The Real Luxury is the Shop
Demonized by many, snubbed by others, “digital” has always been viewed as a rather taboo topic in eyewear.
The pioneers of the digital age were put in a pillory, treated as if they were soulless merchants, who gave little attention to the value of the concept sold.
One day, the world discovers its weaknesses when a pandemic knocks at its door.
The rules of the game change or rather, it is the game that changes and consequently, its rules.
As a precaution, interpersonal distances are immediately enforced and suddenly everything changes: the immense spaces have now become small, human contact more distant, and the way of working has also changed.
It would almost seem like digital revenge: everyone is now running to the enemy's door, that same enemy that was, in various ways, so long kept at a distance and yet, today, we ask for their friendship.
Thus, it has now become everyone’s priority to shift from their usual sales channels towards digitalization. We have already begun to witness the unbridled race towards the creation of our own websites, in order to have our own online presence, in hope that everything will become faster and more accessible.
For most optical professionals, we hope by creating this website, it will become the reflected image, a virtual manifestation of our physical practice.
For some companies, they will certainly redesign their organizational structure, in order to introduce the “digital” component that will inevitably take the place of some man. The famous concept of "…the machine replaces the man…" reappears after a few centuries and as it always happens, the opportunities for some (the Company) becomes the drama for others (the Employees).
History teaches that a correct mediation can satisfy everyone, this applies to both sides: the Company and the Employee; and if done properly, this can make one’s quality of life, even at work, better.
So, after studying history, and allowing for such mediations to take place, the calm returns and the tribe finds itself gathered at the table, a new “digital” table, asking the important questions: “Everyone happy? Are we sure that nobody is unhappy?”
Maybe I will be an incurable romantic, but I would miss terribly the ritual of meeting in the store, together with my trusted optician, my image consultant.
The pleasure of seeing the concept personally, being able to touch, to feel, and to try it on, can never be replaced.
The pleasure that exists, within those moments of exchanging ideas, between two friends, while sipping a glass of wine; meanwhile, I look at and contemplate that concept, as if it is sitting there, being illuminated by its own light, like a star in the dark night, appearing to say back to me, "I am what you were looking for," is priceless!
The human, romantic and poetic dimension that develops within the store and the consultants that animate it, can NEVER be replaced by any digitization.
Maybe digital will be a valid caddy but it can never be the sole player.
So suddenly or as if by magic, time seems to have gone back, when the pandemic was not even in the dreams of the most forward-looking and the store becomes the fulcrum, the spotlight of where the opera will unfold and will undoubtedly, take center stage.
The STORE will become the real luxury!