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Selling the Experience

Shaun Tolson

Stepping into the flagship store of an exceptional luxury brand brings with it specific expectations. Those who seek out the goods produced by such high-end designers do so with the understanding that the quality of those products warrants discerning taste. Owning those items is, in itself, an experience worth the cost to acquire them. But the shopping experience must also provide a level of quality that rivals the products themselves. Stefano Ricci (www.stefanoricci.com) accomplishes this better than most, evidenced by the brand’s flagship store on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.

The ambience of a Stefano Ricci store is much the same for each of the 22 boutiques found across 13 different countries. It begins with the highly polished American burled walnut used throughout the store for tables, shelves, and display units. Ricci himself selects all the materials used in the construction and decor of his shops, but as Alfred Chan, the president of the Beverly Hills shop, reveals, Ricci’s touch goes far beyond that. Customers entering Chan’s 5,000-square-foot boutique will encounter all the men’s clothing and accessories for which Ricci is known, but everything else within the store—the shelves, the seating, the light fixtures—also was conceived by the Italian designer.

Chan and his staff make a point to understand each individual client’s tastes, and they will take past purchases into consideration when helping the client select new items. They also make every visitor feel welcome, whether they make a purchase or not. “All of our salespeople, we work together like a family,” Chan says. “We all take care of each other and we go out of our way to please our customers.”

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Photo by Ted Morrison