Retail Column by Heidemarie Kriz, Point of Sale Doctor and Retail Architect (KRIZH, POSitive Affairs)
That very paradise became a reality just a few minutes away from the company’s headquarters, at Taggenbrunn Castle. The castle, whose origin dates back to 600 BC, has been owned by the Riedl family, the founders of Jacques Lemans, since 2011. No stone has been left unturned since then: Renovation work took 10 years. The adjacent slopes have been extensively cultivated and are now being used for viticulture – the yields of which can be tasted and purchased at the castle’s own nearby Heurigen restaurant, the estate store, the castle store, the castle café, and the boutique hotel.
A Shop with Vision
The castle is home to a shop that showcases a wide assortment of what Jacques Lemans is known for: watches and jewelry. Wood, glass, natural stone, and concrete were used as the primary materials, and the glazing along one elongated side provides a view far into the countryside, thus serving as a real-time backdrop. The founder of the company, Alfred Riedl, envisioned conquering the world from Carinthia, and the location renders his vision both visible and tangible. The timepieces, which are of noble design and first-class workmanship, are part of the most popular watch brand in its class and are sold at seven other single-brand stores in Austria as well as in 120 countries around the world. The company also specializes in special editions for international brands, in addition to institutions such as UEFA and Formula 1.
At Taggenbrunn Castle, nothing has been left to chance – everything has been planned with pinpoint accuracy to convey a sense of lightness to each visitor and to eliminate the pressure of time. Space and time virtually melt; upon arrival, time seems to stand still, lending the impressions a sense of their full force. The Taggenbrunn Festival amplifies every impression, particularly the imposing concert hall, which seats approximately 600 people and is the crowning glory of the program. When walking around the premises, one thing becomes quite clear: Neither cost nor effort was spared; great emphasis was placed on materials, workmanship, and quality.
To Every Age Its Art. To All Art Its Freedom
It is, therefore, hardly surprising that André Heller, who possesses an exceptional talent for art and atmospheric worlds with depth, was chosen to create the Time Goddess, the guardian of the entire complex, and to curate the “Zeiträume” multimedia exhibition. The space houses interactive objects from the Jacques Lemans collection that revolve around the themes of time, light, and information. The “State of the World Machine”, a luminous globe that visually depicts how the earth has changed over the past decades, is both captivating and sobering. The plasma wall, the journey to the center of the earth, and the giant kaleidoscope in the shape of a dodecahedron are also impressive.
My tip: The example of Jacques Lemans shows that customers can be drawn away from city centers and shopping centers – provided the offer is right. The jewel created by Jacques Lemans reveals a lot about the DNA of the company, the values, the vision of the founder, and the precision of the products. However, to show people a good time, you do not need a castle – you need to show appreciation! Therefore, you should focus on excellent customer care and ensure that each and every customer feels welcome. Give customers the gift of time, and make their lives easier by means of additional services. Even if those services are minor, making an effort is worthwhile!
9300 St. Veit an der Glan
Phone: +34 (0) 4212 30200
About Heidemarie Kriz
In this monthly retail column, retail architect Heidemarie Kriz shares with us her Retail Shop Tip and lets us know her thoughts and expertise regarding her experiences visiting some of the latest and most innovative shops. Heidemarie Kriz has been an architect and shop designer for more than 25 years. For decades, she has held senior positions with major brands across Europe, but she has also worked as a freelance concept designer, an architect, and a consultant specialising in shops, furniture design, customer and purchasing behavior, and visual merchandising. Kriz and her team of experts specialise in retail concepts, analysis, and holistic advice in the retail sector.