LOS ANGELES — Montblanc’s new store concept showcases the writing instrument maker’s widening product assortment, as it continues to evolve into a broad luxury goods brand.
The 2,700-square-foot store, unveiled earlier this month on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, was designed in-house by the Compagnie Financière Richemont-owned brand. It replaces a nearby 300-square-foot, decade-old unit on the same street that offered a limited selection. The additional space allows the brand to highlight categories such as watches, jewelry, leather accessories and eyewear.
“It is a totally new world, not only in how we show the product, but in what we show,” said Jan-Patrick Schmitz, president and chief executive officer of Montblanc North America, who added that 60 to 70 percent of the merchandise in the new store wasn’t available in the previous location. “In a store like this, we have expectations of [generating] increased visibility and a much different experience to create more traction for the brand.”
The store’s exterior is made of European slate, and the interior is done in light hues such as tans, grays and whites, in contrast to the stark black-and-white interior of Montblanc’s previous Rodeo Drive location. Schmitz pointed to subtle links between the product and the look of the store, including dark gray or blue design elements being paired with male-oriented items and light brown with female-oriented items.
The interior is segmented into three areas: the entry for watches and the most expensive jewelry pieces; the middle for more approachable jewelry, cuff links and money clips; the cash wrap backed by an image of a soaring Mont Blanc — the highest mountain in the Alps and Western Europe — and the back for what Schmitz called “lifestyle” products like pens, belts, sunglasses, and travel and leather items. Limited edition writing instruments are encased in displays along the walls and a private VIP room is at the rear of the store. The price range in the store is from $370 to $5 million.
“From a design point of view, it is closer to a jewelry store than the old location,” said Schmitz.
Although he wouldn’t discuss sales figures, Schmitz said he expects to “easily multiply turnover several times over” from the former Rodeo Drive store and “jewelry, leather and watches will increase proportionally.” Based on recent annual average sales-per-square-foot estimates for Rodeo Drive, the Montblanc store could notch around $2.2 million in annual sales.
The Rodeo Drive store reflects a retail strategy to move away from Montblanc’s previously small stores averaging 400 to 600 square feet toward larger locations from 1,400 to 3,000 square feet. The brand has revamped its Houston unit to reflect this strategy and is planning to remodel two U.S. shops next year in a similar manner, according to Schmitz. Montblanc has 34 stores in the U.S. and around 360 globally.
From overseeing America’s fastest-growing speciality retailers to codifying cool, WWD talked to the women who are leading the way for the future of beauty. Check out our Instagram Stories to see how these women built today and are creating tomorrow. (📸: @hannah_khymych) #wwdbeauty
For @laperlalingerie's spring 2018 show, the brand chose to host their event at @thevenetianmacao. With Chinese megastars @bingbing_fan and @hubing in attendance, La Perla debuted a rock ‘n’ roll-inspired collection. The show marked the start of Sands Macao Fashion Week, which runs from October 19 to 24 — the city’s first such event. Pictured here are models backstage with glimmering eyes. #wwdfashion (📷: Cheuk-Yin To)
Trending for spring 2018: top stitch design. Gone are the days of stitch just for seams — designers are using the once-minimal detail to create strong decorative elements. (📷: Paola Testa; Styled by @andrew_shang) #wwdfashion
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)