Storytelling, store design, and attention to new technologies. We went to Mori in Brescia, a shop where you can find the most prestigious luxury brands, the most traditional, up-to-date, innovative designers, and many original ideas. We noticed at least four main strengths: product selection, passion for the job, expertise in the mechanisms driving the industry, and knowledge of the customer. We interviewed Francesca Mori, co-owner of the shop, to tell us about it.
What is luxury today and what is the value of having prestigious brands in your shop?
Luxury is an evolving concept, it changes over time and takes on different meanings, even depending on the product category. Not only that: the perception of luxury is certainly very subjective and finding an absolute definition becomes impossible.
Today, when thinking about luxury, the ostentatious aspect is lost, in favour of values such as sustainability, craftsmanship and exclusivity: these are certainly the main trends characterizing the search for 'luxury' items in our shop.
To be considered a luxury product, a good must still meet certain basic characteristics:
exclusivity, high quality, high price and qualified sales outlets.
The luxury brand has an important role within the shop, precisely because it helps qualifying the shop in cases where the distribution is truly selective (not always this aspect is adequately taken into account by brands).
Quality, image and prestigious brands are meant to give an added value that justifies even the higher price of luxury goods, and such value is precisely what will make the customer choose our shop over another.
Why do people buy prestigious objects today and who is the customer who buys them?
Having lost the ostentatious function of luxury, let us say that the purchase of a prestigious object is nowadays aimed at enhancing one's personal pleasure, no longer at communicating wealth and social status. Through the purchase of luxury goods, the customer wants to convey a message of good taste and choice. Price is therefore a necessary factor, but not sufficient, because it must be accompanied by quality, aesthetics and culture.
The typical customers of luxury goods want to express themselves and their culture: they are willing to spend a lot, but in return they want quality and exclusivity.
At the time of purchase, great attention is also paid to the aesthetic aspect of both the good and the context in which it is presented: being able to stand out at this level can make a difference against the competition. For this type of customer, however, price has a marginal value because the propensity to spend is very strong.
Is there room in the retail world for the younger generations? If so, which contribution can they give to the evolution of this sector?
As it happened over the past few years, the physical shop is certainly destined to transform. However, shops are spaces that need to satisfy in terms of design, product and service the needs of a changing, growing, evolving public.
New generations are destined to accomplish these transformations. They are actually indispensable for their completion because they are able to grasp, if not predict, the social evolution and changes in purchasing behaviour.
Despite being digital natives, able to move from one platform to another with extreme ease, nevertheless they already seem to express a preference for in-store shopping: they prefer physical shops but expect to be able to interact with them in a new, social way.
We can speculate on some of the macro-transformations we will witness:
Digitalization and technological innovation. Young people are definitely sensitive to change, to updating, to understanding new technologies.
Mixing real and virtual world. Accustomed to being perpetually online, and perpetually connected, with the rise of artificial intelligence and augmented reality, young people expect to have similar experiences in the stores. Therefore, it is conceivable that they will be able to achieve this fusion between real and virtual world to create an engaging and collective experience within our shops.
Importance of the feedback. Compared to our generation, the next generation is not passively subjected to the product or service, they are not satisfied with the narrative they are offered: they express themselves, comment, judge and share. The importance of obtaining positive feedback and reviews becomes essential: products, environments and services should be cared for and designed with this in mind.
Innovation as a way of being. As 'shopkeepers' we are used to targeted interventions, to defined projects: for us, innovating meant implementing e-commerce and digital identities. In the future, innovation will become a state, a constantly existing condition, it won’t concern one area or another: it will be a constant process.
What characterizes your business the most and makes it unique?
Our shop is constantly evolving, but some aspects, while changing over time, remain distinctive.
First of all, it is a very large shop, spread over two floors and capable of accommodating and supporting very different products: from the luxury brand to the small Venetian ceramist; from traditional brands to emerging and more innovative ones.
In addition, we have always devoted great attention to 'scenography': the shop, its spaces, and shop windows undergo a monthly revolution that becomes functional to the narrative of the product being highlighted.
Our goal is to make in-store shopping an immersive moment, an experience, to make our audience part of an unfolding story.