It’s been a long held belief of mine that the majority of the fashion industry squandered the good times. Shoppers were buying things, fashion included, with gay abandon at a rate that never could realistically be maintained. Through it all profits were high and bonuses were fat. But despite the inevitable outcome (even if you believe it’s solely the luxury of hindsight that allows me to say that, my subsequent point still stands) very few retailers and fashion houses reinvested that extra profit to their benefit. Certainly, there was lots of brand building afoot but so many of the stores that you and I frequent failed to invest in the key things that really make shopping worth our while: the experience.
Often, pre-financial melt down and subsequently, you’d enter a store to receive sub-par service and a mediocre experience. If you opted to make a purchase you left the store with slightly less of a buzz then you should have: perhaps you liked your purchase for look, quality of fit, but seldom did you tell your friends about the experience of shopping. And that’s a shame, because had that extra profit so many stores were making been reinvested into service and experience, fewer of them would be facing the problem of dwindling sales that they are now.
Not everyone made this mistake, however. Take Apple, the wunderkind of the tech industry, who reinvested countless billions into creating not only the perfect products but also the perfect shopping experience for their customers. Some fashion houses did the same, and shoppers in Sydney, Australia now have the opportunity to indulge in such an experience with the opening of Burberry’s Australian flagship store in the city.
In many ways, this new flagship store has all the hallmarks of a shopping experience as it should be. It’s not an experience of the curated kind that sees me head to Colette each time I’m in Paris, but it is instead an experience that leaves you in no doubt of the thought that was put into each element of the store and one that doesn’t fail to make you realise that Burberry work very hard to communicate luxury through all they do. While that experience goes from customer service right through to the iPod docks for customers’ use, Burberry have also managed to again walk that fine line between the modern and the traditional. While video walls and touch screens abound throughout the store and display cases are often finished in clean, modern lines, the store is also finished in British sourced materials that both serve as a subtle signal of the brand’s heritage and befit the heritage Sydney building in which Burberry have housed themselves.
Burberry’s Sydney flagship store can be found at 343 George Street. It stocks pieces from the following of the fashion house’s collections: Burberry Prorsum, Burberry London, Burberry Brit, Burberry Heritage Outerwear, Burberry Childrenswear, and Burberry Accessories. You can see pictures from the store by clicking on the thumbnails below.
Burberry extravaganza celebrates Beijing store opening (13 Apr 2011)