Thursday, 23 August 2007

Al Goes Gallic at Le Bon Marché

I read some stuff a while back about Galeries Lafayette, a prestigious Parisian department store, entering Second Life. But while out and about on my routine rambles around Second Life, I came across an open sim called a9 that appears to be home to one of their competitors - reportedly the first department store in the World - Le Bon Marché. According to wikipedia: "The store was founded as a small shop in Paris during 1838, and was a fixed-price department store from about 1850. It was a successful business, and a new building was constructed for the store by L. A. Boileau and Gustave Eiffel in 1876."

At the moment the sim consists of a single building with semi-transparent walls, but it is clearly under construction, with various objects still floating in mid-air, while the surrounding landscape is devoid of much detail.

As you can see below, it's not nearly ready!

It has a professional look about it - but it does beg the question "Why is it open?"
It is not yet in a fit state to be treated as a soft launch, as there is still too much work outstanding. In this state it therefore actually poses a risk - perhaps, small - of damaging the brand. As I have mentioned before, this is one of the cardinal sins that the "brand police" should be stamping down on. I wonder how much longer it will remain open? Perhaps this post will cause a re-think.

Incidentally, I don't really get the reference to "a9". My best guess is that this is the build company, but a cursory look on Google has not brought up anything of use. There is a group called "a9*SecondLife", but again, this has not revealed anything.

Apologies for a lack of SLURL - to find it, use the "Map" button and search for "a9".
Here's the SLURL.

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