Title

M(art)worlds : consumer perceptions of how luxury brand stores become art institutions

Document Type

Journal article

Source Publication

Journal of Retailing

Publication Date

9-1-2014

Volume

90

Issue

3

First Page

347

Last Page

364

Keywords

Art, Artists, Consumer perceptions, Corporate art patron, Louis vuitton, Luxury, Luxury brand aesthetics, Museums, Retail brand aesthetization

Abstract

Through an ethnographic study of how consumers perceive and experience Louis Vuitton flagship stores, we show that luxury stores are becoming hybrid institutions, embodying elements of both art galleries and museums, within a context of exclusivity emblematic of luxury. We create the term "M(Art)World" to capture the essence of this aesthetically oriented strategy. Participants take note of the company's sleekly elegant architecture, interior design, and adroit use of lighting that are modelled after those of museums housing world-class exhibits. The store's merchandize is artisanal, often produced in collaboration with artists. Objects for sale are displayed alongside actual art, rendering both products equivalent. Employees function as curators, offering guidance and knowledge, as well as goods for sale. We analyze how luxury consumers experience and evaluate the ways in which luxury stores operate as contemporary art institutions, and extrapolate those insights into managerial implications for other retail venues.

DOI

10.1016/j.jretai.2014.01.002

Print ISSN

00224359

E-ISSN

18733271

Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2014 New York University

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Full-text Version

Publisher’s Version

Recommended Citation

Joy, A., Wang, J. J., Chan, T.-S., Sherry, J. F., Jr., & Cui, G. (2014). M(art)worlds: Consumer perceptions of how luxury brand stores become art institutions. Journal of Retailing, 90(3), 347-364. doi: 10.1016/j.jretai.2014.01.002