Last night, local media were invited to L’Occitane’s newest Vancouver store at the corner of Robson and Burrard. If you’re not familiar with the French brand of creams, scents, and skin care products, L’Occitane was founded in 1976 by Olivier Baussan in France’s Haute-Provence.
The family-owned business has prided itself on authenticity, a deep respect for nature, and giving customers a personal experience in every one of its over 2,365 shops around the world.
Country Manager David McConnachie, who’s been with the brand for eight years, was on hand to talk about Vancouver’s store—there’s now nine in the Lower Mainland and counting. While L’Occitane has been in Canada since 1999, the first Vancouver store was opened on Granville Street.
The Burrard/Robson shop is now the second flagship store in Canada, following Toronto’s Yorkdale Mall location. With global headquarters in Paris, L’Occitane imports hand-made tiles from Provence for its shops, as well as hand-baked Moroccan tile, honouring the company’s Moroccan roots. All product labels are still hand-designed by founder Baussan.
The space reminded Regional Designer Paul Blackburn of an artist’s studio, complete with high ceilings allowing natural light to pour in. It’s easy to see how the concept of an atelier was created here, making this a unique space for L’Occitane products. Many elements throughout the shop relay back to the company’s chief yellow branding colour.
National Learning and Development Manager Kristina Tsiriotakis explained that the brand is very much a service-oriented one, helping to transport customers to the South of France with hand massages and complimentary wet shaves for men, giving them a moment to relax and leave behind the busy, everyday world in the heart of the city.
The Immortelle flower used in L’Occitane’s best-selling anti-aging Crème Divine never breaks down, and has been used by French locals for centuries. The company even knows the farmers who grow the flowers.
L’Occitane is also a cruelty-free brand. Every product is made with love and passion in Manosque, Provence, and Lagorce, Ardèche, each line inspired by the natural ingredients of the region.
L’Occitane is located at the intersection of Robson and Burrard Streets in downtown Vancouver. Visit the website for more info.