21st Century Flagship Store Architecture in New Luxury Retail Markets: A Comparative Study of Louis Vuitton, Prada, and Chanel Flagship Stores in Tokyo

By Bhakti Sharma.

Published by The International Journal of Design Management and Professional Practice

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: September 5, 2014 $US5.00

Flagship stores are retail environments where sales are secondary to the experiential, social, or the branding functionalities. The branding functions of flagship stores, maybe those of brand awareness instrumental in creating a new market, brand loyalty for nurturing existing relations or for the purpose of brand reverence in proposing a shrine for brand followers. This study analyzes and evaluates the function of a flagship store, particularly in the creation and development of a new luxury retail market. The architecture and designs of the Louis Vuitton, Prada, and Chanel flagship stores in Japan were studied, as they are influenced by their brand identity in the Japanese socio-cultural context and how the architecture creates an environment more conducive to social and experiential functions, more so than retail. To verify the research hypothesis that only a small percentage of floor area is dedicated to retail, a study of literature, architectural drawings, published interviews, and annual reports was conducted. Prominent architectural themes — spatial layout, area, visual display, and circulation patterns — universal to the stores emerged, thus verifying the hypothesis.

Keywords: Architecture, Flagship, Luxury, Retail

The International Journal of Design Management and Professional Practice, Volume 7, Issue 3, September 2014, pp.63-74. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: September 5, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 411.689KB)).

Bhakti Sharma

Assistant Professor, Interior Design Department, State University of New York, Buffalo, New York, USA