My opinion on The Cogedim Store
In France, when a new major housing project is about to start, property developers are used to implement the same old communication programme made of a combination of outdoor posters, flyers left in mailboxes and dedicated websites. On top of that, sales offices installed in temporary structures pop-up around the construction site. Inside those boxes, a salesperson, surrounded by several mockups, printed layouts and 3D images is trying to convince clients to make up their mind about one of the biggest investment of their lifetime. It sounds a bit weird and old-fashioned but that’s the way it goes. But things may have changed with Cogedim recent move to shake up the market. Cogedim is a French property developer specialized in high-end urban residential projects and part of the Altarea-Cogedim group where Altarea brand is specialized in retail properties.
Cogedim has just opened its “Cogedim Store” in Bercy Village shopping mall (a property of the group) in the 12th district of the French capital. And I can tell you that this initiative is worth a visit. Let me take you there.
Bercy-Village is an open-air lifestyle mall that was built on former wineries buildings that have been restored and turned into a lively place, full of crowded restaurants and a few other stores. The Cogedim Store is located in a former art gallery that left the mall a few months ago. To be honest, the premises are beautiful but not really suitable for business as you need to take a stair before you get to the main sale space.
Down the stairs, a generous and welcoming patio has been installed. That is where visitors can meet Cogedim associates who will help them to get the most out of the store.
The Store main purpose is to host people who have already bought a Cogedim flat off plan. About a year before the residence is completed, they will be invited by the brand to choose and estimate the extra cost of the internal decoration (mainly floors, kitchen and bathrooms equipments) which are available in accordance with the type (one or two bedrooms) and category (from medium range to upscale programme) of flat thet actually bought.
With the Cogedim Store, you can imagine how your flat will really look like in no time. A vast selection of decoration possibilities as well as advices from architects and home designers are available to fulfill your needs.
The store has also partnered with a few suppliers (Veneta Cucine, Fondation Le Corbusier, and versatile furniture manufacturer Clei), to inspire visitors with both relevant and elegant interior fittings.
Last but not least, Cogedim also provides their clients with a few bundled solutions. For example, people who bought an appartment in order to rent it should buy the “investor bundle” that comprises the full and financially optimized decoration of it. Smart initiative from Cogedim.
To wrap-up this “embedded experience” in the Cogedim Store, I would like to point out a few remarks:
- The Cogedim Store is an exceptional physical showcase of the brand expertise. It provides customers with a valuable, relevant and efficient service that actually makes a big difference on the market. Nonetheless, when you consider the average price of a Cogedim property, we must admit that the brand was poised to treat its customers way better than the competitors.
- Even if Cogedim first objective was to improve the showroom and sales office concepts, they succeeded in making it real with their “store”. We all know that execution is more important than strategy and Cogedim has put together ambition and money to give birth to a game changer in their business.
- The in-store associates are also to be congratulated. They are aligned with the brand ambition. Both welcoming and professional.
- As a retail specialist, I do appreciate how residential and retail projects are working here in a true synergy. It makes absolute sense to install such a store in a shopping mall where thousands of affluent shoppers can discover Cogedim expertise.
- Now the question is how to duplicate this store, in a regional mall for instance (Cogedim develops housing projects nationwide). Even though Cogedim could find a suitable location in another Altarea property, the investment seems way to high to roll out the concept nationally. Therefore, I suggest that Cogedim be involved in designing some public areas in Alterea shopping centers (rest areas for example). Instead of hiring always the same architects and designers whatever the property companies and malls are, Altarea would be inspired to ask Cogedim to work on a “home feeling design concept” to showcase the brand expertise in their major shopping malls.
If you are interested in my “embedded expérience” articles, click HERE to find them all.