Swiss luxury watchmaker, Audemars Piguet, has created a new retail sales concept in Hong Kong, called AP House, that’s actually a luxury apartment, decorated with the same sophisticated contemporary styling as one of their flagship mono-brand boutiques.
Selling to high-end clientele in a more comfortable and less formal environment is not new, but it’s definitely a recent trend we expect to see more of as the retail landscape adapts to suit new consumer tastes and preferences.
Material Good, which operates a sumptuous second floor retail store in Soho – selling Audemars Piguet, Richard Mille, highly curated vintage timepieces, and jewelry – is one similar example. They are not using a residential apartment, but the interior design is more akin to a luxury home (or penthouse) than a typical brand boutique.
Volume luxury watch brand IWC, which has a network of well-appointed boutiques worldwide, is trying something different as well with their Pilots Bar concept in Geneva.
François-Henry Bennahmias, AP’s CEO, said in an article in Lifestyle Asia that AP House is a space to “invite friends for lunch, organize a business meeting … there’s no obligation to buy a watch. You can take a seat, relax and chill out, if that’s how the mood takes you”.
The luxury watch retail world is heavily lifestyle and experience focused, and so we expect, and look forward, to seeing more of these non-traditional physical locations as the market evolves.