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Fragrance and body-care brand Diptyque will be opening a few more brick-and-mortar storefronts than it closed in March.

The personal and home fragrance brand, which has 22 stores in the U.S., will be opening two new storefronts in New York starting this Saturday, in both Williamsburg and SoHo. The stores, dubbed “Ateliers,” are decorated in the style of Diptyque workshops. The Prince Street location in SoHo will also feature a mural by artist C. Finley.

“We believe that with the pandemic, there is this importance of the neighborhoods and building the community of customers,” said Julien Gommichon, president of the Americas for Diptyque. “We’ve been looking for a location in Williamsburg for a long time, it’s a very important market for us. We had a small, high-performing store on Mott Street we were looking to expand, too.”

Brick-and-mortar is an important channel for the brand, which started 59 years ago with a store on Boulevard Saint-Germain in Paris. “Our story started with a store; It’s always the principle that each store feels connected to the community. It’s not just to showcase, but we try to immerse our clients in the Diptyque universe of arts and culture,” Gommichon said. “When you celebrate the art of living through the senses, the notion of customers’ in-store connection is also a connection with the brand.”

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The expansion comes right ahead of the holidays, a traditionally important season for the fragrance category, which has faced steep declines following the coronavirus pandemic. “It has been a difficult year of course, but we have very strong activity online. Now all our stores are back and open. We are looking forward to a very important period for us,” Gommichon said.

That being said, the safety of both employees and clientele is the brand’s top priority, according to Gommichon. He underscored the brand’s digital efforts, which will include scheduling virtual consultations, scheduling shopping appointments at the ateliers and keeping the stores at reduced capacities. The brand will also be testing store employees daily, he said.

Although the pandemic caused Diptyque to initially close all of its brick-and-mortar stores, Gommichon said, it also provided unprecedented opportunities for commercial real estate. “We’ve been looking, and with the pandemic, some opportunities came and we were able to find great locations in the summer,” he said.

The expansion will allow the stores to stock more collections beyond just body care, personal and home fragrance; its decoration collection will be available at the SoHo storefront. Historically, personal fragrance has made up half of Diptyque’s global sales, as reported by WWD. Earlier this year, WWD reported that the brand saw “massive spikes” in sales of its hero scents for home.

Gommichon said the personal fragrance category of the business is playing catchup, but nevertheless gaining momentum. “We’ve seen a roll back to personal fragrance. People are starting to walk or bike to the office, we’ve seen a demand for personal fragrances for the past few months,” he said.

For more from WWD.com, see:

Beauty Barrage Founder Offers Tips to Bridge In-store, Virtual Selling

The Potential Impact of Change: In-Store Beauty Testing

The 2020 Fragrance Foundation Awards: Talking Diversity, Coronavirus

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