25 June 2020
The Weekly

Galeries Lafayette has re-opened its doors to a new world of different customer expectations - and needs to build out the people skills to service it. In common with retailers around the world, Galeries Lafayette had to close its doors due to the COVID-19 crisis. To date, the return to the stores has been relatively slow with the number of visitors down by around 20%. This hasn’t been helped by the loss of tourist trade with the enormous Boulevard Hausmann main store being a Parisian visitors attraction in its own right. Tech from Twilio provides store visitors with an augmented experience via the services of more than 300 personal stylists who can connect digitally with customers, before and after their visit to the store. It allowed the department store to create already a client pool, way before the pandemic arrived. The objective from the beginning was to build intimacy at scale, to deliver a kind of personalized experiences, but not just for two or three clients or for 40 clients or 50 clients, but for 30,000/ 40,000 clients, all accessing that level of human interaction with the store at distance. With SMS and WhatsApp capabilities integrated, store staff are able to access shared client profiles and work as a team, switch from one [social media] channel to another, according to what the client wants or where the client is.