Harrods, Selfridges, Liberty: top experiential retail

HarrodsSelfridges and Liberty are topping the chart of the five most productive stores on the international scene, as shown by the latest survey carried out by GlobalData in collaboration with London architecture firm Sybarite.

The ability to stand out and provide a unique shopping experience has been key to these brands’ success, as they mix physical and digital experiences to bank on an increasingly diversified product offering.

Liberty London
Liberty London

What makes a difference is their far-sighted investing, even more crucial at a time when online penetration is constantly increasing and luxury labels are more and more focusing on their stand-alone stores.

As reported by wwd.com, in the year to February 2018, Selfridges’s investments in experiential services led revenues to grow by 11.5 percent, while Liberty and Harrods respectively recorded an 8.1 percent and a 6.8 percent growth in sales.

Liberty inside London
Liberty inside London

According to Joseph Robinson, retail consulting director at GlobalData, Selfridges is breaking grounds in experiential retail: “Selfridges is a great example of a retailer that is not afraid to be bold and different. The Corner Shop, a weekly pop-up, helps pique shoppers’ interest, and creates a reason to visit every week”, he explained.

Ranked retailers also include the Chinese department store Shin Kong Place, conceived by Sybarite, which has leveraged on experiential shopping by offering a thoughtful selection of local, international and lifestyle labels.

An important challenge in a retail scenario where Chinese shopping is still mostly happening abroad. As the report shows, over 6.3 million Chinese traveled abroad for Lunar New Year, and retailers took advantage of the celebrations.

Via Montenapoleone in Milan has been the first luxury district to launch a WeChat account providing Chinese customers with a frictionless payment option through WeChat Pay.

Dominating retail in the United Arab Emirates, The Dubai Mallregistered a footfall of 84 million visitors in 2018, and has been accelerating its digital and physical integration since.

“The UAE consumer base is hyperconnected”, commented Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne, CEO at Emaar Mallsand developer of The Dubai Mall. “Social media penetration is at 99 percent, and 48 percent go online for inspiration. You have to think about the mall as a physical platform that streams branded content and is fully enabled by the digital space.”

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