How have department stores managed to secure a portion of their in-store traffic?

Since the 19th century, department stores have revolutionized retail by centralizing a vast range of products in one place, thereby introducing consumers to the latest trends. Created in major cities like Paris and London, these establishments have become icons of urban culture and consumption. Today, despite competition from e-commerce, they generate more than 13 billion euros in annual revenue. Thanks to innovative omnichannel strategies, such as appointment booking, they have maintained their relevance and continue to operate into the urban commercial and tourism landscape. But what are the specific strategies that attract customers in-store, and how do they work? What results have these initiatives produced?


Personal shopping has proven to be an effective strategy for department stores wishing to secure a portion of their physical traffic by offering personalized experiences that attract and retain customers. For example:

Le Printemps: Offers an exclusive personal shopping service with no minimum purchase, accessible both in-store and online. This service, usually reserved for top clients, is here available to new clients, including young people. This approach has allowed Le Printemps to acquire over 4000 new clients through online appointment bookings for personal shopping sessions. Once a customer is converted after the first appointment, they can then interact directly with their assigned advisor.

Galeries Lafayette: Have innovated by offering appointments with Emmanuelle Sits, a content creator in the second-hand market, who is currently touring France’s [RE]Store locations to restyle the brand’s clients. This attracts a younger clientele in-store, while also increasing the average basket value: customers spend more than before thanks to personal shopping and a personalized discovery of the service.


The role of the private stylist redefines the traditional approach to shopping by offering a much deeper experience compared to that offered by a personal shopper. Indeed, beyond advising on specific purchases, the private stylist assists clients in managing their entire wardrobe and developing their personal style. This service is particularly valued for retaining existing customers rather than acquiring new ones.

Le Bon Marché exemplifies this strategy by allowing its customers to book sessions with a private stylist by phone or via its website. Before the in-person appointment at the store’s Salons Particuliers, a phone conversation is organized so the stylist can understand the tastes, style, and desires of the client, ensuring a highly personalized and engaged experience.


With a booming sector, beauty services are increasingly common in department stores, which rely on these services to attract new customers and retain existing ones. For instance, Le Bon Marché, which has registered more than 6,000 appointments within its beauty institutes with prestigious brands such as Biologique Recherche, Guerlain, and Dior.

Similarly, La Samaritaine houses Europe’s largest beauty space with 3,400 square meters dedicated to it, offering 200 brands and a wide range of services, including a Cinq Mondes spa. The goal remains the same: to transform the shopping experience in-store into a real customer experience. Attracting customers into wellness spaces notably generates additional sales.

On their part, Galeries Lafayette highlight a wellness space of 3,000 square meters with 169 beauty brands, 40 of which are exclusive. In addition to this space, events are regularly organized in collaboration with brands like Prada Beauté to enrich the customer experience.


To continue securing in-store traffic, department stores have also become central venues for cultural and fun activities that attract both adults and children.

For instance, Le Printemps organizes over 2500 events per year, averaging 7 per day, using platforms like Booxi to manage and communicate about these events. These activities range from product personalization to makeup sessions for children, allowing participants to engage in multiple events simultaneously.

On the other hand, Le Bon Marché organized 700 events in 2023, with over 10,000 participants and 14,000 available seats, demonstrating the customers’ attraction to these types of experiences.

Galeries Lafayette also offer culinary workshops and fashion shows in their iconic spaces, open to both children and adults for a participation fee, further reinforcing their image as centers of cultural and social life.


Since 2019, Printemps, in collaboration with Manatour, has offered unusual cultural tours of its six floors spread over 30,000 square meters. In the first year, these tours attracted over 9,000 people, split between 35% individual visitors and 65% groups, reflecting interest in the history and architecture of the site.

Galeries Lafayette also offers heritage tours, allowing tourists and customers to discover the secrets of Parisian Haussmann architecture.

Similarly, La Samaritaine offers a B2B service with customized tours for groups such as associations and businesses, enriching the experience of their commercial partners and strengthening ties with the local community.

In conclusion, department stores have innovated and adapted to the new realities of the retail market. Their solution has been to develop omnichannel strategies that fully leverage platforms like Booxi to optimize the management of appointments and events.

Services like personal shopping, private stylists, and beauty institutes, combined with cultural events and iconic tours, are not just ways to attract customers to the store but also to retain them by offering a rich and personalized experience.

Our appointment booking solution thus plays a key role in this transformation by facilitating effective planning while putting humans at the heart of department stores. Using the most suitable and efficient software for appointment booking also contributes to the vitality and sustainability of these institutions in an increasingly competitive environment. These strategies show that despite the challenges posed by e-commerce, the unique, human, and personalized in-store experience remains irreplaceable, allowing department stores not just to survive but to thrive.

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