New Hermes Boutique Offers Locals Enhanced Shopping Experience
September 26, 2014
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Anyone who operates in the world of luxury goods knows that quality simply can’t be rushed. At Hermes of Paris Inc. — where six generations of artisans have crafted everything from fine jewelry to leather goods — patience and attention to detail are likely requisites of the job.
Earlier this month, Hermes unveiled its latest example of fine craftsmanship in the form of a 2,400-square-foot boutique at Buckhead Atlanta, the long-awaited mixed-use neighborhood from development firm OliverMcMillan. At the opening event, more than 250 locals flowed through the store to a street scene inspired by a Parisian marketplace featuring French delicacies, cafe seating and live music.
It was a festive and fitting launch for a project that was five and a half years in the making. While there were surely moments when he wondered if the day would come, Hermes CEO Robert Chavez said the company remained committed to the project. The new boutique — along with the retail, dining, residential and office space still quietly rising around it — promises to be a dynamic addition to Buckhead, he said.
The boutique was designed by the Paris-based architectural firm founded by the late wife of the former Hermes International CEO. Hermes is a retail anchor of the development and one of the original tenants to sign on when it was known as Streets of Buckhead. When the project stalled during the economic downturn, Hermes, which had left the Lenox Square space it had occupied since 1998, moved to a temporary location next to Fado Irish Pub, another original tenant that hung on during uncertain times.
For the first six months, they weren’t sure customers would find them, Chavez said. But of course, they did. “Clients here have been loyal through that time,” he said. That loyalty has now been rewarded with a space that offers much more in the way of ambiance and experience.
“This location is really affording us the ability to showcase our brand and identity in a way we’ve never been able to express it before (in Atlanta),” Chavez said. Not only will Hermes clients enjoy the fine architectural details of the boutique from the light-filled rotunda to the Greek key theme, they will also appreciate a more comprehensive product assortment.
Iconic Hermes goods are displayed on either side of the main entrance with scarves to the left (silk bandannas begin at $195) and enamel bracelets (priced $450 and up) on the right. Front and center stands a showcase to the company’s heritage: a display of saddles and equestrian equipment.
A private salon provides the proper presentation for fine jewelry and watches, while ready-to-wear clothing for men and women is housed in the rear of the store, along with shoes and other accessories. Rounding out the product assortment are fragrance, leather goods, gifts and items for the home.
In the past, Atlanta clients would often travel and return to the Atlanta store in search of the shoes or the watch they saw at other Hermes boutiques, Chavez said. Now they will likely travel to other stores and be able to say they saw it first in Atlanta.
With the new boutique, local clients will have an Hermes experience befitting of what Chavez regards as an understated elegance. “We like to be very local in our presentation,” he said. “This was the right presentation for Atlanta.”
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