harvey nichols

Decoded Fashion - Weekly Stories - Harvey Nichols' Reboot
Image source: Harvey Nichols, Birmingham

British department store Harvey Nichols has reopened its Birmingham store after extensive refurbishment with a design that trades on cutting-edge digital technologies and design cues borrowed from the hospitality sector.

Located in upscale shopping mall The Mailbox, the flagship, which was designed by London-based agency Virgile + Partners, spans 45,000 sq ft. The entrance features a 39ft-long ‘immersive tunnel’ of LED screens showing seasonal imagery, such as sunny meadows and autumn leaves.

Another key digital element is its ‘360-degree’ changing-room mirrors, which enable consumers to record their look from all angles as a video, replay it and share via social media for advice.

Drawing on the hospitality sector to ensure the digital elements transcend gimmick as part of a more holistic redesign, the store offers concierge services such as valet parking and a cloakroom. There is also a restaurant headed by local Michelin-starred chef Glynn Purnell. Shadi Halliwell, group marketing and creative director at Harvey Nichols, said: “Customers have told us they love going into hotels, getting rid of everything as they walk in and having it all taken care of.”

There are no concession stores, till points (iPad-equipped staff take payments anywhere in the store, excluding the beauty department) or defined walkways for consumers to follow, refocusing the journey on a more serendipitous style of exploration. Carlos Virgile, director of Virgile + Partners, comments: “We thought it unnecessary to have such rigid walkways and ways of guiding people through the store. We have given them more freedom to explore. People can move in any direction and will always find something interesting at the end of that journey.”

The opening coincides with the launch of Harvey Nichols’ loyalty app. It encourages consumers to collect points for money spent in-store, which can be swapped for personalised rewards such as experiences (a champagne dinner at London’s Oxo Tower, for instance) or gift vouchers.

The new design concept will soon be rolled out to other Harvey Nichols stores – including the seven-storey Knightsbridge flagship in London in spring 2016.

Guest post Stylus.com by Marta PodeszwaKatie Baron


“Harvey Nichols has today launched a new loyalty app and programme which promises to reward customers for each and every pound spent. The programme offers 1 point for every pound spent in the UK, in store or online, and in any UK Harvey Nichols bar or restaurant, which includes its OXO Tower restaurant.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily -  Harvey Nichols

Image source: www.rebeccaminkoff.com

In the race to synthesise fashion retail and technology, the consumer can get forgotten in the fray. Retailers’ investment in technology can often feel gimmicky, whether you’re browsing the racks or clicking through a targeted advertisement. In one of Molly Young’s Critical Shopper columns for the New York Times, she visits Rebecca Minkoff’s SoHo store, with its vending machine wall interface – describing the chaos that could ensue when ordering a coffee. Brands should push the boundaries when it comes to implementing technologies, but they need to address consumer needs in a useful way. In this respect, Minkoff’s adjustable dressing room lights are what will bring shoppers back.

At our London Summit, you will find a panel on this very topic – how to achieve tech in retail that goes beyond the gimmicky, and actually addresses the consumer’s needs. In today’s fast-paced retail world, being able to pick the right technology for your brand is key to delivering amazing, and long-lasting, ROI. This can mean taking a gamble on technologies that are somewhat under the radar – after all, who would have predicted the rise of in person Click & Collect as a result of online shopping? It’s just one trend that asserts the importance of Bricks & Mortar that works in tandem with digital spaces. Our panel will address all this, as well as highlight a newer technologies that is likely to make waves in an increasing number of retail stores soon: beacons technology.

On hand to discuss these emerging technologies in the retail space will be four experts who have taken interesting approaches to how they’ve incorporated technology into their omnichannel strategy. From the traditional high street-turned-digital players, we will hear from River Island’s Doug Gardner and John Lewis’s John Vary. Harvey Nichols’ multi-Channel Director Sandrine Deveaux will also be revealing how she applied her tech background to turn a London-based department store steeped in tradition into a leading online fashion destination.

Catch the panel discussion on 20 May to discover how our experts believe fashion can get a grip on technology while keeping the consumer a priority – no gimmicks allowed.
Book your ticket for the London Summit here www.london.decodedfashion.com

Reported by Claire Healy

Decoded Fashion - Weekly Stories - Harvey Nichols Can I Be Any Clearer?
Image source: fastcocreate.com

With a week to go til’ the big day, retailers’ holiday campaigns are in full festive swing. Whether attracting new shoppers to cross a store’s threshold or keeping loyal brand-lovers engaged, ‘tis the season to go all out – and, when it comes to fashion retail, tech-focused omnichannel strategies are the best bet, for a happy holidays on both sides of the checkout.

Some of the best of the year’s campaigns are using social media and a dose of sarcasm to subvert tired Christmas tropes. With its ‘Could I be any clearer?’ campaign, London luxury retailer Harvey Nichols is allowing consumers to create personalized Christmas Cards detailing exactly what they want – including messages such as ‘Seasons Greetings…will be very awkward, if you don’t get me a pair of Charlotte Olympia silver sandals.’ Dubbed ‘the best way to get what you want this Christmas’, the campaign includes an app so users can create their own cards to print at home or share on their own social media channels.

Also celebrating a very tongue-in-cheek Christmas is British luxury stalwart Mulberry. Having built its social media strategy over the past few years – in part thanks to the exposure lent by frontwoman Cara Delevingne – the label has turned to a more traditional family set-up this year: one in which some upper-crust family members compete to give the best gift, and #WinChristmas. In a video in which a hot pink Mulberry handbag wins Christmas over a unicorn – cue screams of ‘Thanks, Grandma!’ – the British brand shows it can poke fun at its own prestige and clock up over a million hits in the process.

This Noel has also seen the very first Christmas campaign from Burberry – starring Romeo Beckham in a four-minute film entitled ‘From London with Love.’ Reminding the market that Burberry’s the one to beat when it comes to offline/online synchronicity, the old-school Hollywood inspired campaign was launched with a huge event at the label’s Regent street flagship store.

And, the winner of the battle of the luxury fashion Christmas campaign? We’ll have to wait until the numbers are in, come 2015.

Reported by Claire Healy