Frederic Levy, President of Nespresso USA, talks about the opening of the new Nespresso Flagship Boutique in San Francisco and gives insights into the evolving coffee drinking habits in the U.S.
Why did Nespresso select San Francisco for its latest boutique…and for its first West Coast boutique?
San Francisco is a natural fit for Nespresso because the epicurean city is known for its appreciation for premium coffee offerings and quality products. We also have a high concentration of Nespresso Club Members in California, especially in the San Francisco market. Coffee culture is important to San Francisco consumers so we look forward to offering them the Nespresso coffee experience at our new stylish and contemporary Boutique Bar.
This is the first Nespresso West Coast Boutique Bar in the U.S. Did you approach the design of this boutique differently from other U.S. boutiques?
Yes. Designed with the highest aesthetics, we drew inspiration from Silicon Valley, comfort and service in mind, so our customers can enjoy Nespresso moments as often as they please. The contemporary 7,400 square foot, two floor space includes the coffee bar, a Discovery Ring, an N Pad Bar equipped with iPads for customer use, and a Self Selection Room where Club Members can shop at their own pace and convenience and check out with a single swipe of their N Pass Club Member Card. The design and personalised services of this boutique truly enable us to provide coffee lovers with a delightful Nespresso experience.
What insights can you share about San Fransisco Club Members and consumers?
San Francisco is arguably one of the most epicurean cities in the U.S. and enjoys a significant European influence in its food and beverage culture. As one of the top cities for coffee lovers in the U.S., San Francisco is an ideal location for the Nespresso Flagship Boutique. Coffee enthusiasts in the city seek and appreciate the premium coffee experience, the very same qualities Nespresso shares. In that way, Nespresso is an ideal match for the San Francisco consumers’ mindset.
You mention that San Francisco has a large coffee community. How do you plan to compete with local coffee houses?
We’re not competing with local coffee houses since we don’t have coffee to-go. Part of the Nespresso experience is to sit back, relax and enjoy delightful coffee moment. We value the individual’s coffee experience over the mass experience, which makes the Nespresso experience so unique for San Francisco.
How have you seen American coffee drinking habits evolving over the last few years?
Gourmet coffee and espresso are going through a renaissance in the U.S. much like wine did 25 years ago. Back then, Americans didn’t know much about wine, now people are very discerning about the quality and flavor notes of the wine they drink. We’re seeing the same thing happen with coffee today, as consumers are increasingly interested in learning more about coffee origins and aroma profiles, as well as appreciating and selecting superior high quality coffee.
How would you characterize the retail marketplace in San Fransisco? What points stood out for you as you considered setting up a flagship boutique here?
Union Square, where we’ve chosen to locate our first Flagship Boutique, is the cultural epicenter of San Francisco. To have Nespresso mentioned in the same breath with names like Baccarat, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and so many others, and to be nestled among many of the finest San Francisco restaurants and theatres, is a true privilege and one we relish.
Are there any unique aspects of San Francisco that made the city particularly attractive?
We find everything about San Francisco to be attractive! San Francisco is a city with incredible character. The city is so distinctive. The community embraces culture and diversity, is open-minded, values individual choices and demands innovative one-of-a-kind approaches. So, again, we are right at home here. Nespresso’s relentless attention to detail, commitment to quality and devotion to service – our core values, brand attributes and overall approach – all come together beautifully with the San Francisco culture.
2013 is an exciting year for San Francisco with the upcoming America's Cup. Do you feel Nespresso will benefit from the buzz and excitement in the city?
Absolutely. We’re thrilled to announce that Nespresso is the Official Coffee of the 34th America’s Cup as well as an Elite Sponsor of Emirates Team New Zealand. We will have the opportunity to create multiple brand experiences throughout the world at the events leading up to the big race, allowing fans and guests to discover and re-discover the ultimate Nespresso coffee moment. We look forward to sharing in the energy and excitement those events will bring to the local community.