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L’Occitane en Provence, 555 Fifth Avenue, is 2018 Store of the Year!

Updated: Sep 30, 2023

L’Occitane en Provence at 555 Fifth Avenue, New York City, is the Retail Design Institute’s 2018 Store of the Year. The reveal came at the Institute’s 48th Awards Gala, held May 22, 2019 in New York City, among nearly 200 attendees from the retail design industry.

The French beauty company, designed its new store to easily adapt to rapidly changing retail requirement, to be more agile, and more disruptive. Shoppers are greeted by a set of bicycles situated in front of a background that evokes the lush, cobblestoned streets of Provence. It’s the perfect spot where they can take photos for Instagram, or their favorite social network. The interactive store, designed in house by L’Occitane en Provence’s International Artistic Director Daniel Contorni and Paul Blackburn, the company’s vice president concept design, construction and merchandising for North America, is meant to generate social media buzz. Customers can explore brand history and signature products through ever-changing – and interactive -- installations that echo the Provencal lifestyle.

Recognizing the team’s effort to elevate the customer experience, the judging panel not only unanimously voted L’Occitane’s Fifth Avenue Store of the year, they also gave it an Experiential Innovation Award for customer engagement.

In addition to L'Occitane en Provence, the Institute handed out 44 awards for store projects opened in 2018 and more than a dozen Innovation Awards ranging from store planning and circulation to lighting plans and decorative material usage. Sponsors for the evening were: ASI, BHDP Architecture, FRCH NELSON, Heitler Houston Architects, Sargenti and Under Armour.

L'Occitane en Provence joins the following winning design projects that make up the Institute's "Class of 2018."

ABC-MART Grand Stage, Seoul, Design: CallisonRTKL, Seattle; adidas, Beijing, Design: Gensler, New York; Air: A Portable Pop-Up Park, Design: Little, Charlotte, N.C.; Avril Supermarché Santé, Laval, Qué., Design: Aedifica, Montréal; Birkenstock, New York City, Design: TPG Architecture, New York; Brothers Marketplace, Waltham, Mass., Design: BHDP Architecture, Cincinnati; Butcher’s Mark, University Park, Fla., Design: api(+), Tampa, Fla.; Clean Market, New York City, Design: Heitler Houstoun Architects, New York; Comcast, Gurnee Mills, Ill., Design: Chute Gerdeman, Columbus, Ohio; CoverGirl, New York City; Design: FRCH Nelson, Cincinnati; Creatif Art Studio, Pleasanton, Calif., Design: Retail Habitats, San Diego; Deep Dive, Seattle (Innovation Award for Lighting), Design: Graham Baba Architects, Seattle; Desjardins, Montréal; Design: Aedifica, Montréal; Dockside Cannabis, Seattle (Innovation Awards for Storefront and Fixturing), Design: Graham Baba Architects, Seattle; Duty Zero, Hong Kong, Design: CallisonRTKL, Los Angeles; El Palacio de Hierro, Mexico City, Design: TPG Architecture, New York City; FAO Schwarz, New York City, Design: Chute Gerdeman, Columbus, Ohio; Farmacia Puente Colgante, Valladolid, Spain, Design: Marketing-Jazz, Madrid; Innisfree, New York City, Design: Mapos Architects DPC, New York (Innovation Award for Store Planning/Circulation); JA Jiaozi, Irvine, Calif., Design: CallisonRTKL, Los Angeles; Johnnie Walker, Madrid, Design: Dalziel & Pow, London; Kinton Ramen, Mississauga, Ont., Design: dialogue 38, Toronto; L’Occitane, New York City (Innovation Award for Experiential); L’Occitane en Provence, New York; Longo’s, Stouffville, Ont., Design: Ampersand Studio Inc., Toronto; Made by We, New York City; Design: Mrs&Mr, New York; Maitri, Uniontown, Pa., Design: High Road Studio, Tempe, Ariz.; Marche, Atlanta (Innovation Award for Signage & Graphics), Design: Gensler, Atlanta; Noah’s Bagels, Oakland, Calif., Design: Tesser Inc., San Francisco; NuSkin, Guangdong Sheng, China, Design: Shikatani Lacroix Design, Toronto; PetCoach, San Marcos, Calif. (Innovation Award: Strategy), Design: CallisonRTKL, Seattle; Roots Legends, Boston (Innovation Awards for Artistic Expression, Branding and Visual Merchandising), Design: Roots Canada and Bergmeyer, Boston; SC30, Oakland, Calif. (Innovation Award for Social Causes/Community Connection), Design: Under Armour, Baltimore; Shake Shack, Denver, Design: WD Partners, Columbus, Ohio; Sleep Number, New York City (Innovation Award for Digital Integration), Design: Sleep Number, Minneapolis and JGA, Southfield, Mich.; Sparkman Wharf, Tampa, Fla., Design: api(+),Tampa, Fla.; T-Mobile, Las Vegas, Design: FITCH, Columbus, Ohio; Target, Portland, Ore. (Innovation Award for Adaptive Reuse), Design: Target, Minneapolis; The Container Store, Dallas, Design: FRCH Nelson, Cincinnati; The Shop at Bluebird, London, Design: Dalziel & Pow, London; Tika Tea House, Toronto; Design: dialogue 38, Toronto; Tokyo Central Specialty Market, Yorba Linda, Calif., Design: Little, Charlotte, N.C.; Trailbend Taproom, Seattle (Innovation Award for Materiality), Design: Graham Baba Architects, Seattle; Tsujiri, Toronto, Design: dialogue 38, Toronto; upa!, Santiago, Chile; Design: Bona Design Lab Inc., New York; Whole Foods Market, Burbank, Calif., Design: DL English Design, Pasadena, Calif.

The Institute's Chicago | Great Lakes Chapter handled this year's judging duties. Judges included: Jennifer Acevedo, Editor-in-Chief, VMSD magazine; Peter Burgoyne, Vice President, Design & Brand, City Club Apartments LLC; Adam Cook, Managing Director, Multi-Site Retail Program Management & PMO Services, JLL; Nicholas Effler, RDI, Director of Architecture, Crate & Barrel; Jacob Hendrickson, Director of Creative Services, IdX Corporation; Diane Kitchell, Design Strategist, DK Interior Concepts; Sharon Lessard, RDI, Senior Director, Global Store Design & Development, Global Retail, Under Armour; John Miologos, AIA, Senior Director, Store Development, Design, Walgreens; Tony Pastore Director, Store Design, Ulta Beauty, Gabriel Stoia, Design Manager, Stantec Architecture and Jason Watts, RDI, Chicago Chapter President, Founder and President, Splash 10 Design.

The Institute thanks Gabriel Stoia and Stephanie Nurre at Stantec Design for hosting our judges in its Chicago office; Retail Design Institute Chicago Chapter for coordinating the 48th International Design Competition; 48th International Design Competition Chair Micah Shadowen, Chipman Design Architecture; Maria Albulescu, RDI, LEED AP ID+C, Walgreens and Matt Nurre, RDI, Visual Image, for their assistance.


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