L’Occitane is looking to redefine beauty shopping with the re-launch of its flagship store in the Flatiron District, which has been completely transformed into a digital playland to create both an immersive and individualized shopping experience.

“We wanted this store, our flagship in the US, to be dramatically different,” said Christina Polychroni, Chief Marketing Officer.

From entry to exit, the 2,000-square-foot store has been re-designed as a “multisensory boutique,” said Paul Blackburn, Associate Vice President, Design & Construction, North America.

The beauty brand commissioned School House, a brand creative agency, as the store’s lead designers to reinvent the brick and mortar experience.

“The store is really laid out in little segments of time. So if you have just a little bit of time we have boutiques that speak to high-level L’Occitane efforts,” said Chris Skinner, Founder of School House.

Inspired by the Provencal culture, beginning with a bright golden exterior façade, consumers enter the store to experience a wide-open area—a Provencal Square, meant for quick shopping for those without time to browse. Here lives a community board that communicates the store’s services, including hand massages, mini facials, engraved fragrance bottles, as well as a selection of bestselling brands and top trending products. There’s also a digital gifting platform so that can guests can quickly browse pre-made gift bundles, or customize one by themselves.

“Once a guest has digitally created a gift basket, a notification is sent to an in-store beauty host’s iPad, who then delivers it to the customer,” said Christina.

Beyond the Provencal Square are areas on walls that present L’Occitane’s skin care, fragrance, men’s, hair care and home offerings.

At the rear of the store is a second digital interactive spot,

The Smart Beauty Fitting Room, which was designed for the autonomous consumer in mind, and inspired by the fashion industry, where various boutiques and specialty stores fitting rooms utilize technology that identifies garment information, such as size, style and color alerts sales associates via handheld devices. “In beauty the challenge is that it is such a one-on-one activity for the younger generation who wants to create their own path to discovery. This is that opportunity, to create a connected experience without it being overt,” said Paul.

The Smart Beauty Fitting Room is equipped with sinks and various L’Occitane hand soaps and hand cremes where guests can play. Ipads allow consumers to “order up” any product to their sink station, and try it out.

Adjacent to the Smart Beauty Fitting Room is what L’Occitane is calling the world’s largest hand crème bar, comprised of 1,820 hand cremes, which are hung up as one would present an impressionistic art piece.

Also new is a seating area in front of one of the store’s prime windows, where shoppers can simply experience the store, and passersby can see customers living the brand.

“We are taking this prime real estate and transforming it into a space for the customer. It’s just a wonderful asset. The store team didn’t really understand how it was going to work until they were here and saw it and fell in love with it. While it seems quite minimal, it’s quite a risk. When you think about what’s happening in beauty retail, it’s plastered with imagery and visuals and videos and products. Here we are sort of saying, ‘No, we want to showcase the experience.’ It’s Hospitality 101 that if you put someone in the window of a restaurant people will come,” said Chris.

The newly remodeled store made its debut December 14 after being under construction for nearly six weeks. The brand was determined to open pre-Holiday.

“The original Flatiron store opened in 2011 and was the first large format L’Occitane in the U.S. Five years later and it is leading the way for the next generation of L’Occitane stores, as shopping and retail has changed in the digital age,” said Paul.

There are 217 L’Occitane stores in the US. About 37 are planned to be remodeled in the next 12 months featuring elements of the new Flatiron store, while three new concept stores are slated for the year, as well.