Chanel’s Diner: Where Customers Don’t Go for the Food

Chanel is opening a diner in Williamsburg, Brooklyn — but don’t expect the typical diner-esqe grubs — burgers and french fries, as it wouldn’t be on brand for the fashion house.  

Instead, between Sept 8 and 10, guests will be seated in diner booths at the Lucky Chance Diner, situated at 225 Wythe Ave., Brooklyn, New York — an establishment that formerly housed the Wythe Diner. They’ll have the opportunity to engage in a complimentary 30-minute interactive experience to explore a range of fragrances and discover the Chance scent that aligns with their preferences. 

Upon their arrival at the Chanel-inspired diner, guests will initially encounter a seemingly typical dining experience, complete with a host stand, booths and countertop seating. However, the menu will deviate from the ordinary diner fare or even the traditional “girl dinner” aka a small portion snack plate. 

The specifics of the interactive fragrance experience will remain a surprise, but once guests have discovered their new signature scent, consumers will proceed to the rear of the diner. There, they’ll find a vending machine offering the chance to win personalized gifts. 

Additional games will be accessible within the outdoor garden, along with a pickup window to buy a Chance fragrance. Various sizes and concentrations of the four Chance fragrances, including the new one, will be on sale. 

Primarily, the pop-up diner focuses on fragrances rather than food. However, guests can enjoy complimentary beverages within the diner, and “refreshments” will be provided in the outdoor courtyard. 

Chanel’s recently opened fragrance and beauty boutique is located just a five-minute walk away. 

Although the event itself is free, all reservations for the beauty-themed diner are currently fully booked. However, there’s an event page that mentions the availability of “walk-ins,” so you can still visit without a reservation. 

The Lucky Chance Diner welcomes the public for three days, with operating hours from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

Making Retail an Experience

The debut of the fragrance-themed diner is part of a series of high-end experiences this summer, with Mytheresa’s transformation of an auto body shop in East Hampton, New York, being a notable example. Collaborating with the Flamingo Estate, the online retailer has reimagined the traditional auto body shop by introducing exclusive brand partnerships and curating a selection of products from internationally acclaimed designers. The shop offers a wide range of items for women, men, and children, encompassing a diverse array of lifestyle products. 

“Opening a physical experiential store, together with Flamingo Estate in East Hampton, felt like the perfect ‘unexpected’ moment to further bring this wonderful partnership to life. We wanted to bring to the sophisticated audience in the Hamptons a combined and truly unique immersive luxury experience — one that allows us to engage and inspire throughout the summer and to bring our curated offering to them in a more physical way,” said Heather Kaminetsky, president of North America for Mytheresa, in a statement at the time of the launch. 

The decision to establish an auto body shop seeks to transform the conventional notion of such a shop into a temporary store, allowing the luxury retailer to offer a distinctive and immersive brand encounter. This approach creates an intriguing contrast that piques curiosity and generates consumer excitement. 

Furthermore, the auto body shop concept generates a captivating brand narrative, offering a unique opportunity to engage and connect with automotive enthusiasts and discerning luxury fashion aficionados. 

Read more: Mytheresa’s Auto Body Shop Pop-Up and the Rise of Differentiated Immersive Experiences 

Another experience includes Coach, which converted a plane into a concept store in Malacca, Malaysia, showcasing the brand’s commitment to experiences. 

Coach launched “Coach Airways,” a retail and café concept, at the Freeport A’Famosa Outlet in Malacca. The store is located inside a repurposed 1981 Boeing 747-230B aircraft, creating a unique retail experience for customers. 

“The opening of Coach Airways marks not only the launch of our first retail concept of its kind, but also an exciting moment for Coach as we continue to push innovation and create a space where customers can explore and interact. We are looking forward to bringing our customers this experiential retail pop-up at Freeport A’Famosa Outlet, a popular shopping destination in Malacca,” said Campbell O’Shea, general manager of Tapestry Southeast Asia and Oceania.  

Read more: Coach Takes Immersive Retail to New Heights With Coach Airways 

Rethinking the Shopping Trip

So, why opt for diners, autobody shops and airline experiences? The launch of these immersive experiences is now the new standard. Immersive experiences have become crucial, given the decline of shopping malls and the ongoing effort to blend the convenience of online shopping with the sensory advantages of in-store shopping. 

Furthermore, it’s another (dialed-in) bid to get consumers to spend. According to a recent PYMNTS report, inflation is a primary concern for consumers, and it’s influencing a cautious perspective on the current state and future direction. 

More specifically, consumers have been concerned with rising prices in general and for groceries and gasoline in particular. 

Read more: Confidence Dips as Inflation Weighs on Consumers’ Minds 

In light of this, creating these experiences is like navigating uncharted territory with limitless possibilities and brands and retailers deem them successful as long as customers are excited about them. 

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