Stores that sell luxury have to look the part, and Gucci’s new store in Plano’s Legacy West has a design that fits the bill, with velvet armchairs for seating and an Italian marble exterior façade.
Gucci wanted a third store in the area and has no plans to close its stores at NorthPark Center and Galleria Dallas, said Susan Chokachi, CEO of Gucci America.
“We see an opportunity in the market to expand Gucci’s brand story and deepen our roots by opening a unique destination with Legacy West where new clients we may not have had access to in the past can experience the world of Gucci,” she said.
The more than 5,000-square-foot store, which opened last Friday, sells men’s and women’s shoes, handbags, luggage, small leather goods, accessories, silks, jewelry and eyewear.
Last year, Gucci accelerated its shift from wholesale to direct selling, but the 100-year-old brand will still be sold through its Texas wholesale partners, she said. In Texas, that means Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom. The brand has 100 of its own stores in North America.
The brand has tried more digital marketing vs. high-profile fashion shows in the past year.
“We have always been innovators in the digital space, so engagement with new social platforms and immersive digital experiences has always been part of our DNA,” Chokachi said in an email.
And while the new Plano store is elegant, Gucci takes an edgy approach with its marketing.
The brand’s digital magazine, Chime Zine, is supporting gender equality in its latest issue on Gucci Equilibrium, the company’s platform dedicated to social and environmental issues. Luxury makers believe Gen Z consumers are more likely to shop and trust a brand that addresses such issues.
Gucci has created a collection specifically for video gamers, betting that they would “help boost its image and sales,” according to a Gartner report that estimated video game players, including “virtual fashionistas” who dress their characters, are spending $100 million per year on virtual goods.
In July 2019, Gucci introduced the Gucci Arcade to its app featuring the Gucci Bee and Gucci Ace video games. Last year, it collaborated with Wildlife, the video game creator of Tennis Clash, to add exclusive Gucci outfits for virtual players to wear in a special Gucci tennis tournament.
Gucci created a pair of virtual luxury neon green and pink sneakers that went on sale for $12.99 in March. They’re to be worn in augmented reality or in apps such as VRChat and online gaming platform Roblox. No word on whether the shoes will become available in the physical world, but the assumption is that the virtual marketing will lead some shoppers to its stores.
Other brands have also ventured into video gaming to reach shoppers during the pandemic. Marc Jacobs and Valentino released outfits in the Animal Crossing video game, and Burberry released a game last summer called “B Surf” for its fashions.
On Tuesday, Gucci’s parent company, Kering, credited its first-quarter rebound to a return to positive sales from its Italian megabrand. Gucci’s revenue fell 10% in the fourth quarter but increased 24% in the first three months of this year. Gucci is part of a luxury fashion house that includes several brands such as Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, Bottega Veneta and Yves Saint Laurent.