Alison Farrington

Ask Alison: How Browns Brook Street has recast itself as the new luxury omni-flagship



Browns Brook Street The Focus

There’s a new luxury retail destination in town and it’s a storied Mayfair townhouse that features a heady mix of culture, community and the latest personalised tech-led shopping services. DRG retail editor, ALISON FARRINGTON reports…

Apart from the appealing fact that visiting an actual store is somewhat of a novelty as we emerge post-pandemic, we are about to enter a new era of phygital retail. Phygital 2.0 plays to the strengths of being inside a physical boutique environment – all the trappings of tangible and joyous purchases plus social interaction – while having frictionless digital retail services at your fingertips.

Launching on 12 April, at a reinvented flagship location, Browns Brook Street is the manifestation of owner, Farfetch’s visionary ‘Store of the Future’ omnichannel strategy that we first heard about in 2017. (more…)



TRP Travel Retail Style Index: March 2021



Cho Gi Seok for CR Fashion Book

Welcome to the latest travel retail column for DRG by Alison Farrington aka The Retail Planner (TRP).

This month’s highlights are a new sustainability experience pop-up in Hainan, China as well as region-centric luxury launches in the Middle East and Asia that hint at a return to localised exclusivity.

1/ LANCÔME’S SUSTAINABLE PURPOSE. I’m impressed with the way Lancôme has translated its latest sustainability message of ‘Caring Together for a Happier Tomorrow’ into an interactive pop-up in Sanya, Hainan. The campaign space celebrates the launch of Lancôme Absolue Rose Soft Cream Refill Set amidst a sea of roses at the resort island’s China Duty Free shopping mall atrium.

Instead of the usual selfie-culture beauty-tech attractions, Lancôme has switched to an informative note. Once inside the pop-up, guests can create a virtual rose bouquet as a pledge to plant a physical rose at the company’s Domaine de la Rose farm in Grasse, France, or they are whisked away on a virtual bike ride around the rose farm while they learn about Lancôme’s renewable energy production. (more…)



TRP Travel Retail Style Index: January 2021



Helena Rubinstein gold leaf hand massage CDFG Sanya

Welcome to the latest travel retail column for DRG by Alison Farrington aka The Retail Planner (TRP).

As the first update of the New Year, we kick off with a brief look at the new laws for duty free here in the UK, as well as some positive retail news from China.


1/ SEE EU LATER.
This month, there will undoubtedly be much Brexsplaining going on as travellers come to terms with the cancellation of tax-free shopping refunds for luxury fashion purchases in the UK. As of 1 January, the government has abolished the VAT Refund Scheme for non-EU travellers in the UK, meaning that shoppers from overseas can no longer claim their tax back on luxury purchases when they return home, unless the goods are shipped separately from the traveller (cost prohibitive). Meanwhile, the good news is that duty-free shopping is back for travel between the UK and EU (for alchohol and tobacco only), which means a Brexit bonanza for fans of the booze cruise. (more…)



TRP Travel Retail Style Index: December 2020



Clé de Peau Beauté Luminizing Face Enhancer

Welcome to the latest travel retail column for DRG by Alison Farrington aka The Retail Planner (TRP)

As global travel slowly picks up, we look at the business and shopping trends of the travel retail world. Recent highlights include the launch of beauty retail ‘café’ destinations in Hamad Airport, Doha and a focus on exclusive duty-free products in Hainan, where Chinese consumers continue to ‘revenge spend’ their way out of the pandemic, while domestic travel is their only option.


1/ BEAUTY RETAIL-TECH ‘CAFÉ’ CONCEPTS. L’Oréal
has launched two ‘phygital’ retail concepts at Hamad Airport, Doha. The new retail-tech destinations – from Lancôme and YSL Beauté – sit next door to each other as one beauty department within the Qatar Duty Free retail space.

The Lancôme concept features a French apartment-inspired décor and the addition of bar stool seating gives a luxury café atmosphere. The counters offer interactive touchpoints where customers can personalise their purchases. It’s the first store in the brand’s EMEAI (Europe, Middle East, Africa, India) division to launch Lancôme’s new Shade Finder tool – the skin tone measurement technology that can identify up to 22,500 shades for foundation matching. (more…)