Louis Vuitton will open its first restaurant amid a shift in consumer spending habits towards experiences over shopping, underscoring the urgency for it to partake in the experience economy.

WHAT HAPPENED: Le Café V will open in Louis Vuitton’s flagship store in Osaka, Japan next month. Occupying the top floor of the store, it will offer a menu by acclaimed Japanese chef Yosuke Suga.

WHY IT MATTERS

  • The luxury market is moving towards holistic branded experiences that serve both existing clientele and new generations of luxury shoppers. As wholesale outlets continue to shutter, brands need to find inventive ways to reach current and future clients, which means offering both attainable and exclusive experiences. Louis Vuitton’s Le Café V comes as Prada launched its pop-up club and Tiffany & Co. (also owned by LVMH) announced it would open its first European Blue Box Cafe in Harrods—proof that brands need to go beyond traditional store formats. The Fondazione Prada in Milan and Louis Vuitton Foundation and Maison Chloé (owned by Richemont) in Paris each feature curated, one-of-a-kind art expositions that invite consumers of varied demographics to interact with the brand over and over again.
  • Brands can no longer rely on ad campaigns and clothing to communicate their message or ethos. With the majority of consumers relying on social media, influencers and celebrities to dictate their buying choices, it’s increasingly difficult for brands to stand out. With trends constantly changing and copy-cats everywhere, brands need to give consumers a reason to interact with them offline and while doing something they already enjoy. While dining in a Louis Vuitton restaurant or having coffee in a Tiffany cafe doesn’t guarantee a high-ticket purchase, their desire to provide luxurious and specialized experiences allows them to build affinity with multiple generations and types of shoppers.