Retail Theatre for Quality Ice Cream in Paris
A few weeks ago, premium ice cream new concept La Glacerie Paris opened its first store in the French capital. An innovative concept designed by NFS International and David Wesmaël, a French chef who has been awarded “Meilleur Ouvrier de France” in 2004.
NFS is a Japanese group which promotes French Gastronomy on its local market through bakery and pastry store networks. The group is also active in France since it regularly tests new retail concepts before importing them in Japan if they show promising perspectives. I already had the opportunity to write about NFS in this blog when the group reinvented the way French sandwiches are assembled at Honoré 1875 which opened last year in Paris.
As far as La Glacerie Paris is concerned, the concept aims to reinvent the way premium craft ice creams are showcased and sold. Whereas most artisanal brands in this sector mostly focus on recipes, La Glacerie Paris offers a whole new customer experience through a scalable concept.
The key elements of the concept:
A – The look & feel
- A sleek and elegant decor that stands out from the competition which generally features a more traditional and vernacular atmosphere.
- Some of the refrigerated cabinets have been specifically designed. Their cooling system had been made more compact to meet the brand requirement of a neat visual merchandising.
B – The recipes
- At La Glacerie Paris, customers can enjoy a comprehensive range of ice cream specialties. Among them, 2 product innovations are taking the ice cream market to the next level. Starting with ice creams in a tube format. An ideal shape to portion ice cream on demand and, ultimately, create bespoke deserts.
- The tubes are displayed in a vertical cabinet in a Nespresso-like merchandising.
- The other major innovation is called the dome. Either available in individual bite-size pieces or desserts to share, the domes feature a creative and colored mix of meringue and ice cream.
- La Glacerie Paris puts an emphasis on the authenticity and the flavors of natural and high-end ingredients. To maintain a constant quality all year round, the brand concentrates the production in its artisanal workshop in the North of France. Even if the brand expands globally in the future, the production will still be based in France to avoid any lack of control on quality.
- This quality comes with a price. The dome or the tube are pretty exclusive treats which might compete with glamorous pastries from chefs such as Pierre Hermé or Christophe Michalak.
- Anyway, La Glacerie Paris provides its visitors with true value for money when is comes to traditional ice cream scoops. Not to mention the beautiful visual merchandising that comes with them.
Since the boutique opened, La Glacerie Paris has attracted thousands of visitors, both Parisians and tourists (especially from Asia and the US). The store benefits from an excellent location in a popular yet trendy neighborhood as well as a healthy appetite for high valued niche food products.
What does the future hold for La Glacerie Paris if the concept keeps on bringing customers from all over the word? Japan is naturally a next frontier. And so are the Emirates where local consumers appreciate both ice creams and luxury environments.
In Europe, we could easily imagine the brand expanding in kiosk formats in exclusive touristic resorts and hotels.