Jim Shreve, President & CEO at Baccarat North America, talks everyday luxury, collaborations, nontraditional retail and his favorite tattoo. Want more? Come see Jim Shreve speak at the 2019 INDIE Congress October 16 & 17 in L.A.
How have your previous roles at Diesel, Nordstrom and Gap influenced how you approach the retail industry?
In all my roles, customer is always first. I learned early on to never lose sight of the customer. In the tableware industry, there are good lessons to learn from fashion brands. We have to do a better job of informing the customer on the newest items to buy.
What do you think makes people want to spend large on everyday things?
We like to treat and reward ourselves with nice experiences.
The term ‘New Luxury’ has been bouncing around the last few years. How are the Gen Y and Gen Z luxury consumers changing your business model?
Our focus is to grow our customer base while not losing our existing customers. Our customers appreciate the beauty and craftsmanship of our product. Our customers span many generations. With all our heritage, there is a strong desire and passion to own Baccarat.
A strong brand means a lot. Baccarat is over 250 years old but its identity is rather modernly romantic. How strong of a role does nostalgia play when it comes to consumers?
We are fortunate that there is a strong brand awareness for Baccarat. With over 255 years of heritage, customers know what to expect from Baccarat. Many customers have grown up with personal experiences. And with each generation, the experience evolves. Today we capture the use in a more modern and everyday way. We are showing customers how to use their Baccarat everyday and in more fun ways than they’ve done in the past.
Many retail brands are terrified by the future of brick-and-mortar. However, Baccarat has been shaking things up by diving into a combo of hospitality and retail via hotels and cafés. How do you determine the locations for these new openings?
We see a lot of opportunity for growth as we only have 7 stores in the US. Of course, there are many variables to consider when choosing the next location. We are excited about our new BBar / Cafe that will open in the Miami design district in September. In April, we opening the first BBar + Cafe + Bouitque in Milan on Via Montenapoleane.
Let’s talk collaborations. How do you identify a designer, developer, artist or bourbon maker to collaborate with?
Oftentimes it is a feeling and having the stars aligned. We are excited about our latest collaboration with Lady M cakes. We have come together to create a unique dining experience with a food truck. We have more collaborations coming this year.
Anything served in Baccarat.
The Baccarat Hotel 😁
We know you love tattoos. What is your most recent one?
I was honored to have Scott Campbell tattoo my left hand recently. It has been a dream of mine for almost 10 years to have him tattoo me.
What’s next for Baccarat?