NEW YORK — Piaget has come out of hiding and is ready again for business on Fifth Avenue.
The luxury watch and jewelry house this week reopened its flagship, which had been closed since April for a top-to-bottom renovation. For the past few months, Piaget has been selling out of temporary quarters in Trump Tower, across from the permanent store at the corner of 57th Street.
The $1.5 million remodeling project was designed to modernize the 2,400-square-foot store, which had been very formal with navy and brass fixtures and not much natural light. Now, the ceiling has been raised and the facade is almost all windows, allowing for plenty of light as well as a clear view of the interior for Fifth Avenue pedestrians. The jewelry and watches are now grouped by collections, and housed in cases and wall panels made of a light-colored wood, while the carpet is a pale gray with blue touches.
“The new shop will serve as a visual manifestation of Piaget’s repositioning in North America and around the world,” said Thomas Van der Kallen, president of Piaget North America. “Where the former boutique concept had the feeling of an Old World jewelry salon, the new concept is contemporary, designed deliberately with transparency.”
He said the plan is for the Fifth Avenue boutique to become the top performing store, with a projected $10 million in sales during the next two to three years.
The store carries the full selection of Piaget watches and jewelry, and although the company wholesales both collections, the flagship has some items that are not available at other retailers, including a wider selection of men’s offerings as well as Miss Protocole, a whimsical line of women’s watches. Prices for its offerings range from about $800 to $50,000 for some of the more elaborate diamond pieces.
Piaget, a division of Compagnie Financiere Richemont SA, has been in the process of reinventing itself in the last year with a new marketing campaign and updated collections designed to have a more modern feel. The new boutique concept was designed by French architect Gerard Barrau. It will be used for all future Piaget store openings, and a number of the existing stores are being remodeled with its style. Piaget also wants to open more boutiques, and has been scouting locations in such areas as Los Angeles and Chicago. Currently, there are three stores in the U.S.: the Manhattan flagship and units in Palm Beach and Bal Harbour, Fla., and 27 other boutiques worldwide.
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