A Perky Retail Experience

A friend of mine sent me these pictures from his recent vacation to London.  I was so amazed that I wanted to jump on the next Concord out to Heathrow…oh right.  So, that not being an option, the next best thing was to share them with you. 

In terms of customer experience design, those companies that have been most successful in creating a remarkable retail experience are those that have started with a deep understanding of how their customers interact with the brand.  And, the retail experience enhances that.

When Apple entered the retail world, I read countless blogs predicting their fast failure in that channel.  “What does Apple know about retail?”.  If the benchmarks where KMart, Borders & Circuit City, they didn’t know squat.  What they did know (and “know” is an understatement) is their brand image and how their customers wanted to interact with the brand.  They created a retail experience that delivered on that brand promise.  And redefined the retail experience in the process.

There are a lot of companies making single serve coffee machines and “pods”.  Nespresso is not one of them.  Nespresso is a lifestyle.  Nespresso means sitting on your deck overlooking the Pacific as the sun sets; relaxing, relishing the moment.  All five senses engaged.  The smell of the ocean.  The sound of the sea birds and the crashing waves.  The taste of the salt air.  The sight of the golden sky.  The touch of the cool breeze on your skin.

In their new flagship store on Regent Street, I think Nespresso captured that.  Don’t you?  I can’t wait for this store to come State-side!

(disclaimer: this post is not a paid endorsement of or by Nespresso)


  1. There's actually 2 Nespresso locations in NYC, one in the Upper East Side and one in SoHo. They are truly gorgeous stores that cater around the customer experience and not just the "here's our retail, buy it" atmosphere.

  2. I have a Nespresso machine and I enjoy the coffee and the retail experience too. You've done a good job of capturing the quality.

    However it's not so pleasant to interact with the brand online. What's not clear on initial purchase is that they control the supply chain totally. If you don't live near a store you have to buy the pods online, from them. The web experience is extremely poor. Visually beautiful – but poor experience with lots of time-consuming downloads and animations and it's hard to access the basic information you would expect (try finding delivery costs and options, for example!). I hesitate to criticise them, because the coffee is good, which is perhaps the most important thing, but it shows the importance of considering the whole customer experience, and indeed the importance of making feedback and contact easy, which they do not.

  3. I prefer the home shopping option.. the stores may look great but the experience is one of waiting because the store employees need to follow a complete, overly 'perky' script, at every sale.. brrrrrr

    But the coffee is great :)

  4. Call me old fashioned but I find that store cold looking and completely uninviting. I would walk right by never to experience what may be a great product.

  5. Nespresso is really stylish. Thanks for the pics/Customer Service Job Duties

  6. So I geuss there are some mixed reviews on this. Guy and Wim, as ones whos seem to have had the most exposure, what I got from your comments is that perhaps the actual experience doesn't match the window dressing. obviously something I couldn't determine through the pictures. But, it raises a good point. I mentioned the Apple Store. As the analog, yes the store is visually appealing. But, if the service delivery was inconsistent, all that effort in store design would be fruitless.

    I guess I'll have to experience for myself. Thanks all for the perspectives.

Speak Your Mind