Lipault Paris, the upscale French luggage company, recently opened its first freestanding North American location at the McArthurGlen Designer Outlets in Vancouver. It’s the first phase of an eventual retail expansion into the North American market.
The new 1,245-square-foot store is an intuitive and logical choice, as its proximity to Vancouver International Airport (YVR) configures it at one of the major gateways into Asia. Its location along the Canada Line metro line close to YVR makes it especially compelling for international travelers.
The brand’s Marketing Communications Specialist, Erin Reynolds, explained that the free-standing location is an intuitive decision, as “it’s a type of brand that’s suited to its own stores, and the store complements the brand’s extensive wholesale business in Canada”. The brand currently has a number of shop-in-shop boutiques within stores in the United States, in addition to the Vancouver stand-alone location.
Lipault is distinctive for its monochromatic yet vivid colour scheme, designed as a lightweight alternative to more conventional luggage sets. Each line contains the complete set of travel accessories, from large suitcases and carry-ons to laptop cases and toiletries kits. The monochrome look and minimalist design adheres to the aesthetics of Parisian chic, while emphasizing efficiency and utilitarianism. According to Reynolds, “The brand is for the fashion-sensitive, and for someone looking for an affordable brand, targeted towards women 25-60, active urban and well-traveled.” Lipault is priced such that “the product is affordable enough so that a person can match a bag to their outfit”. This also explains why the Vancouver location has a minimalist white aesthetic, so that the colours of the bags “pop” upon display.
Lipault was founded by Francois and Karine Lipovetsky as a small leather goods company in Paris in 2005, and has since become one of the more well-known names in luxury travel goods. In 2014, Samsonite acquired the fledgling company as part of its expansions in the luxury travel market, and the brand was slowly introduced into its stores worldwide. It is now part of the Samsonite group of companies.
At this time, Lipault will be concentrating on the Vancouver location before a decision will be made to open additional free-standing locations on the continent. As McArthurGlen YVR was voted the world’s top outlet centre at the 2015 MAPIC conference, Lipault has the advantage of testing a highly-motivated retail clientele in a prime location.
*Photos were supplied by Lipault, except for the top photo, which was taken by Ritchie Po on July 1, 2017.