Hubert Burda Media

Devialet opens its largest Asian flagship store at Marina Bay Sands

CEO Quentin Sannie says the new space is about delivering experiences.

In the world of luxury audio brands, Devialet is one of the younger players in the sphere, having been founded in 2007. But the French manufacturer isn’t letting that hamper its plans, having grown by leaps and bounds the last few years. In fact, in the last six months or so, Devialet has opened an average of one store per month in Asia and continues to expand its presence.

This month also sees Devialet opening its largest flagship store in the region. Having been in the Singapore market since July 2016, the flagship is located at one of the city-state’s iconic shopping destinations, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, with another store situated at ION Orchard, an upmarket mall in the country’s Orchard Road shopping belt. In the approximately 100-sq-m space, it will boast two acoustically treated listening rooms for visitors to come and fully experience the brand’s offerings.

The opening comes on the back of several world-firsts announced by Devialet in 2017 alone. It includes a 10-year partnership with the Opéra National de Paris; a new concept car with French auto marque Renault to engineer the audio experience; and a partnership with UK entertainment company Sky to create a sound system named Sky Soundbox.

The founders of Devialet: Pierre-Emmanuel Calmel, Quentin Sannié and Emmanuel Nardin

It’s no wonder the brand has already gained popularity among some of the world’s big names, including Android founder Andy Rubin, LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault and American rapper Jay-Z.

In town for the store opening for the first time, Quentin Sannie, CEO of Devialet, shares more about the flagship store and the brand’s plans for the future.

Why the decision to launch a flagship store in Singapore now?

Singapore is such a hub city. People from the entire world visit to work, explore and do business, and we believe that we have to be here. Our core target is an international traveller, someone working in the global world and what better place to do it than in Singapore?

What’s new or interesting that the flagship store will offer to customers, compared to its other stores in the region?

It won’t just be a place to listen to the product, but it will be a place that people get to experience sound in all forms, including listening to little known concerts and performances that we’ve restored via our Lost Recording series, or attending masterclasses from industry professionals to learn and delve deeper into this very exciting world of music and sound.

What do you hope to achieve with this new store? 

The reason why we open stores is to deliver the moving experience of [our iconic wireless speaker] Phantom to people. The goal is not to have a store to build the brand or to demonstrate how ambitious we are; it is to deliver the experience to more people each day. It is also to be able to help people rediscover music and find that they can truly hear the difference in the sound and appreciate the emotion and quality, even though they are not experts or musicians.

Devialet Phantom wireless speaker in gold

How does the brand differentiate itself from other luxury audio brands in the market? 

The first point of differentiation is that what we’re providing in terms of the listening experience is completely new. There is a difference in the way we experience sound because of new technology. The second is how we combine the technology and the design to deliver a product that is visibly something complete new, so that although the design hides the technology, people already expect something sophisticated just from the novelty of the shape and it creates that feeling of excitement. In addition to creating quality sound, our vision is what truly sets us apart. Our goal is to be a leader in the sound industry and in the future, be able to embed our technology in any sound-providing device in the world — in your car, on your TV or laptop, or smartphone.

Which other markets is Devialet going into now from Singapore? 

The goal is to be in 30 main cities around the world in the coming years. In the US, we started first in New York, then Los Angeles, and now Chicago and Miami. In Asia, Singapore and Hong Kong were our first targets and we also have a cabin in Taipei. In the near future, we’re hoping to open stores in Seoul and Tokyo, and eventually Mainland China.

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