The French hi-fi and technology company Devialet is opening its first stand-alone store in the U.S. (and its sixth worldwide), in New York City with a private event on Nov. 17, followed by the concept store opening—just in time for the holidays—ahead of the store’s permanent opening in 2017. According to press materials, the space itself was designed to optimize listening experiences so that customers can hear music as the artist intended it to be heard—and perhaps as they’ve never heard it before.
Located at 92 Greene St. (between Prince and Spring) in Manhattan’s Soho neighborhood, the 2200-square-foot concept store will not only offer demonstrations of Devialet’s high-end audio systems but also a wide range of sonic experiences. Visitors can try out the full Phantom Collection at full force (100dB)—including the latest Gold Phantom (pictured below) and the 5.5 Phantom Immersive audio-visual home-entertainment setup—in addition to the Expert Pro lineup, the brand’s ultimate audiophile system. In addition to these listening opportunities, customers will also be able to enjoy an upcoming rotation of unique curated events.
Inspired by the fractal elements of Ireland’s Giant’s Causeway, the store’s design is meant to invite customers to hear music in ways they haven’t before. For instance, the space features an Immersive Room, a private, perfectly tuned “acoustic cabin” for listening sessions with Devialet components.
In short, the store is intended to enable music lovers to discover what Devialet has to offer across a range of both visual and sonic interests—the results of the company’s sound-processing innovations over the past decade.
Questions for Adrien Da Maia, GM of North America
What are the primary goals for this NYC store and its approach? What were the considerations and intentions behind this particular location?
We wanted to open our first U.S. store in a location that felt relevant to the world of music, which is why we chose NYC. SoHo specifically is a place of discovery for both New Yorkers and visitors, making it perfect for something as unique as Devialet.
The design of our listening areas was inspired by the Giant's Causeway in Ireland, and reflects an amalgamation of the natural and the industrial, as our product does. This retail concept also allows our audience to share this unique music experience. We also offer an “immersive room,” aiming at creating a perfect sound environment for a more intimate experience as well as a 5.5 Phantom-powered home entertainment setup. Of course the full range of Phantom speakers and our latest accessories are there for shoppers to explore.
How is this store similar to or different than the other Devialet stores worldwide?
While this store is reminiscent of our store concepts worldwide, to highlight some key elements of Devialet’s DNA, our NY flagship [location] boasts a double-height skylit back area that will serve as a theater for many music events and audiophile-grade experiences.
What kinds of curated music/listening events do you have planned?
We are still hammering out the details but we are coming up with some event concepts with music partners and are excited to bring the community together in a place where people can hear and explore music in the best ways possible.
How does having these retail locations impact distribution? Is Devialet still using a dealer network for any of its product lines?
Whether online, in our own stores, or through our dealer network, all of our distribution channels for all our product lines are growing fast. A strong retail presence raises brand awareness globally and, in France or other markets before, we found that opening flagship stores is instrumental to the success of our selective network of dealers.
What different kinds of customers are you hoping to attract?
While relying on a loyal audiophile customer base, we’re excited to be able to introduce Devialet to a wide range of new shoppers, many of whom have never experienced true high-fidelity audio before. Phantom is the perfect gateway for an even more audiophile experience up through our top-line Expert Pro range of amplifiers.
Devialet is a pioneering technology brand built upon proprietary sound processing advances. It exclusively designs and engineers all of its own hardware and software in France, for which it has garnered more than 100 patents and received 58 awards for its development of a number of proprietary new technologies.