Exploring new dimensions at a DFS masterclass

The following two tabs change content below.
A great aerial shot of the big DFS event

If there has been a perennial travel retail truth over the past six decades or so, it is that DFS is class. Sheer unadulterated class. And seldom has that quality been more apparent than at Friday’s unveiling in Macau of what the luxury travel retailer called its biggest beauty event of the year.

Greetings from my Interim Macau Bureau, where I have been reporting on the local launch of this admirably ambitious multi-faceted global campaign, appropriately themed ‘Explore New Dimensions’.

Macau by night. What a place for a Moodie Davitt Interim Bureau.

Those new dimensions were there for all to see as the event kicked off on Friday at T Galleria Beauty By DFS, Macau, Galaxy Macau. As the name suggests, this is an all-beauty store and as I have commented before in this Blog, it ranks among the very best in travel retail globally.

Besides an alluring mix of established and emergent brands and a dazzling setting in the heart of one of Macau’s glamour properties (including the toweringly impactful digital pillars outside the store), what impresses is the fusion of the human touch and cutting-edge technology. Throw in a campaign of this scale and ambition and you create a fantastic, entrancing buzz. Look at the images on this page and you will see entertaintment, education, excitement and excellence in equal measure.

Explore New Dimensions is running at 19 DFS stores in Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Bali, Guam, Saipan, Paris and Venice. It offers a series of curated, digitally-driven experiences that offer a personalised shopping journey; limited-time offers; and exclusive deals.

After Friday’s inauguration activities concluded, I chatted to DFS Group Hong Kong & Macau President Johan Pretorius and DFS Group Executive Vice President Digital Ventures & Marketing Long Chiu about the project. Noting that some 51 KOLs were involved in the launch, Johan told me, “Wow… I’ve never seen that. It is like a new level of digital interaction, going out to the universe on phones in essence.”

DFS Group Hong Kong & Macau President Johan Pretorius (centre) and DFS Group Executive Vice President Digital Ventures & Marketing Long Chiu (right) with Martin Moodie at the DFS event on Friday

Wow indeed. The sight of all those KOLs, and the sheer chicness of their individually curated perspectives on the whole occasion adds an immeasurable amount of drama and cool, let alone reach, to the campaign and the store. Just what travel retail should be all about, a combination of great brands, great settings and great ambition.

Buzzy scenes from outside the T Galleria store as KOLs get set to spread the DFS ‘Explore New Dimensions’ mantra far, wide and quickly 

“You mustn’t forget how powerful that messaging is in China and other places. That’s the exciting part to me…. how we are reaching out to the customer with a beautiful product, with an amazing themed event, and great partnership from our brands.

“Beauty is a big, exciting space to play on. So many brands, so much newness happening. For example, we are seeing very big excitement around premium fragrances with the Chinese consumer really engaging with fragrances in a big way.”

But it’s what you do with that space and those brands that counts and not for the first time DFS has put on a masterclass.

Long noted the strong bounce back in consumer sentiment and approach towards beauty products in the recent post-pandemic months. “For the past three years, they have been masked, right? This is for us about really bringing beauty back to their faces and their skin. They’re hungry for exploring new dimensions.

“When we read into the trends, we adapt to them. It’s not just creating products for the sake of creating a product and a campaign for having a campaign. But we see, for example, bespoke experiences being a trend and retailtainment being done in a different way is also a trend.

“At the same time, when you look at the Chinese consumers looking for luxury fragrances and luxury beauty. It’s all about, clean beauty wellness. This is the new trend. So how do we capitalise on that audience and then bring in the brands. Here we see 15 different brands coming together, activating in our stores probably more than they would have done in their own stores.”

You can read my full, fascinating interview with Johan Pretorius and Long Chiu in coming days. It offers a great insight into how DFS, as so often in its 60-plus year history, is indeed continuing to explore new dimensions.

DFS Group has partnered with Galaxy Promenade to debut the first Clean Beauty Pop Up Store, the first green store within the DFS network