Marjorie Garnier, the Pôle Éphémère Manager at Apsys Group, shares her expert perspective on the retail industry.
What brand initiatives have recently impressed you?
A few months ago, I was struck by the founders of the Balzac Paris brand in their store. They were handling transactions, asking questions to customers, and providing their email address to receive feedback. I believe a brand should engage with its customers, and they are a perfect example of that.
Another experience that left an impression on me was when Lacoste opened their store on the Champs-Élysées. They organized an event for all the members of their community who had purchased NFTs, extending the digital experience into the physical space of the store.
What are the major challenges for shopping malls in 2023?
Regardless of the economic situation, commerce remains a fundamental and foundational function of cities, essential for quality of life, economic vitality, and social interaction. We are convinced that commercial spaces have a promising future ahead, provided they reinvent themselves and adapt to evolving expectations and consumer behaviors. To achieve this, they must offer a comprehensive, seamless, emotional/experiential, omnichannel experience, blending shopping, entertainment, dining, and social spaces, as well as incorporating other uses such as healthcare and culture. They must engage in continuous curation efforts to provide up-to-date offerings and concepts, and deploy flexible and dynamic formats capable of adapting to current trends and the spirit of the times.
Apsys has significant news: what are the operations you are most proud of?
One of the most remarkable operations was done with “Les secrets de Loly” in October 2022. It was a comprehensive campaign for this digitally born brand that promotes an inclusive message and has a strong community. The campaign, titled “My hair, my power,” was an engaged initiative carrying an empowerment
message that was displayed throughout Paris: on the Champs-Élysées, in the Opéra metro station, and at Beaugrenelle with monumental banners on the exterior facades. Inside Beaugrenelle, the brand had set up its first experiential retail store, featuring phones where visitors could listen to the founder, test products, and receive advice. The focus on personalized advice and in-store experience allowed the brand to connect with customers in person. It was an operation that broke the norms, and we are proud to have participated in spreading this generous and liberating message.
Another interesting aspect is the emergence of temporary stores for rare sneakers such as Kulture or Rach, which were previously only available online and are now meeting their customers in person.
In fact, what stands out in all our operations is the brands’ desire to engage with their customers and offer them a real-life experience, rather than solely selling products.
Lastly, I am proud of our upcoming operation, “Green in the city.” In April, we are organizing an event at Beaugrenelle focused on nature, where we will showcase temporary stores featuring sustainable and second-hand brands. This aligns with Beaugrenelle’s DNA as a place committed to an energy consumption reduction strategy and biodiversity protection as part of its CSR initiatives.
You have hosted several Pop-Ups at Beaugrenelle: what is the recipe for their success?
The keys to their success are exclusivity and the temporary nature of the offering. This allows brands that may not be able to secure a permanent retail space to gain visibility and meet the expectations of a delighted customer base that finds them. However, the most important factor is the human element. The brand representatives play a crucial role in introducing the brand and its products to customers