retail-features
retail-features

London Department Stores Aim for Fun

Stores here are gearing up to winkle out the cash from shoppers’ pockets with a program of entertainment.

Appeared In
Special Issue
WWD Special Report issue 09/08/2009

LONDON — Stores here are gearing up to winkle out the cash from shoppers’ pockets with a program of entertainment — ranging from alternative ice cream stalls to thumping Motown sounds to lessons from designers in how to work fall’s silhouettes — that appeal to all the senses.

Liberty has lassoed designers including Jonathan Saunders, Richard Nicoll, Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos to entertain and enlighten shoppers. Nicoll and Linder Sterling, the visual and performance artist, will be talking about Sterling’s photography-inspired prints featured in Nicoll’s fall collection.

Saunders will be showing customers how to adapt eveningwear to a variety of occasions, while in Liberty’s new Hermès room — the French brand has set up a temporary boutique on the ground floor — British Vogue’s market editor, Emma Elwick, will be teaching customers the tricks of scarf tying.

“We wanted to celebrate our fashion fetish customer — the one who has to shop,” said a spokeswoman for the store, which also will be pumping out Motown and soul tunes and opening a bar in the evening. “And we’ll really be pushing our British designers — they are the ones who need the most support on a shopping night like this.”

Liberty will wind up the evening with a midnight feast catered by the hot Soho bar and restaurant Bob Bob Ricard.

Selfridges will be appealing to shoppers’ sense of taste — and aesthetics — with a boutique called the Icecreamists, offering freshly made ice cream and cocktails. Douglas Little, the founder of D.L. & Co., which sells high-end fragrance and stationery, will be sculpting a 10-foot figure from molten wax as part of a live art installation.

Over at Harvey Nichols, Jemma Kidd, Amanda Wakeley, Mauro Orietti-Carella of Zagliani, Tiffany Marks of Lana Marks and Elio Ferraro of Vintage by Elio Ferraro will be chatting with shoppers about their respective lines, while Jade Jagger will be talking her customers through her new Queens of Teens line.

Hussein Chalayan, Henry Holland, Marios Schwab, Emilio de la Morena and Acne’s Jonny Johansson are just a few of the designers who’ll be piling into the Browns stores to woo shoppers with their styling, sales, wrapping and bartending savvy.

The designers — who’ll even be sporting tags that read, “My name is…and I’m here to help” — will be running the Browns, Browns Focus, Browns Men and Browns Shoes stores for the night and helping customers.

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