technology

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…)



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…)