Cognac brand Maison Martell (Pernod Ricard) has opened its first brick and mortar store. Located in Shenzhen, China, L’Atelier Martell blends digital and physical and is the blueprint for a global roll-out.
"L'Atelier Martell reflects our vision of elevating cognac into an experience that puts the client front and center. We are offering our clients new ways to explore, immerse and engage," commented Cesar Giron, Chairman & CEO of Maison Martell.
Customers can draw the specially created Shenzhen Exclusive Edition from a cask into their own montre (glass sampling bottle), which can be customized with their choice of cork and a hand-printed label. An engraving service is also available to personalize the Martell Cordon Bleu bottle with a motif and message of the customer’s choice. L’Atelier Martell’s personalized services are also available through a dedicated mini-program on Chinese social media WeChat.
Indeed, digital is a strong focus—the store features an interactive screen on its façade, “audio-tastings” and an interactive tasting table where customers can create their own blend and take a virtual tour of Martell’s Chateau de Chanteloup. For the opening, the brand hosted an online event with a live link between the estate in Cognac and the Shenzhen retail store.
In terms of product discovery, four Martell cognacs are housed under ceramic domes. On lifting the dome, customers can test the aroma or put a few drops of the cognac on their wrist using a pipette.
The boutique’s design takes its inspiration from the Atelier of the Martell Cellar Master—the wood and copper elements are a nod to the cognac distillation process. The 160m2 space features a display of more than 200 montres, as well as a wall of oak barrels from the Martell cooperage (or wooden cask production) and selected items from the archives showcasing the brand’s 300-year heritage. Local culture is also a key element in the design; exclusive to L’Atelier Martell is a collector’s edition of Martell Noblige featuring the Shenzhen city skyline on the packaging.
Events at the store are planned throughout the year, including collaborations in the areas of food, lifestyle and fashion.