We’ve turned our attention to the world’s most luxurious retail spaces for best-in-class examples of premium store design, and exemplary customer service. From household labels (Louis Vuitton, Dior) to disruptive young upstarts (Shinola Detroit, Mast Brothers) these retail spaces are redefining what it means to create a ‘luxury’ customer experience.
Peruse our top 50 list (in no particular order) offering sensory welcomes and relaxing in-store gardens; jaw-dropping design to custom-stocked changing rooms.
1. Louis Vuitton (London)
A shining star in the Louis Vuitton retail portfolio, Maison Louis Vuitton London was masterminded by cult architect Peter Marino and opened in 2010. Imbued with luxury materials such as silk wallpaper, bamboo wood and a dramatic glass staircase, the Maison is a true monument to the brand which unfolds over three floors. The space has hosted artworks by the likes of Anish Kapoor, Richard Prince and Takashi Murakami and the second floor is completely dedicated to a private client suite.
2. House of Bijan (Los Angeles)
Often described as “the most expensive store in the world”, the Rodeo Drive menswear boutique has dressed Presidents and Hollywood Royalty, dignitaries and other designers. The ‘by appointment’ showroom services each customer individually and features clothing, accessories, fragrances and even ‘drivable art’ aka – automotives!
3. 50 Howard Street (New York)
French design house agnes b takes its successful Parisian gallery concept (Galerie du Jour) to 50 Howard Street New York. This time it combines a committed calendar of exhibitions with a shoppable boutique and bookshop creating a snapshot of the designer’s critical and creative eye.
4. Tesla (Global)
Tesla spaces worldwide not only feature the latest models and concept models from the electric car leader, but also a design studio station detailing the components and finishes available and a merchandise section. More than 3 million people around the world visit Tesla retail locations each year, so the focus is on educating them on the vehicles in a low-pressure way. The specialists are even happy to chat about electric vehicle tech in general, not just Tesla products. The stores are intentionally different to your traditional dealership to emphasise that the cars are different.
5. Bourdon House (London)
Described as the ‘spiritual home’ of Alfred Dunhill, the Grade II listed building is a tribute to the elegance, service and attention to detail of times past. Gentlemen can select from over 300 cloths for suits, 450 cloths for shirts and have their purchases crafted bespoke on site. There’s an on-site barber for the cleanest-cut wet shave, a screening room and a Cellar Bar serving signature drinks and food.
6. Nespresso (Liverpool)
Nespresso is rolling out a new concept for its premium coffee capsule range. The latest store is in the Liverpool One mall in the UK and hinges around three key pillars. One is the “sensorial welcome”, the second is the “discovery at the atelier table”, the third is the “sustainability and circularity experience” which emphasises the eco-friendly store design and pod recycling. There’s also the chance to join in-house experts to learn more about the provenance of the coffee available.
7. Shinola Detroit (Brooklyn)
The leather goods and design brand Shinola Detroit has recently opened a 2,651 sq ft store in Brooklyn. It stocks a toolkit for the modern Brooklynite – watches, leather bags and accessories, audio and hi-fi, stationery and bikes. It has a monogramming station for personalising leather goods and a watch customisation bar. The Smile to Go Cafe stocks a handy menu of coffees and sandwiches for New Yorkers on the run.
8. Maison Margiela (Paris)
Well known for its intriguing and unorthodox material and form combinations, Maison Margiela’s Milan store in Via Saint’ Andrea was one of the first incarnations following Creative Director, John Galliano’s appointment. In collaboration with Milanese design studio Wood-Skin, the space boasts striking features such as a black and white malleable tiled curtain and a small in-store garden enclave.
9. Prada Epicenter (New York)
Designed with long-time collaborator OMA/ AMO, New York’s Prada Epicenter is a boutique, a public space, a gallery, a performance space and a laboratory exploring the architectural firm’s ongoing research into shopping culture and futures. The ‘store’ is a place to be explored, touched, experienced and is constantly evolving.
10. L’eclaireur (Paris)
The mega-concept store designed by Belgian creative Arne Quinze on the Rue Sevigne creates a dreamscape for shoppers to explore, wander and wonder. The clothing is embodied inside a store-wide installation where animations run across 100+ embedded screens.
11. Frederic Malle (Paris)
This is a store that takes the art of scent seriously. The latest iteration conceived by Jakob + MacFarlane displays bottles on honeycomb structures and mirrors creating an endless fragrant universe. Each space contains a smelling booth for an optimum olfactory inhalation; refrigeration units to conserve the original scent as much as possible; and perfumer portrait galleries bringing the ‘noses’ behind the creations to life.
12. 3.1 Phillip Lim (Los Angeles)
Re-defining luxury through bare-minimalism, 3.1 Phillip Lim’s latest store in Downtown Los Angeles is a lofty 5,000 sq ft space that creates airy, transformable spaces with low-commitment free-standing partition walls and transparent strip curtains. The founders describe the space as ‘curated’ rather than ‘lifestyle’, with handpicked exhibitions and partnerships.
13. Le Chocolat (Dubai)
The first word in confectionary, the Dubai City Walk hosts Le Chocolat, closer to a fashion boutique than a chocolate shop. A mannequin crafted entirely out of chocolate greets shoppers at the entrance before they select from gourmet cocoa truffles and bon bons for customisation.
14. Isabel Marant (Miami)
Isabel Marant stores tell a consistent story across every retail outlet. The latest Miami store in the heart of the Design District carries a unique Parisienne signature designed by French architect Laurent Deroo.
15. Level Kids (Dubai)
A dream department store for children, Level Kids is home to 200 brands across toys, kidswear, shoes and accessories for little shoppers aged 0-12. Think Stella McCartney Kids and Burberry Kids alongside a cafe, a mini-spa, a photo studio, an aquarium and a VIC (Very Important Children’s) area.
16. Maxfield (Los Angeles)
Maxfield is a cult luxury boutique spanning both curated and vintage designer collections. It hosts a roaming line-up of blockbuster exhibitions and exclusive collections (think Alessandro Michele for Gucci) and a sharp edit of fashion, jewellery, watches, furniture, books and gifts.
17. Hermes (London)
Overlooking Cadogan Square Gardens, this flagship effortless straddles the Hermes brand of whimsy whilst being sympathetic to the horticultural surroundings. Rooms are open and bright, with different material and colour finishes in each space. Hermes leather pieces are on display as examples of the le sur-mesure (bespoke) services available at the store.
18. Dolce & Gabbana (Venice)
A skip and a jump from the Piazza San Marco is Dolce & Gabbana embodied in all its sexy, sumptuous Italian glory. No two Dolce stores are ever the same. Designed by Eric Carlson each space is given a unique, localised personality. The Venetian store is supremely opulent with marble columns, terrazzo flooring and a trophy Murano glass chandelier.
19. Balenciaga (Paris)
Balenciaga as we know it has been transformed by creative director Demna Gvasalia. Its flagship on Avenue Montaigne disrupts ‘luxury’ with a shabby chic 2.0 aesthetic where children’s drawings and crayon-doodles offset sparsely distributed haute couture.
20. The House of Dior (Tokyo)
A veritable playground of luxury flagships, we’ve called out the Dior store within luxury mall, Ginza Six. Over five, decadent levels there is an exhaustive range of womenswear, menswear and MAISON, as well as a whole floor dedicated to VIP’s and a cafe serving exclusive desserts in collaboration with Pierre Herme. It also features a striking ‘sail’ inspired glass facade designed by aforementioned architect Peter Marino. It also has an ongoing roster of events and in-store ‘tours’.
21. Lululemon Lab (Vancouver)
With spaces in both Vancouver and New York City, Lululemon Labs are design concept spaces for the brand. They feature in-house designers and a sampling room who respond to the personality of its host city with limited edition, luxury designs only available in that store. On entering the store, you may find yourself assisted by a brand manager, photographer or accessories curator who ‘work the floor’ to get direct feedback from customers.
22. Space NK Regent Street (London)
Space NK’s Regent Street store is a testing centre for new products and ranges. Customers get first look previews of new launches and the ‘curating’ team’s most exciting new discoveries. They can pre-order popular products ahead of launch and an on-site beauty school ensures that all employees are trained in the same way for a consistent experience.
23. Browns East (London)
Browns is arguably one of the pioneers of the multi-brand store concept. It’s been transported from West London to Shoreditch for a new generation following its acquisition by Far Fetch. Housed in a former printing factory, the space has a flexible set up thanks to a series of colourful sculptures that can be moved around the space. It was designed by the Far Fetch Store of the Future Team who will be running various trials to explore how tech can better serve customers.
24. Swarovski (Innsbruck)
The home of the Swarovski, Innsbruck is the glittering jewel in the crystal empire. Customers can explore spaces replete with enchanting installations by world-renowned artists and designers such as Manish Arora, Thomas Feuerstein and Jean Paul Gaultier. Naturally, it stocks an exceptional range of jewellery and a bar for post-retail therapy.
25. Apple Regent Street (London)
Arguably this is luxury for the masses, but with smartphones over £1,000 on offer, Apple justified the cut of this list. The Regent Street store rolls out ‘The Avenue’, a global concept of natural trees to calm and contrast with the tech. The customer service has become a blueprint and benchmark for retailers worldwide.
26. Vashi Diamond Concept Store (London)
On the subject of sparklers, Vashi’s new concept store in London’s Piccadilly invites customers to design their own bespoke jewellery. State-of-the-art lasers, chemicals and flames form metal right there on-site in the store’s underground ‘diamond lab’. Consumers select a design, create a digital moodboard and then watch the ‘alchemists’ create the diamond setting in front of their eyes.
27. Le Labo (New York)
Elizabeth Street, NoLIta hosts the luxury fragrance brand’s flagship store. In store, fragrances are compounded-to-order, made on the spot. Each order is also personalised with the customer’s name on the bottle and the box.
28. Hermes Rive Gauche (Paris)
Luxury is embodied in the Hermes boutique Paris, housed in a former 1930s swimming pool. A discrete portico, leads to a voluminous space with a series of ashwood huts or pavilions, each holding a different collection. The space becomes a surreal organic universe that customers traverse to explore different stories within.
29. Burberry (London)
Burberry’s flagship on London’s Regent Street was one of the first brands to truly integrate futuristic technology with luxury fashion. Traditional British heritage and style is brought to life with multimedia screen content, catwalks streaming on film and RFID smart to create a spectacular, seamless shopping experience.
30. Tom Ford Grooming Store (London)
London is home to the world’s first Tom Ford grooming store. Tying into the democratising of men’s ‘beauty’, the futuristic store includes a Tom Ford ‘voice over’ taking customers through the designer’s unique scents. The spaceship-esque grooming room is open for expert services that can be booked in advance online. Think beard trims to express facials to hot towel wet shaves.
31. Gentle Monster (Singapore)
We could have selected any one of Gentle Monster’s stores, but the Singapore space stands out for its spectacular narratives that weave throughout installations, art pieces and extraordinary window displays. Product is artfully woven amongst the displays as customers navigate the immersive merchandise.
32. Mast Brothers Chocolate (Brooklyn)
This New York chocolatier was founded by brothers Rick and Michael Mast in Brooklyn, 2007. They pride themselves on ‘obsessive’ attention to detail, innovative flavours and brilliant craftsmanship. All this can be experienced through public and private tours at their Brooklyn flagship where guides will take you through the bean-to-bar process from sourcing to packaging.
33. Lacoste (London)
Earlier this year, Lacoste rolled out a new global concept at Westfield London, one of the brand’s fastest growing markets. The store features The Polo Wall showcasing the iconic item; digital content supports the collections throughout providing product details and history. The store makes use of Westfield’s atrium spaces with exhibitions. It opened with “L fr Legend, L for Lacoste” in celebration of its sponsorship of Novak Djokavic.
34. Montblanc Neo² (Dubai)
Neo² is designed as a multisensory shopping experience for fans of the Montblanc brand. The store is divided into four speciality categories – writing instruments, watches, jewellery and leather goods with specially designed material spaces to match. Think white lacquer and fine metals to offset the distinct writing instruments. It also has limited rare finds for true collectors.
35. Sonos (London)
Following a successful Sonos Studio pop-up, the audio giant has opened a flagship store in London. It features two floors of sonic immersion including two house-shaped ‘listening’ rooms with various materials and surfaces to test acoustics. It’s brought to life with artwork from local artists like Neil Raitt and Camille Walala. Technology is in-built into the whole space and customers can select their own music to be played in the space.
36. Louis Vuitton Island Maison (Singapore)
Outside the Champs-Elysee store, Singapore boasts the largest Louis Vuitton boutique in the world. The store is housed in a Crystal Pavilion floating on the Marina Bay. Customers enter the store through an underwater tunnel before shopping the complete selection of LV merchandise, books and art. A mezzanine level sea-view Travel Room extends to an outdoor loggia reminiscent of a luxury yacht. Visitors can access the Island Maison via an outdoor bridge, by boat or even by an ascending ‘travelator’ from the Marina Bay Sands shopping mall.
37. Coach (New York)
The flagship of this loved American handbag brand puts its treasured items at the heart of the action. Not only does it include an area for made-to-order handbags, but the second floor of the store is completely dedicated to a workshop space where visitors can experience full-time craftspeople personalising items, conducting repairs and creating new pieces.
38. Bulgari (Rome)
If you liked the Dolce & Gabbana Venice store, you’ll love the The Bulgari Temple store, Rome. Designed for the brand’s 130th anniversary, the space is inspired by its Ancient Greek and Ancient Roman roots. The materials and luxury finishes of some of the world’s finest jewellery is imbued in a rich tactile space with one ripple in the past, one in the present.
39. The Row (New York)
The Olsen Twins’ new store is an extension of their ‘own homes’, a classic Brownstone dressed with perfect details from the just-so placed orchid to original Basquiat canvases and antique chair. It’s a space designed for exploring and shopping through touch whether it’s the luxury materials or tactile interiors.
40. Guerlain (Paris)
One of the oldest perfume stores in the world, Guerlain reopened its oldest retailer in early 2016. A true tribute to fragrance, the four-level store has a fragrance gallery, a luxury store and a restaurant inspired by the scents and flavours of the olfactory universe of Guerlain.
41. Hedonism Wines(London)
A true pilgrimage for wine lovers, Hedonism has 6,500 wines and 3,000 spirits on its inventory. The expert buyers have sourced every single bottle from every region of the world with a focus on the provenance of each bottle. Visitors to the store can also sample 50 different wines via one of the clever Enomatic wine dispensers. There are regular tastings with winemakers and distillers offering an insight into the provenance, production and expertise behind each bottle. With no customer service stone left unturned, there is an area for kids, an overseas delivery service and a sourcing service if you really can’t find what you’re looking for.
42. Nordstrom (Los Angeles)
Luxury is…no merchandise? Luxury American department store Nordstrom has opened a services-only store in Los Angeles. Services include click-and-collect and product tailoring and alterations (even for non-Nordstrom product). It also hosts a bar and nail salon. A true omnichannel experience, shoppers can select their favourite looks online before they are couriered from the local Nordstrom, ready and waiting at the changing rooms.
43. Bentleys (London)
Not to be confused with the luxury car brand, Bentleys is a true treasure trove of antique leather accessories, silverware, travel goods and luggage. Whether it’s a well-travelled Louis Vuitton trunk or a fine piece of Edwardian silver, the team have painstakingly unearthed historical gems and sourced pieces for luxury yachts, libraries and tailors’ showrooms. The pieces lean towards ‘gentlemen’s finery’ and can be searched in depth online. With advanced notice, the piece can be ready for you to inspect on arrival.
44. JW Anderson Workshop (London)
J.W.Anderson Workshop in Shoreditch, London is an embodiment of the designers influences and reference points, told through an ongoing programme of installations, exhibitions and events. The programme is surprising and irregular – it may be a week long fanzine project or a longer photographic exhibition celebrating a partnership. The space is designed to operate as a creative platform for Anderson and his collaborators.
45. Ace and Tate Eyes (The Hague)
Ace and Tate are working with local artists and creatives to create a playful identity in each of its stores. The energetic, ‘eye-popping’ brights, in the Dutch tradition are part of a wider brand mission to reinvent the eyewear store with stand-out frame design, lifestyle-led interiors and cutting-edge ambassadors.
46. Moleskine (Milan)
Great novels, sketches, thoughts and musings were drafted and crafted in cafes, little wonder then that Moleskine have opened a new concept space designed to nurture creativity, notebook-in-hand. Part cafe, art gallery, store and library the cafe will also host a programme of talks, breakfast learning sessions and exhibitions.
47. Normann Copenhagen (Copenhagen)
Interior design brand Normann Copenhagen creates retail theatre with each of its concept showrooms. The latest iteration is inspired by the ‘runway’ with a molten gold catwalk, VIP area, backstage passes and product displayed on clothing racks.
48. Neom Organics (UK)
Earlier this year, premium beauty brand Neom Organics launched wellbeing Schools at its standalone UK stores. Sales assistants aka Neomologists offer a 30-minute consultation to advise on ‘wellbeing needs’ before prescribing the correct ‘class’. Classes include Sleep School, Energy School, De-Stress School and Happiness School. Here luxury is very much a take-care service, rather than a take-away product.
49. Evance Watches (Tokyo)
You can’t blink and miss the Evance Watch store in Tokyo with its high-rise facade and giant watch graphics. Inside, products sparkle from glossy white cabinets and spotlighting. The second floor features the highest grade watches with private booths for one-on-one service.
50. Salon64 (London)
A new salon concept for London, Salon64 is a lifestyle space to socialise, work, and of course attend to your beauty needs. Styling chairs surround a distinctive fire pit feature, each equipped with unfolding tops that double up as both work stations and drinks tables – all whilst your hair is cut, coloured and styled with the most premium products. An onsite bar serves eco-friendly coffee whilst you have a pampering nail treatment, and 20 coffees will even earn you a free blow dry.
Check out our Top 10 concept store openings of 2017.
Find out more about the latest trends in retail by taking part in one of our Insider Trends retail safaris.