BY pursebop.com -
Did Chanel just say the quiet part out loud?
As in ‘Our goal is to be so exclusive that only super special people can shop with us’.
According to a BoF article, Chanel plans to open stores solely for VIP shopping. No need to run into the riff-raff or hoi polloi. These boutiques will be for top-spending clients only. Chanel expects to roll them out starting in Asia in 2023. We can only imagine the levels of service and perks to be provided to this clientele.
To some extent, one might argue that luxury brands already engage in stratification of shoppers. Pricing alone can have this effect as some consider (or reconsider) visiting a store where prices exceed their comfort level. It’s akin to the Whole Foods versus Stop and Shop (or whatever your favorite grocery store); Whole Foods is just too expensive.
But the issue is broader. Consider how often newbies to a brand like Chanel or Hermès feel intimidated walking into a boutique for the first (or second or third) time. It’s not always just the pricing, but the aura, or imagined exclusivity, and feeling of “I don’t belong”. Or, it’s going in and not being able to get the attention of employees.
However, for the most part, stores do not bar entry to anyone. It is true that the appointment system brought on by the pandemic (which may in some measure be here to stay) probably pruned the masses hoping to shop (or window shop), but it was not a blatant ban. Sure, VIPs may skip the lines outside the store to see a favored sales associate, but the rest of us could have a turn to shop.
On the other hand, a store dedicated to big spenders, or by invitation only, seems by its very definition discriminatory. In the vernacular of famed television show Seinfeld, “no soup for you.” Of course, there will be those clamoring to get in, arguing their case that they qualify or spending a bit extra for admission.
We are also hearing rumblings of “tier spends” – prequalifying spend amounts to access things like classic flap reserves in light of the new quotas disclosed last week. Perhaps it is no surprise that the Chanel “quota” system may not apply to everyone equally.
Read: Chanel Discloses Official Quota System for the Classic Flap
So, we ask, how will you react? Wanting to be that VVIP or are you turned off to the whole experience? Let us know your thoughts.
We will keep you updated on this space as news unfolds.