ESSEC GMBA Luxury Brand Management – Visit of La Samaritaine

Visit of La Samaritaine, 01. December 2021

On the first day of December, with the joy of Christmas already in the air all around Paris, ESSEC's Luxury Brand Management GMBA cohort had the great opportunity to visit DFS’s latest addition to its luxury department stores in the heart of Paris: La Samaritaine. The retail store, a heritage building originally opened in 1905, focused especially on attracting international tourists while still transporting the spirit of “French living”, just recently reopened in June 2021, after being closed for more than 15 years. The 3-hour visit was split into two sessions: first, a 1.5 hour company presentation and the second half being filled with a store visit.

During the company presentation, Xavière Canali,  HRD, demonstrated how DFS fits into the brand portfolio of LVMH and introduced us to the global operations of DFS. Next, Cécile Favre,, Marketing Project Manager for DFS, provided interesting insights into how her team created the campaigns for the store’s reopening, its 150+1 year anniversary, as well as its current Christmas campaign – always trying to create a perfect symbiosis of modern values, technology and La Samaritaine’s traditions.

During the second part of the visit, the cohort had the opportunity to visit La Samaritaine’s beauty floor, which with 3,200 square meters is the largest beauty floor in Europe. The team of La Samaritaine shared interesting insights on the floor’s architecture and design, but also on how and why specific brands displayed on the floor were selected. 

Additionally, the group got the chance to visit the VIP-rooms of the jewelry & watches floor, with the Sales Manager sharing his experiences of working at La Samaritaine. The afternoon came to an end on the top floor where the participants were able to admire the huge art nouveau fresques of beautiful peacocks dating back to 1905, that have been painstakingly renovated over a period of 4 years. 

And so ended another unique moment of insight into the world of luxury retail and we thank DFS for their continuing partnership with the ESSEC GMBA Luxury Brand Management program and offering us this privileged visit.


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