7 December 2023
The Weekly
Chanel concept of RinascenteChanel concept of RinascenteChanel concept of Rinascente

The retailer’s jewel-in-the-crown location overlooking the Duomo cathedral in Milan unveiled Chanel Wonderland Thursday night, a takeover of the French maison that runs through Jan. 4. The Chanel concept, one that stretches across floors, the department store’s windows, facade and arcade is the most expansive the retailer has ever staged. In addition to taking over the store windows, the building’s facade, enabled by the Twinkly mapping technology, is lit up with a golden Chanel light show filled with the brand’s signature emblems and spaced out by a projection of Rinascente’s Christmas mini-movie. Lightings in the shape of gift boxes and Chanel No.5 flacons are suspended from the ceiling of the window-adjacent arcade.


The Chanel Beauty universe takes over the store’s lower floor with a dedicated white and gold booth hosting an immersive pop-up boutique. Replete with immersive tools — including the Air Parfum Discovery station, a fragrance diffuser for a blind selection of one’s most appropriate Chanel fragrance and the Chanel Try On virtual makeup station — the pop-up shop is decked in gold boasts makeup, skin care and fragrance corners. It offers special Chanel products, including collectors’ fragrances and coffrets, limited-edition refillable skin care treatments, as well as the holiday 2023 makeup collection. Consultations with Chanel perfume and makeup experts are offered upon booking, while the Gift Generator app helps customers find the perfect Chanel present.


The pop-up boutique is flanked by the temporary Chanel Wonderland café, which takes over the permanent God Save the Food restaurant on Rinascente’s lower floor. Furnished like a Parian bistro with white and gold-edged tables and black midcentury chairs, the café offers a French-inspired menu. Other Chanel activations are scattered throughout the store, with a dedicated shoe corner on the third floor and an eyewear space at the Annex, in addition to the permanent Chanel Beauty corner on the ground floor. The activation goes hand in hand with Rinascente’s ongoing holiday concept, dubbed Christmas Factory. The concept includes a partnership with Lemax, the Chinese company specialized in music boxes and miniatures, recreating enchanted Christmas villages with white slopes, moving trains and carousels. And there is also a partnership with artisans hailing from San Gregorio Armeno, a historic street in Naples known for ateliers specializing in handmade figurines of nativity scenes.


Rinascente’s CEO Pierluigi Cocchini said footfall in the city and at the department store has increased significantly versus 2019 albeit with a different geographic composition. The number of Chinese has been cut in half in the post-pandemic scene, Russians almost disappeared from the retail floor but were replaced by brisker traffic from European visitors, as well as a significant uptick tourist, from Canada, the U.S. and Mexico. The executive also pointed to increased traffic from countries such as Brazil, South Korea, Japan and newcomers, including the Philippines.


With a network of nine stores in Italy and a double-digit increase in 2023 sales versus a year earlier, Rinascente ‘for the first time will hit the billion € mark,’ Pierluigi Cocchini said. The Florence and Turin units host a Dior takeover, while Prada linked with Rinascente’s Roma Tritone unit, taking over for a few days also the store’s rooftop restaurant. The Roma Fiume, Catania, Palermo, Cagliari and Monza flagships will be dedicated to Rinascente’s Christmas Factory concept. Over the past two years, Rinascente revamped the Roma Fiume, Florence and Turin stores, and rearranged the Milano Duomo flagship’s second floor dedicated to menswear. Up next is a reshuffle of Milan’s womenswear assortment, expanding its retail space and adjusting brand mix across the third, fourth and fifth floors. The retailer also plans to continue tweaking its menswear offering in Milan and give new impulse to brand mix at its Roma Tritone store.