Call it Diptyque times two.
This story first appeared in the January 7, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The Parisian fragrance marketer has opened a flagship on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, less than a year after opening a shop downtown.
The new location was opened on Madison Avenue near 76th Street on Nov. 27. It measures 500 square feet, which is 100 square feet bigger than the location the firm opened on Bleecker Street between Perry and Charles Streets in December 2008.
“It’s a jewel box concept,” said Andrew Sedlock, managing director for North America at Diptyque. “You want to make it intimate. It becomes confusing to the customer if it’s too large.”
This was the case with a Diptyque store on Newbury Street in Boston, that was 1,300 square feet and was closed in summer 2008, Sedlock acknowledged. He called the 500-square-foot size optimal for the Diptyque retail concept.
Diptyque, which was established in 1961 and sold by its original founders to London-based private equity firm Manzanita Capital three years ago, now has three freestanding stores in the U.S., including a 700-square-foot shop in San Francisco.
While more stores are planned, according to Sedlock, the details of such a strategy are being hammered out.
Worldwide, Diptyque operates 10 stores, including three in London, two in Paris, one in Dubai and another in Qatar.
In the U.S., Diptyque products are carried in 85 doors, including Bergdorf Goodman, Barneys New York, Saks Fifth Avenue, Space NK and independent boutiques.
The Madison Avenue flagship, which was designed by Olivier Lempereur, features motifs found in the London and Paris stores, Sedlock noted. “The concept was to make something more contemporary but true to the brand,” said Sedlock. “Black and white is signature to the products. The idea was to keep it very simple and to be inspired by nature. Nature was very important to the original founders [Christiane Gautrot, Desmond Knox-Leet and Yves Coueslant].”
White light boxes to the left of the store’s entrance feature graphics meant to be reminiscent of wooden twigs. To the right, small black cabinets and shelves display product, and the store carries Diptyque’s full assortment of candles, room sprays, soaps, eaux de toilette, colognes and bath and body care items, which range from $15 to $135.
“We’re known for candles,” said Sedlock, “but we want to focus more on personal scents and body care.” He noted that last spring, the brand introduced a line of five products called The Art of Body Care and that three new Art of Body Care items are planned.
“I think Madison Avenue is going to be a very interesting [location] for this store,” said Sedlock. “It’s a traveled customer and the brand is recognized by a customer who is international.”
Industry sources estimate the Madison Avenue store could generate first-year retail sales volume of $1 million.