The luxury shopping experience

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When it comes to shopping for luxury home goods, the path from pining to purchasing has undergone a significant transformation. It’s no longer click, add, buy (often on impulse!). The act of shopping has become an event. With more customers moving offline and in-store, the feeling is that consumers want more from the luxury shops they spend their money at.

Reflecting on the pandemic era when online shopping took centre stage, it undeniably offered convenience, but it also left a void in terms of human connection. Post-pandemic, consumers crave a richer engagement with physical stores. They yearn to engage with experts, luxuriate in the feel of sumptuous fabrics, and savour the assistance and ambience that only in-person shopping can provide.

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“Luxury home stores offer a highly personalized one-on-one interaction, enriched by the brand’s profound knowledge. This interaction instantly adds value when making significant purchasing decisions,” says designer Jessica Cinnamon of Jessica Cinnamon Design.

Of course, online retail isn’t disappearing; rather, in-person shopping is experiencing a zenith of influence! Recent statistics revealed that a whopping 82 per cent of Canadians prefer the tactile experience of buying furniture in person.

“It’s challenging to convey the quality of workmanship in a product or share the ‘experience’ of a brand online,” explains Richard Sakic, owner of Calligaris, a revered Italian company with a century-long legacy. “All the augmented reality tools in the world cannot replicate how a fine Italian woven fabric feels to the touch or how the colour and texture interact with the lighting throughout the day.”

Calligaris has recently set up shop in Toronto’s Castlefield Design District, a premier destination for design enthusiasts. Their expansive showroom is not just a retail space, but an immersive environment expertly designed to curate an entire lifestyle. Here, customers aren’t merely buying products; they are stepping into a carefully crafted narrative that aligns with their identity.

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“Every detail was meticulously considered, with a focus on stimulating the senses and evoking an emotional response,” says Sakic. “As you step into our showroom, you should feel transported to a different world —   one that is warm, inviting, and intimate. The scent, sound, lighting and product presentation all harmonize to create this unique atmosphere.”

They worked with the Calligaris design team in Italy and Italian architect Daniele Lo Scalzo Moscheri on the design of the showroom and furniture selection to create a truly luxury shopping experience.

Every aspect was carefully considered in the design of the showroom. Focusing on stimulating the senses and creating an emotional response for consumers. Photo by Stephani Buchman photograph

As more discerning consumers gravitate towards brick-and-mortar stores, establishments like Calligaris step forward with bespoke offerings that empower customers to infuse their homes with personalized decor, expressing their unique tastes and style sensibilities. However, navigating the expansive realm of luxury decor necessitates the guiding hand of an expert.

“Imagine that a single chair model can effortlessly yield over 700 potential variations or consider a model that extends to a staggering 100,000 possible choices,” Sakic elaborates. “This realm of possibilities can craft an exclusive product combination, a manifestation of your individuality — a creation entirely your own. We are here to facilitate your journey towards that unique masterpiece.”

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Another significant shift in luxury shopping is the growing emphasis on sustainability. “Today’s luxury consumers seek not only exquisite design but also ethical and sustainable practices,” says Cinnamon. “They are drawn to brands that are committed to environmental and social responsibility.” Luxury stores have swiftly responded by incorporating sustainable and eco-friendly elements into their manufacturing, designs and product offerings.

Sakic sees this sustainable shift and welcomes it. “With the transparency afforded consumers these days, they are shopping for more than just products. They want to align themselves with brands that share and reflect their values,” says Sakic. “From messaging and product design to manufacturing and materials sourcing, owning luxury products becomes a badge of honour, as personal values are represented in the brands we purchase.”

Modern consumers aren’t settling for simple transactions; they want a luxury shopping experience that resonates with their desire for authenticity and connection with the products they bring into their lives. The luxury shopping environment is expected to captivate their senses, tell a compelling story, and offer a personalized, sustainable, and enriched journey. It’s no longer just about what we buy; it’s about how we experience luxury from start to finish.

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Originally posted 2023-10-06 17:53:45.