Putting luxury in its place

PROJECTile founder and CEO Erika Loch is interviewed in the current issue of DFNI looking at the evolving face of luxury retail in relation to destination.

DFNI is the world's leading travel retail B2B title providing an independent editorial overview of the global duty-free and travel retail industry.


In the latest issue, PROJECTile's Erika Loch is a interviewed, asked to offer expert insights from her own extensive experience spanning both physical and virtual luxury retail in the light of the DFS vision and strategy outlined by Eléonore de Boysson, Region President, Europe & Middle East, in a recent interview regarding the forthcoming La Samaritaine development in Paris due to open in 2019.


So-called "downtown travel retail" is established in Asia where it has proven a lucrative strategy for the likes of major travel retailer Lotte in Korea. But, DFS was the first major travel retailer to evolve a European manifestation of the form with its T Fondaco dei Tedeschi by DFS in Venice.


Using high-tech means to seamlessly reimburse VAT/duty to rich foreign visitors on a shopping spree, it's easy to understand the logic, opportunities and appeal of offering all of the tax-free shopping incentives usually only available at airports in the evocative surrounds of a chic city-centre locale.


Nonetheless, the DFS decision to progress with the La Samaritaine project is a bold one given its scale—to literally bring one of Paris' historic grands magasins back to life with a new business model.


Erika is interviewed not as a critic, but rather to extend the conversation about the current nature of the luxury retail experience and, most significantly, to comment on the importance of physical luxury shoppingchannels in an age in which supposedly everything can be bought online.