DFS Brings, Facilities, Support-Initiatives to Micronesia
SEPTEMBER 15, 2014, Hong Kong – DFS Group (DFS), the world’s leading luxury travel retailer unveiled its newly rebranded downtown stores is Guam and Saipan last week. Both branches, which previously fell under the “DFS Galleria” designation, now carry the “T Galleria by DFS” moniker showcasing the company’s renewed focus on its core customer: the traveler.
“It’s with great pleasure that we bring our ‘T Galleria by DFS’ concept to Guam and Saipan,” said Philippe Schaus, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, DFS Group. “The rebranding and development program, which we’re bringing to all downtown branches, clearly demonstrates our continued commitment to delighting our key customers through shopping journeys that cater directly to their needs.”
Chief among the upgraded stores’ offerings are their increasingly extensive ranges of products, all of which are backed by the DFS 100% Worldwide Guarantee, and expertly sourced from 300 of the most-desired brands in the worlds of beauty and fragrances, watches and jewelry, fashion and accessories, wine and spirits, and food and gifts. Housed in exceptional environments, where highly trained sales assistants can guide and provide advice in a variety of languages, including English, Japanese, Chinese and Korean, T Galleria by DFS truly epitomizes the next phase in the evolution of luxury travel retail.
Also new are the wealth of fashion and beauty services customers can now enjoy at the stores. These include brow shaping, makeup lessons, trend-setting sessions and full makeovers.
At the Guam store specifically, customers can also indulge in a fully refurbished and upgraded shopping environment, the likes of which has been two years in the making. Similar upgrades will also be introduced to the Saipan branch, with construction to commence in 2015.
Developments works in the two locations also extend beyond the stores themselves through various DFS-backed initiatives designed to support local communities and the region’s tourism sector.
Multi-brand concept space
As part of its new look and feel, T Galleria by DFS Guam now features a multi-brand concept space, the company’s first ever dedicated retail area specializing in cutting edge travel-wear and -accessories.
“The vision behind the new facility was to create a space exclusively focused on offering the latest and most interesting products for life on the go from across our extensive brand portfolio,” said Harold Brooks, President, Global Merchandising, DFS Group. “We also wanted make it easier for customers to discover new brands and to shop across brands in key categories.”
The multi-brand concept space also houses a broad range of wardrobe staples, such as belts and wallets. The men’s section remains heavily focused on luggage and carry-ons, including totes, slim briefcases and cross-body bags, all available in a variety of colors and materials. Extensive selections of unique phone cases, bracelets and coin purses are also on offer.
Luggage and carry-ons – totes and mini-bags in particular - also feature prominently in the women’s section, as do affordable accessories from both established and niche contemporary brands, ranging from DVF to Jack Spade to Rebecca Minkoff.
“Arranging products in this way introduces a sense of discovery to the shopping experience, said Lynette Johnson, Managing Director, Mid-Pacific, DFS Group. “And that’s what T Galleria by DFS is all about: About providing the experiences, indulgences and adventures to fuel discovery in ways that make sense for travelers.”
For its support initiative in Guam, DFS sought to bring that which it offers in its stores to local community: elevated experiences for travelers. Accordingly, the company selected the island’s bus stops as the subjects of the initiative.
Working with Guam’s Island Beautification Task Force, DFS designated 10 bus stops as “T-Stops”, which it then invited local non-profit organizations to compete to paint and beautify with the support of DFS funding. The organizations behind the first, second and third best non-profit proposals each received US$5,000, $2,500, and $1,000 respectively.
“As a global travel retailer, we’ve always sought to tie the destinations where we operate to our in-store offerings,” said Lynette Johnson. “The “T-Stop” program puts that process in reverse by allowing us to bring some of what makes DFS stores special to one of our operating destinations.”
Tipiyeew Village initiative
Equally destination-focused is the initiative DFS undertook to support the creation of Saipan’s Tipiyeew Village, a recreation of an early settlement designed to preserve and promote indigenous traditions and crafts for both the Carolinian and Chamorro people.
Working in partnership with Saipan’s Office of Carolinian Affairs, DFS invested in the construction of the first two houses in the village, which will eventually be populated by numerous structures where workshops and demonstrations will be held to showcase indigenous Carolinian and Chamorro arts and traditions. These include canoe building, wood carving, bead-work, Mwar floral arrangements and preparation of local cuisine.
“We were thrilled to have been involved with the Tipiyeew Village project,” said Lynette Johnson. “The site will play an important role in preserving Saipan’s local heritage, which forms a key part of what makes the island such a pleasure to visit for travelers.”
To celebrate the arrival of T Galleria by DFS to Guam and Saipan, DFS also introduced its T-in-Art program, through which DFS engages with local artists to create large T sculptures, influenced by each artist’s work and inspired by each destination. The sculptures were subsequently displayed in its stores in Guam and Saipan. Five local artists were approached in each destination, leading to the creation of T-in-Art pieces in a variety of media, from Batik to graffiti to wood.