START YOUR ENGINES: L’Occitane is rolling. The beauty brand said its L’Occi truck has proven a good test into new markets and new customers.

The company in April introduced its retail truck in Washington, D.C., for the Cherry Blossom Festival, a timely event to play up L’Occitane’s own Cherry Blossom Collection. That was followed later that same month for the truck’s stop at Beautycon in New York. On Saturday the company parks the L’Occi Truck  at The Grove shopping center and will stay there through Oct. 31.

“The truck is becoming increasingly a really important aspect for us,” said Nicholas Baty, director of L’Occitane North America Outlets, who is managing the truck.

A roaming truck has served a number of brands well as businesses look to breathe new life into the retail experience. Kylie Cosmetics has popped up at a number of locations, including The Grove. The Giving Keys has also made use of a renovated Airstream to test retail in the past. There’s also Ripndip’s revamped ice cream truck, which has served as a mobile retail unit for the skate brand.

The vehicle for L’Occitane serves two functions for the business, Baty explained. First is to act as a stand-in for when a L’Occitane store is being remodeled or relocated and offer consumers a temporary retail outpost. The second is to attract new customers to the brand. The company declined to specify its customer acquisition rate via the truck citing marketplace variables.

The Grove specifically was tapped for this third stop, Baty said, due to its high traffic counts and the center’s open-air concept.

The truck’s success now has the company already turning to how it can be used in the future with confirmed stops for next year expected to include Venice; Brooklyn, at what Baty described as an “important project;” and Miami.

“It’s been a really interesting learning [process] for us as an organization. Obviously, the truck has operational limitations that we have to be really proactive and entrepreneurial with and what we’ve intended to do is focus on key categories or a demographic,” Baty said of L’Occitane’s approach to merchandising the 16-foot-long truck.

The stop at The Grove will play up what Baty said are two key categories for the brand, the new skin-care line Aqua Reotier and an almond body collection.


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