I’ve seen some amazing retail spaces but this morning I saw the future.
The future of shopping might have already arrived
The new Burberry flagship store makes everything else seem rather old-fashioned. The brand has opened its doors in a converted theatre building on Regent Street in London creating a multi-media experience which integrates their web portal onto the shopping floor.
It’s like walking through the doors of the Tardis as the sheer physical size of the space opens up like another world. Set over four floors and 44,000 square-feet, the decorative ceilings are highlighted by a gigantic glass dome that feeds light and colour into the well of the store. The fittings are period traditional - even the marble floors have been dyed Burberry beige - but look closely and you soon realise that the mirrors are actually projection spaces and the sounds you can hear are state of the art MP3 files.
"Burberry Regent Street is one of the most architecturally and culturally significant projects we have undertaken," said Burberry chief creative officer Christopher Bailey. "In renovating this iconic London building we have worked with some of the UK's finest craftsmen to restore a wealth of historic features, at the same time as pushing the boundaries of digital technology. The result is a space defined by contrasts: at once imposing and intimate, its juxtaposition of craft and innovation is designed to delight, surprise and entertain. It is a reflection of how we approach everything at Burberry - revealing the different layers of the brand's heritage within a modern context, and forever celebrating design and expert craftsmanship."
Central to the store is a giant projection screen which plays constant animations and every half hour creates a Burberry "weather moment" where a digital thunderstorm is piped through the sound system and showered (virtually) throughout the store. It is so realistic that it almost makes you reach for your umbrella but certainly makes you think about buying gum boots and of course the brand staple - trench coats. The store also has a bespoke salon where you can create a trench to your exact specifications. From monograms and studded trims to fur and leather hardware the only limitation is your imagination.
Burberry have long been at the forefront of digital innovation within the luxury category and this store is no exception. In the fitting rooms - which are reminiscent of five star hotel suites - you can scan an item you're interested in across the mirror and an animation detailing the craftsmanship behind the piece will begin to play...just like magic.
The brand has also launched an exclusive Regent Street Collection - which features jackets, shoes and trench coats made from gold feathers.
You can reserve your virtual front row seat to Burberry Prorsum's Spring/Summer 2013 London Fashion Week show in Hyde Park by connecting on facebook and watching it live at 1:00am EST this Tuesday 18th September (4pm London time).