long read

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…)



Are NFTs, digital currencies and ‘The Internet of Value’ really going to change modern life forever?



Beeple NFT art

This month I’ve not been able to move for news and hot takes (pay wall) on NFTs. I don’t know how long they’ve been around but like most media people, I got wind of them after the artist Beeple sold an NFT (essentially a one-off digital file) of a digital collage he had made (pay wall) for $69.3 million. Boom! Suddenly everyone was interested.

I read a succession of articles to get my head around them but I should have just waited. Because Professor Scott Galloway has the ultimate explainer on his recent podcast with smart futurist Raoul Pal. (more…)



On working from home, self-care and post-consumerism life



Better Things, 1973, Ed Ruscha

How is everyone doing? It’s a weird week in London with what feel like the first stages of grief as the C-word-that-must-not-be-spoken takes hold. Denial, anger and bargaining as we try to navigate rather contradictory recommendations from our government, health officials and employers. Trying to make sure we have the required essentials should we wake up one day with a dry cough and fever and can’t leave the house for seven days (or is it 14?). Yet not panic buying as that makes things worse for those who are less able or affluent. (more…)



Retail round-up: Lunar New Year airport pop-ups are a data-capture gift to beauty retailers



Lancome Renovated Absolue Cushion

DFNI associate editor, ALISON FARRINGTON reports on the travel retail beauty opportunity for Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is upon us and travel retailers across Asia have been creating special promotions designed to attract passengers for the biggest Chinese shopping opportunity of the year. Travel retail or duty free shoppers are big business. Often referred to as the ‘Sixth Continent’, in 2018 the global market was worth $79bn.

Beauty remains the biggest and fastest-growing product sector in travel retail, while Asia Pacific is the category’s main growth driver. In 2018 the region saw beauty sales grow 23.5% to a total of $31.5bn. Beauty and fashion accessories are the biggest pull for Chinese travellers eager to snap up seasonal limited editions at the airport. This year’s theme is Year of the Rat (sometimes interpreted as a mouse) and we’ve seen brands adopting characterful themes such as Rocket Rat and even Mickey Mouse. (more…)