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Company History

Louis Vuitton, a trunk-maker in Paris since 1854, became a legend in the art of travel by creating luggage, bags and accessories as innovative as they were elegant and practical. A century and a half later, the legend lives on. Strengthened by its international renown, the legend is embodied by the Monogram canvas, which has enjoyed unrivalled success since 1896 and played a starring role in the development of modern luxury. Innovation shapes the story of Louis Vuitton. Always leading the avant-garde of fashion without compromising traditional craftsmanship, Louis Vuitton is now active in other creative spheres: ready-to-wear, shoes, watches and jewelry. Under the artistic direction of Marc Jacobs, the new collections met with immediate success and renown.

Case Study Description
Recognized as a pioneer with regard to location and store concepts Louis Vuitton is looking to the next luxury frontier in Manhattan. Students will present their findings on what they view to be the next hot spot for luxury in the borough of Manhattan. The neighborhood and venue will allow for increased exposure to new luxury clients.

Research, Neighborhood and Concept Recommendation
Louis Vuitton challenged the project team to identify the next luxury frontier within the borough of Manhattan. The recommended neighborhood must allow for increased exposure to new luxury clients without diluting brand prestige. Importantly, while the project is solicited by the Louis Vuitton team, the neighborhood identified must be a location that could eventually draw in additional luxury brands. The team researched the borough by cross-referencing Louis Vuitton sales and transaction data with identified customer zip codes. Our research objective was to systematically identify not only viable retail locations, but also neighborhoods attractive to the company’s key customers. After rigorous analysis, the students took to the Manhattan streets for site visits. During these neighborhood visits, the students tried to get a feel for the neighborhood, assess the existing services and attractions, and to also confirm the consumer se of luxury brands in the neighborhood.

The project team has recommended that the next frontier of luxury in Manhattan is the Meatpacking District. Specifically, the team feels that the next Louis Vuitton store should most definitely be located within the trendy Meatpacking District – the crossroads of Europe and industrial America in Manhattan. However, the team also believes it is imperative that Lousi Vuitton take advantage of the High Line project, a unique abandoned railroad that is being reinvigorated, that forms the western border of the Meatpacking District. This urban landscaping project will bring an innovative attraction to the historical neighborhood that will draw an increased foot traffic.

The Louis Vuitton Project Team
Martin Andersons, Columbia Business School
Matthew Biggins, Columbia Business School
Gustavo Bottino, Haas Business School at Berkley
Lori Ruderman, Columbia Business School
Robyn Sparks Veal, Columbia Business School