U*Tique: Vending Machine Masquerades as Luxury Shop
The U*tique Shop is a new concept in as much as it is the first to present the automation + luxury combo. The “shop” features a touch-screen interface, interactive LED lighting design, and a behind-the-scenes robot that delivers fragile products to customers… An interactive gallery of sorts.
Launching this month in Santa Monica, The U*Tique Shop is a “curated experience of 50 iconic products”. “Must have’s” they call them. In U*Tique’s own words, “The products have been handpicked and tested by some incredibly fussy product specialists with backgrounds in global beauty, trend-hunting and innovation. We have scoured the world (and our backyards here in California) looking for ‘the best’ items. We feature top luxury brands and rising stars”. These soit-disant icons of the moment include products from Lancôme, ZIRH, Bliss, C.O. Bigelow and Smashbox, and rising stars such as Hourglass Cosmetics, Vosges Chocolate, E-Boost Energy Supplements, Chantecaille, Lipstick Queen, ZELENS and Ketty Sean.
I love the design of this piece. It’s very Japanese-tech-chic. And, I applaud the bravado that it took to put this on the market. Still, somehow, I question the auspiciousness of U*tique Shop’s timing in launching this device at this time… An automated luxury store for “life’s little emergencies and indulgences.” Isn’t that a totally taboo attitude to exhibit these days? Might not be if the U*tique were to offer more favorable pricing. You know, since there is no overhead cost for live sales consultants. Why not pass on the savings. But I’m guessing that’s not in line with the “luxury” and “indulgence” strategy…
Would love to see this little machine live in action. Any excuse to make it down to L.A. & Santa Monica.