Spanish luxury porcelain brand, Lladró, debuts new look for its stores
By: Suman Tarafdar
Posted on: July 18, 2017
Valencia-based luxury porcelain brand Lladró, which entered India in 2000, has established a niche for itself as Indians looked for gifts for the many festivities it celebrates.
Its eight boutiques in India have become destinations in themselves. For Lladró fans, the boutiques are akin to museums, and a new look is a landmark. Lladró has just opened its newly done boutique in Gurgaon’s Ambience Mall. Nikhil Lamba, COO, Lladró India, revealed the new look to patrons at an evening attended by many collectors of the brand.
Despite hiccups of the past year, such as demonetisation and the impending GST, growth is happening, says Mr Lamba.
With this new look, the new outlet joins the latest generation of the brand stores in leading destinations across the world. Stores in New York, London, Tokyo, Singapore and Moscow already sport this new design, marked by a white, light airy space.
The first thing that strikes a visitor is the white aura that the new boutique has – a sort of plush white luxury world immersed in soft curves that one enters through transparent glass doors. Visitors may also note the satin finishes in furniture, or the new ‘lollipop’ signages or the curvy wall units. “An execution of this level in India called for a high level of benchmarking – furniture finishes, light specifications, marble table tops,” points out Mr Lamba.
The design of the new boutiques is driven by the Lladró family’s creative vision, and is inspired by the idea of a gallery or museum as an ideal place to exhibit the decorative art porcelain. The new store design seeks to offer the perfect frame for the whole breadth of the brand’s sculpture not compromised by shape or color. Thus the new distinctive white with curved lines, which was conceived in conjunction with the Spanish designer Jaime Hayon, who has had a decade long association with the brand. The conversion of this store was done in 45 days.
While this is the second boutique to get the new look (after the one in Hyderabad), this is the first one in a mall or public space. The new boutiques are part of the brand’s expansion policy, in place since 2012, with the brand boasting 1,000 outlets in five continents.
Any link to religious iconography definitely helps in India. Hence Lladró’s “Spirit of India” series, which includes a number of highly priced listed products, part of the brand’s High Porcelain collection.
The brand reaches out to its target clientele in multiple ways. It has eight boutiques in India, perhaps the largest of any luxury brand. Then there are annual signing events where the patrons are invited. A number of other associations with events such as in golf also help build brand associations.
Lladró of course has it favorite customers, patrons of the brand who often end up with enviable collections, or are on the lookout for new or missing pieces, and there are about 10,000 customers who are intimated as soon as any new pieces come in. Yet the festive and wedding season account for a bulk of the annual sales, about 45 per cent.
In the most recent high season, the collection’s new offerings included a limited edition Lord Shiva. Sculpted by Virginia González, this imposing seated figurine of Shiva, measuring 62 x 78 cm, is priced at INR 7.2 lakh. For an additional INR 1.1 lakh, customers have the option of adding a lingam. All the usual symbols associated with him – the trident, the drum, the snake round his neck, the rudraksha mala, even Ganga that flows from the coils of his hair (the only metallic part) – are all there. The series already includes figurines of Goddess Lakshmi, Lord Ganesha, Ram Darbar and Goddess Saraswati.
While Lladró is best known for its porcelain figurines, the brand has also expanded into other categories such as lamps, lights, mirrors, vases and even jewellery. The famous Niagara chandelier now comes with golden fairies and is priced at INR 3,900,000, though most others are far more modestly priced.
In an outreach to the Indian festive gifting season, Lladró has on offer many more affordable pieces. Such as clocks priced at INR 14,000, fragrances ranging from INR 3,700 to 5,300, or patterned votive lights in a range of Indian motifs, priced between INR 4,000- INR 6,000.
While Mr Lamba declines to put a number to India’s share in revenue or sales, he does say India’s share is growing over the years. “We see big potential,” is what he quietly confines himself to.
A new look, almost a rejuvenation for the brand, should only help grow the tribe.