Today TFOL visited the new Burberry store on Regent’s Street, London, which opened to much fanfare yesterday. Burberry has lead the way in terms of digital innovation in the luxury and fashion sector for a while now, and this new development cements their position as the most innovative luxury brand on the market.
Launched a week before London Fashion Week, the fashion brand has created ‘Burberry World Live’, an impressive experience which has been designed to mirror their website.
The use of video screens in the store is simply stunning. There are 100 screens and close to 500 speakers. Like the Apple stores that led before them, there are no cash registers. Instead payments are made on devices with members of staff floating around the store. And as a witty nod to The British’s famous obsession with the weather, Burberry treat customers to weather moments at random intervals, with simulated rain showers appearing along with sounds of thunderstorms. And no stone is left unturned. Through augmented technology Burberry have also looked to enhance the changing experience, with intelligent mirrors that show images of the specific item you are trying on in the context of the film or catwalk show that it featured in. It’s clear from this space that Burberry are looking to create an environment that is more than just a shop. They are not the first. Apple have been doing it for some time while in fashion mainstream, youth brand Hollister have tried to create nightclub-style environments. But what Burberry have done is create a sophisticated experience that is warm, inclusive and welcoming, something luxury brands have historically struggled to do.
Despite its recent flat sales performance, which shocked the financial markets, Burberry is still the brand that leads the way in the luxury sector. It’s using this new space to integrate both its on and offline worlds as Chief Creative Officer, Christopher Bailey, explains here. And now its started to lead the way in luxury retail as well. Multimedia within the retail space is new and exciting but it will quickly become the norm for the leading premium brands. And there is more thought to it than that. The store is as much about a full experience as it is about selling clothes; visitors to the store can choose to simply enjoy the space or attend regular events and shows. Burberry’s belief is that people may not be ready to buy Burberry but that shouldn’t mean that they should not be welcome. And using multimedia and digital is the best way to stay in touch without hard-sell tactics. Retail faces an exciting time for those who want to pioneer. We look forward to seeing who will be next.