There’s something special inside Tag Heuer’s new Fifth Avenue boutique. The store, located between 53rd and 54th Streets, features an interactive display case called iTag.
The connected case was unveiled on April 9 at the company’s new store in Ginza in Tokyo, but this is the first of its kind in America, according to Kilian Müller, president and chief executive officer of the company’s North American division.
“It’s in line with our concept of integrating the customer journey,” Müller said. “It allows us to interact with the customer in a completely different way.”
The iTag technology allows a shopper to search for a model on an integrated iPad, which then displays all the information about that watch and rotates the display until the piece appears. The customer can save their selection to their mobile device if they’re not ready to commit immediately.
The iTag also notifies a sales associate in the store of the customer’s interest via their own connected watch and they can then work with the customer to unlock the watch if he or she wants a closer look. This is expected to be especially popular with Millennials, Müller believes, because not only are they tech-savvy, but they often prefer to shop with help from a salesperson in the beginning.
Müller, who said the technology will be rolling out to all flagships shortly, took the opportunity to show off iTag to one of its best-known ambassadors, Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist who made a personal appearance in the store on Wednesday night.
Lundqvist took shots with customers and signed autographs and also talked about the season that just ended. The Rangers finished last in their division this year and didn’t make the playoffs, which resulted in the firing of its head coach, Alain Vigneault, earlier this month.
Lundqvist admitted that he was disappointed with the team’s performance this season. “When you look at the season as a whole and the way we started, we were on track and good enough to be in the race, but then the injuries started piling up, we started losing a few games and then after that, there was a different feel to the season.
“It was a tough stretch, but a lot of players have been there for a while so it’s up to us to bring all the young guys, the new players, along. It was an important time in their careers to get their feet wet. Now it feels even more important to make the right decisions and prepare for next year.”
Despite news reports that Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton had offered Lundqvist the opportunity to exit the team midseason, he said he’s not planning on going anywhere anytime soon.
“To be honest, we didn’t get the far in that conversation. I sat down with Jeff and he asked me how I felt about the whole situation and I said, this is where I want to be, so we didn’t spend much time thinking about options. I want to be here and I don’t see [our recent struggles] as a longtime thing. Management has the same approach, and by making some smart decisions, we can be a competitor next year. It doesn’t have to take that long. It’s about getting the right pieces together and things can turn quickly.”
Lundqvist, sporting a three-piece custom suit from Esq in Chicago, said he’ll spend a few weeks in New York and then head back to Sweden to “spend some time with friends and family.” But hockey is never far from his mind. “In the off-season, you’re still thinking about how you want to plan your summer when it comes to training. I’m looking at everything from technical to mental to physical, what can I improve and what can I do differently, but I also have time to do other things, whether it’s working with Tag, doing charity work or spending time with family.”