Paris Retail Week is partner of the NRFrench Party which will take place on January 15th at the French Consulate in New York, and as part of this operation, is pleased to participate in the exciting exchanges on retail innovations, at the beginning of 2017.
The floor is given to Barbara Sarre-Deroubaix, Retail Director at Bizerba France.
In your opinion, what are the reasons why New York City is so attractive to retailers?
New York is the laboratory for retail innovation. It’s the city where the latest physi-digital, customer-experience trends converge, are tested and proven.
There are many French and European retailers eager to test their new concepts outside of France before deciding to put them to use or not in Europe.
In NYC, the playing field is massive: the dramatic qualities of the retail outlets often take on extravagant proportions through the gigantic size of the retail spaces. Added to that, personalization is already very advanced, and customer service has been developed to an extreme level.
On the other side of the Atlantic, for you what are the specific standout qualities of retail in Paris?
Paris remains one of the cities where luxury brands vie with each in ingenuity to highlight their creations, whether it’s in their own stores or in the large department stores (Printemps, Le Bon Marché, Galeries Lafayette). The interior store design used for the holiday season, which has just finished up, confirmed the investment that prestigious brands make in their image. We are also seeing an explosion in the openings of pop-up stores that bring a greater dynamic to the urban landscape.
The honored gastronomic tradition, the know-how of professionals in food catering and luxury grocery stores is also well developed in the French capital. From traditional commercial neighborhoods (Rue Daguerre, Rue de Levis, etc.) to renovations and openings of high-end stores (Lafayette Gourmet, Maison Plisson, etc.), along with the noted arrival of E.Leclerc in the 19th arrondissement, the food offer within Paris proper is very attractive. New concepts are blossoming and being put to use in Paris and the surrounding region (Carrefour Villiers-en-Bière, Franprix’s “Mandarine” Concept, Carrefour City, Monop’, Monop’Daily, etc.) to offer a new fresh-product buying experience to consumers with better service and locations (click & collect, home delivery, one-hour delivery, snacking spaces, cooking courses and guidance, etc.).
What major retail trend(s) do you think will make a mark on 2017?
If the continuation of the digital transformation of retail outlets, underpinned by Big Data development, remains one of the major challenges in 2017 for responding to the needs of the hyper-connected consumer, it is highly probably that the search of authenticity will become more and more important in the development of long-lasting customer/brand relations. Before, during, and after the purchasing process, the interaction will become uninterrupted. And all the channels need to let customers have a real experience with the brand that is unique and personal. The brick and mortar store will be transformed in its very core. If the consumer not only comes to the store (or not at all in some cases) to make a purchase, he must have an emotional, sensory, human experience that gives him a reason to physically go there again. If the technology will soon allow all of this or nearly all of it, it must also remove itself from the experience to allow for human contact. 2017: the year of Authentic Augmented Retail?
Finally, what is the start-up in the retail sector that would deserve to be honored in 2017? Why?
Whether in France, Israel, or on the other side of the Atlantic, there are many innovative start-ups in various domains that aim at improving customer experience: Big Data analysis and security, augmented reality, customer relations, cashing-receipt services, collaborative platforms, anti-food-waste, etc.
I’d like to name Critizr, a start-up from Lille, whose mobile application allows consumers to send their experiences (positive or negative) in the retail outlets directly to the directors of different brand stores and offer suggestions. In this way, the voice of the consumer is still heard, and he receives a personalized response. Potential customers can consult previous comments, and the brand stores have a vested interest in responding to their customers and taking their comments into consideration via this mobile consumer service.
To attend the NRFrench Party, the inspiring evening of Retailers and French e-merchants at NRF, register here!