Value Retail Luxury Experience

In 2019, the off price channel continues to outperform in the luxury sector, making it attractive for a certain number of brands. Read Value Retail case and reflect on the interest and potential risk for brands to be present in these outlets. Describe Value Retail experience in Europe (Bicester Village UK, La Vallée Village France, Las Rozas Spain for instance). Should VR adapt the experience to be successful in China?

Porsche Social Media Strategy

During the next session, we will be discussing the challenges of Porsche Canada and its social media strategy. Prepare the case trying to understand these challenges and evaluate Porsche North America social media properties and content. You will have to follow Porsche on social media, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook in particular. Try to understand the role of each medium. Watch the YouTube video below to have an insight into Canadian Winter Driving experience.

ITC The greenest hotel chain in the world

ITC is an Indian hotel chain that successfully implemented processes to become more sustainable. It succeeded in being awarded the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum ratings to several of its properties, becoming “the greenest hotel chain in the world”. Read the case ITC Hotels (ISB, 2013), watch youtube videos introducing you to the ITC experience; then prepare for our discussion:

  1. What are the elements at ITC that unite Responsible with Luxury?
  2. How could we improve the concept of Sustainable Luxury Hotels at ITC, provide illustrations drawn from other chains/countries?

ForteVillage Resort in Eleganzia

Discover the beautiful world of Eleganzia group. The Forte Village in Sardinia is a benchmark  in the Luxury Hotels industry, the place to be for millionaires and VIPs from entertainment, sports and industry. In order to prepare for the discussion, read the HBS case The Eleganzia group (Ofek et al., 2015), visit, watch the youtube video below and dream about your next vacations… Do not forget to reflect on the following before you leave to Sardinia:

  1. Describe the Forte Village Luxury experience; why is it attractive to the wealthiest of the world?
  2. Should the Forte Village trade up to an all five-star suites resort? would it be strategically and economically wise?
  3. How could Forte Village and other properties be positioned under the umbrella Eleganzia?

New Business Models in the Luxury sector

Next session, we will be discussing those new business models developing in the luxury sector, in particular second-hand luxury and luxury for rent.

Read Vestiaire Collective case. Describe the business model: how is value created through these platforms? Conduct a SWOT analysis. Describe the client profile. What are the competitive advantages of VC (ie. study briefly the competitive landscape). What future do you foresee to this business model?

You might find interesting reading chapters of the book Vintage Luxury Fashion: Exploring the rise of the Second-Hand Clothing Trade (2018), Palgrave: London, UK. I co-autored two chapters:  Chapter 6 “Emotional and narrative accounts of second-hand Luxury Fashion purchases” and Chapter 12 “Vintage Fashion: A cross-cultural perspective”. Also I published in French with F.Pini and E.Rigaud, Chapitre 2 “Les nouvelles règles du luxe et leur impact sur les organisations : Les nouveaux Business Models” in Management du Luxe : Opportunités et Challenges (2019), Vuibert éditions : 39-53

Also interesting regarding second-hand luxury, two posts on my blog: 2017 Trends, Second Hand Luxury and Christie’s on Luxury handbags as an Investment (Feb 24, 2016 based on a conference by Christie’s, really interesting on the value of Hermes vintage bags).

Last, you could reflect on my interview in Trends&Tendance magazine

In addition please watch Sebastien Favre CEO of Vestiaire Collective on Youtube.

Onefinestay: Luxury in the sharing economy

Next session, we will be discussing Onefinestay concept. Onefinestay is a concept of luxury home rentals founded in 2009 in London. When it was acquired in April 2016 by Accorhotels, it was managing around 2600 private homes in London, New York, Paris, Los Angeles and Rome. Visit the webpage, watch Greg Marsh inspiring story on Youtube (below) and read all relevant information you will find on internet. Conduct a SWOT analysis and identify Onefinestay customer segments. Do you think Onefinestay has a product and service strategy adapted to luxury clients? Is it a serious competitor to luxury hotels?

YOOX and Net-a-Porter: The Place to Be?

During this session, we will be discussing the online distribution strategy of Luxury brands. To prepare for discussion, read the case “Is YOOX strategy a little Farfetched?” and the article based on an interview I gave to Trends Tendances April 2017 at

What are the advantages and disadvantages for Luxury brands to be present on these platforms? is there a difference between YOOX and Net-a-Porter? YNAP and Farfetch? Does the YNAP merger makes sense? Should online platforms open brick-and-mortar stores? What is the interest for NAP to develop a media platform?

You might find interesting to watch the following video published by FT on YouTube.

Omni-channel strategy at Tiffany&Co

During the next session, we will be discussing the benefits and pitfalls of luxury brands embracing an omni-channel strategy. Read the case Tiffany; based on the case and your experience with brands successful in omni-channel marketing, identify the brand touch-points against different stages in the Customer journey. What could be the different actions that Tiffany can undertake to propose a luxury experience to its customers? What are the challenges regarding store operations and customer service?

You might find useful to go to Tiffany&Co channel on YouTube:

and on the history of Tiffany:

Oberoi Hotels: Extreme personalisation at the heart of Luxury

This week you will discover the true meaning of personal attention and extreme personalisation, at the heart of Luxury. The case of Oberoi hotels is a perfect illustration. Think about the following questions:  How is customer experience orchestrated at Oberoi? What is the relation between customer experience and customer satisfaction? What are Oberoi’s competitive advantages? What strategic and operational factors contribute to Oberoi’s service excellence?

Watch the YouTube video below India by Oberoi (you could refer to our discussion on Taj)


Le Scribe by Sofitel, a visit with EDHEC BBA4

Le Scribe duplex suite (before renovation) source: MC.Cervellon

ACCOR is a Creator of memorable experiences for customers but also for our students. After Novotel Monaco on November 9th, EDHEC BBA were invited on December 1st to Le Scribe Hotel in Paris, an iconic 5 stars hotel managed by Sofitel. Le Scribe spirit is much influenced by its location at the art of Paris, next to Opera Garnier. The Haussmanian building was the home of the Jockey Club from 1861 to 1925. The hotel was named after the dramatic writer Eugène Scribe; its soul is much influenced by Parisian artists. The Art Deco interior signed by Jacques Grange will be renovated over the next two years by famous designer Tristan Auer (Hotel de Crillon, Hotel du Louvre). Le Scribe is managed by Sofitel; customers benefit from an exceptional service, the Cousu-Main experience.

Le Scribe 2017 Christmas tree in the lobby (Source: MC.Cervellon)

Thank you Le Scribe Hotel staff for this Christmas gift.

Hyatt Palais de La Méditerranée with EDHEC Hospitality students

Sea View from a Suite (source: MC.Cervellon)

On October 11, twenty students (EDHEC BBA 4th year specialized in Hospitality and Event Management) visited the iconic Palais de la Méditerranée on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice. This 5-star hotel opened on January 1929 as a “Palais des Plaisirs” targeting the wealthy foreigners that visited the French Riviera during the Golden Age. When the building, designed by the architects Charles and Marcel Dalmas in the 20’s, was renovated from 2001 to 2004, the front was protected as part of the “20th century heritage” label. The interior of the building was decorated with respect to the Art Deco style, but modernized to align on the most stringent standards of the hospitality sector. In 2013, Qatar investors Constellation Hotels Holdings purchased the Palais de la Méditerranée, together with Hotel Martinez in Cannes, Hotel du Louvre and Concorde Lafayette in Paris. The Hyatt group is in charge of the management of the Hotel, and as such Palais de la Méditerranée integrated the Hyatt Regency portfolio. Students visited the magnificent ballrooms, a suite with a view on the sea and the swimming pool and restaurant areas.

Terrasse over the sea (Source: MC. Cervellon)

Next, Laurence Dozol (Senior Event Planning Manager) and Laurent Drouard (Director of Operations) gave a talk on the creation of a luxury experience, the importance of wowing the customer and paying attention to details. Students were immersed in Hyatt organizational culture, caring for customers and staff alike, through a series of videos, many of them created internally by Palais de La Mediterranée employees. Watch the video “The World of Hyatt” on YouTube that encapsulates the Hyatt Human-Centered approach to doing business. Thank you to the Hyatt team for sharing your passion with our students! Great employer branding!

With L. MENVIELLE, Dir EDHEC BBA Hospitality and Event Management and students



TAG Heuer: Digital transformation in Swiss watchmaking

In March 2015, TAG Heuer announced the launch of a connected watch at the Baselworld show. It was considered a paradigm shift in the traditional Swiss watch sector. Describe the challenges that TAG Heuer had to overcome to develop this connected watch. Are connected watches a threat or an opportunity to the (mechanical) Swiss watch sector? To provide rationales to your answers, watch both videos below, the first one introduces TAG Heuer  connected watch in November 2015; the second one introduces the modular 45 watch in March 2017.

Brunello Cucinelli: a lesson from a humanistic businessman

Brunello Cucinelli is an italian luxury house specializing in cashmere. The philanthropic founder Brunello Cucinelli has a humanistic approach to doing business that contributed to build the worldwide recognition of his ethical fashion brand. After reading the case and watching the YouTube video below, explore Brunello Cucinelli website and code of ethics

Are they different from other traditional luxury brands (eg. competitor in cashmere Loro Piana)? In what is Brunello Cucinelli a humanistic business? In your opinion, does this ethical positioning influence consumers’ buying habits? What are the positive and negative implications of building a business on values?

Mauboussin breaking the codes of luxury

Mauboussin is a legendary jeweler founded in 1827 in Paris. Known for its color stones and art deco jewels, it was the jeweler of royalties and celebrities all over the world. In 2001, a new leadership moved the positioning of the brand from exclusive to accessible luxury. Explain this strategic move on the French market and its consequences, particularly on the brand identity. Describe the brand’s global expansion strategy. Should Mauboussin pursue the same marketing strategy as the one they have in France? Why / why not? What are the advantages / disadvantages of the different options regarding distribution and market entry strategies?

If you understand French, you will find interesting watching the series of Youtube video on the history of Mauboussin on Mauboussin channel.  Also, watch Alain Nemarq interview on talent recruitment at Mauboussin.




The Role of Creative directors at Luxury Houses

Luxury is about… Creativity. In March, we will be discussing the role of creative directors at Luxury Fashion Houses. Read the Insead case “Raf Simons at Dior”. Try to document yourself on the House of Dior. Then think about answers to the following questions: What is the role of a creative director in a luxury fashion house? In your opinion, are creative directors at Dior respectful to Christian Dior DNA? Why such a turnover of creative directors in the luxury industry?

You might find useful watching The Business of Fashion video below:

Le Negresco, “the unexpected palace” next door

EDHEC is lucky to be overlooking one of the Nicest bays in the world; and be the neighbour of a piece of French Riviera history: its Belle Epoque palace Le Negresco, proudly French and independant.

For security reasons, it will be difficult to go and visit the Palace this year. Please, go on your own and admire the neoclassical architecture. Le Negresco has been listed as National Historic Building by the French government since 2003. Have a look inside (have a coffee at La Rotonde if possible), admire the artistic pieces, among them Niki de Saint Phalle Nana Jaune (see picture below) besides the monumental Baccarat chandelier and Miles Davis statue at the door of the building. The lobby is full of Jeanne Augier, the charismatic owner of Negresco, family pictures (see picture below).

negresco-lustre-en-crystal-de-baccarat negresco-souvenirs-de-j-augier







Source pictures: Marie-Cécile Cervellon

Read the case and watch the Youtube video. Then comment on what makes Negresco authentic? Second, explain how the hotel manages to be responsible and provide a luxury experience at the same time. Is responsible luxury contradictory or complementary in the hospitality sector?



Tajness, you can feel it with your eyes closed

Welcome back to school :). We will be starting the academic year discussing Palaces and exceptional vacations… first case…Taj.  Let’s have a dream…

First, visit and watch the video “Tajness (Youtube link below). You can feel it your eyes closed”. Describe Tajness as a luxury experience and explain how this experience is orchestrated. Refer to my slides “A Model of Customer Experience”.

Second, read the case story and reflect on the benefits and risks of Taj brand extension strategy.

Christian Dior and French contribution to Haute Couture

In 1957, when Christian Dior died at age 52, the fashion world was chocked. Observers were wondering if Paris would remain the capital of High Fashion and if the Christian Dior house would survive its iconic founder and designer. 60 years ahead, we will analyze what makes Christian Dior and Paris forward in fashion.

In order to feed our discussion, read the case and answer the following questions:

  1. Identify how Christian Dior legacy is still pervasive in Christian Dior DNA
  2. Explain how Christian Dior global development managed to elevate the brand image overseas

You might find useful to watch several videos, particularly on the history of Dior:

Pequignet, the unique French luxury watchmaker

Over our last sessions, I referred to the Swiss watchmaking tradition and exceptional craftsmanship. In the next session, I will shade lights on an independent watchmaker, Pequignet, the only French watchmaker. Pequignet Manufacturing facilities and Haute Horlogerie laboratory are located since birth in 1973 in Morteau, French Jura.

Go to Pequignet website: For those of you who understand French, there are interesting documentaries aired on French TV that you will find on YouTube. Watch also this video posted by Pequignet :

In order to feed our discussions, read the case and answer the following questions:

  1. What elements foster authenticity in the Haute Horlogerie sector?
  2. Conduct an analysis of Pequignet situation (SWOT). What challenges does Pequignet face and how does the watchmaker tackle them?

Hermès Strategic consistency

Hermès is one of those brands that is part of our (French) collective culture. Read the document I shared with you and answer to the following questions:

  1. Explain P.Thomas (2011) quote “Hermès’ performance has been driven by strategic consistency since 1837”. Highlight the elements of this strategy.
  2. Many firms operating in the luxury sector, such as Hermès have been family-owned businesses across generations. Identify reasons why family-ownership was dominant until recently.
  3. Explore Hermès digital initiatives and explain how this brand manages to be appealing to your generation without alienating the others.
  4. Explain the reasons behind Shang Xia’s introduction

It is important that you would visit the site Les Ailes d’Hermès and watch the playlist on Hermès contemporary artisan since 1837.