Florence, Italy - October 4, 2011: Detail of a luxury fashion brand Gucci in the centre of Florence

Gucci is set to open six new call centres across the globe in a bid to attract millennial consumers. 

The luxury retailer will open the call centres in cities like Florence and Shanghai with the hopes of channeling consumer demand for smartphone-enabled commerce.

The call centres, which will be staffed by 500 people, are meant to resemble Gucci stores and are designed to cater for shoppers wanting to discuss the retailer’s selection of luxury products.

The news comes after the opening of the retailer’s main call centre in Florence in April.

Millennials are increasingly one of the most lucrative markets for luxury retailers, with research from PYMNTS finding that 45 per cent of high-end purchasers in coming years will be millennials.

Charles Heunemann, Managing Director and VP Asia Pacific at Natterbox Limited told Retailbiz that the news signals the brand is steering a new focus on personalisation.

“While we often hear about brands shutting down and off-shoring call centres, high-end fashion label, Gucci is bucking this trend and planning to open five more customer service centres across the globe following the opening for their main call centre in Florence in April,” he said.

Mr Heunemann says the move is strategic because it shows that the brand is listening to their customers and trying to deliver a customised experience.

“In a time when retailers are struggling to maintain customer loyalty and convert a wavering customer to buy, exploring the best ways to “optimise the remote client experience” might be a very clever move,” he said.

“By encouraging call centre staff to spend unlimited, unhurried time chatting about the virtues of the latest $2,200 GG handbag or a $1,590 pair of sneakers Gucci is able to add value and the personal connection that the customer craves, while boosting Gucci’s bottom line.”

The move illustrates the value that modern consumers place on a personalised, humanised experience in an increasingly crowded market, Mr Heunemann says.

“This announcement re-enforces our message that, in spite of developments in AI and artificial voice technology, all people, even “smartphone-addicted”, tech-native millennials still desire a personalised experience and a human connection,” he said.

“Rather than focusing solely on automating digital channels to keep up with rapidly changing consumer habits, Gucci are actively engaging with their customers through a more compelling and meaningful communication channel –  the devices they use most – their smartphones.”