-pressure experience.
· Tourneau [Official Site]
· Eight Inc [Official Site]