Hermès has a lot of retail activity on its porcelain dinner plate.
The brand in May unveiled a store in Palo Alto, Calif., and will soon open a three-level, 10,000-square-foot store at 46-48 Gansevoort Street in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District. After that, an 8,000-square-foot, two-floor unit will arrive in the summer at American Dream in East Rutherford, N.J. Earlier this month, Hermès revealed it has signed a lease for a flagship with about 40,000 square feet of space at 706 Madison Avenue, scheduled to open in 2022.
The retailer on March 1, will inaugurate its 35th unit in the U.S., a 3,800-square-foot store at the Mall at Millenia in Orlando, Fla. The store, which had a soft opening last week, joins existing Hermès units in the state in Miami and Palm Beach.
“It’s a whole new market,” Robert B. Chavez, Hermès USA president and chief executive officer. “Our Miami and Palm Beach stores continue to do very well. We see lots of potential in the Florida market.
“There’s so much business [in Orlando,] between Disney World and Universal Studios,” Chavez added. “Orlando is a major domestic and international tourist destination. There’s also quite a local client base.”
The store’s facade reflects the area’s verdant, tropical scenery. Four shades of glossy green enameled ceramic tiles with faceted, geometric patterns were used to give the store a jewel-like quality and reflect the light. The interior hews more closely to the classical codes of the fashion house, with pale-green Faubourg mosaic tiles and Grecques lighting, which was designed for Hermès in 1925. The materials and color palette, which were inspired by nature, include sand-colored terrazzo floors with inlaid mother-of-peal and green glass accents.
The bulk of the main space is divided into three areas with an asymmetric layout to allow consumers to move easily between métiers. The area closest to the facade is light and airy, while curved walkways delineate passages to each product group. Toward the back of the store, jewelry is displayed in an alcove with sandblasted cherrywood walls that echo the geometric pattern of the facade.
Chavez said the store’s product categories have been distorted to account for the heavy tourist traffic. “We’ll do an inordinate amount of business in scarves, ties, enamel jewelry and shoes,” he said. These lower-priced products Chavez called “recruitment categories. While we’re offering everything, we’ve allocated larger than normal space for these categories.”
Assortments will match the market’s enthusiasm for colorful, bright palettes, Chaves said, noting that men’s and women’s ready-to-wear and home items are being sold. “We expect to do very well in this market,” he added. “Orlando’s draw is so global. There are so may Europeans, Middle Eastern and Latin American visitors. It truly draws a global consumer.”