Two years in the making and housed in a space at 121 Regent Street formerly used as a theater and a cinema, the new store aims to blend a brick-and-mortar experience with a digital one, and to woo customers with video entertainment, live events and digitally enhanced service. It is near Savile Row and the London flagships of Abercrombie & Fitch and Gieves & Hawkes.
“It’s the physical incarnation of our Web site, the hub of everything to do with Burberry,” said Christopher Bailey, the brand’s chief creative officer, who was perched on one of the store’s bespoke, brushed canvas sofas.
He added that the unit, which spans a total of 44,000 square feet, with 27,000 square feet of selling space, will also be used as a “test hub and template” for future Burberry units, such as the 14,920-square-foot store that’s set to open in Chicago in November.
The fixtures and fittings have all been custom-designed, with the exception of the original Art Nouveau hanging lamps in the main hall, which came with the building.
There is certainly no lack of drama at the new Burberry, which spans four floors and feels more like a department store than a brand flagship. The main hall, which once housed stage and screen, is 37 feet high and capped by a vast dome with stained glass panels. It is home to watches, eyewear and the Burberry Brit collection.
It also features a hydraulic stage to be used for live acoustic events and performances, and a giant indoor retail screen that beams out Burberry Acoustic videos and runway-show footage.
There’s a sprawling shoe gallery on the multitiered mezzanine that overlooks the main hall, the “Lantern Room,” which boasts another domed ceiling and a skylight. The 13 collections on offer include Burberry Bespoke, the trench-making service which until now has only been available online; Burberry Beauty, the makeup and cosmetics line, which has its own sales area and entrance on Regent Street, and a separate space on the mezzanine for trenches.
The shop floor and dressing rooms feature an RFID wireless data transfer system that allows customers to pop a bag or coat onto a specially rigged panel, which activates a video that illustrates the craftsmanship behind the product.
Bailey, who served as the new store’s creative director, said he wanted the overall space, which was built in 1820, to be a celebration of British craftsmanship. Burberry tapped some 50 British trade companies to create the handmade furniture in different shades of “trench” dotted around the store, the glass lanterns, the gold leaf lettering above changing room doors and the delicate replica moldings in nearly all the rooms.
Burberry declined to give first-year sales projections.
The store comes as the company — and perhaps the luxury sector as a whole — faces stronger headwinds in the months ahead. Burberry’s share price fell nearly 21 percent on Tuesday after it told investors that adjusted pretax profit in the 12 months ending March 31 would be “around the lower end” of market expectations. It said same-store sales in the second quarter were stalling against a background of tough comps and a challenging environment for luxury. The shares fell another 1.5 percent Wednesday to close at 10.72 pounds, or $17.26 at current exchange.
Erwan Rambourg, a luxury analyst at HSBC, attributed part of the slowdown to an increasingly discriminating consumer.
“There is a transfer of market share to other brands in the sector…like Prada,” he said, adding that “the faster-than-expected sophistication of the Chinese consumer may be hurting Burberry, which still has a high logo content and wider [retail] distribution” in China than Louis Vuitton and Prada.
Rambourg added that Burberry’s apparel category has been historically less resilient than the average of the industry, and flagged a lack of operating leverage at the company in the short term.
HSBC and other analysts are also eager to know how Burberry plans to handle its fragrance and cosmetics business after having cut short its license with Inter Parfums in July.
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)
Breaking News: @hedislimane joins @celine as its new artistic, creative and image director. One of fashion’s preeminent image-makers and trendsetters, Slimane is to join the LVMH brand on Feb. 1 and unveil his first fashion proposition for men and women next September during Paris Fashion Week. It marks a major homecoming for Slimane, who cemented his reputation – and influenced men’s tailoring for more than a decade – as the designer of Dior Homme between 2000 and 2007. He went on to reinvent and ignite the house of Yves Saint Laurent, which he rechristened Saint Laurent, between 2012 and 2016 – all the while maintaining a close relationship with the Arnault family, which controls LVMH and Dior. Read the full exclusive story on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
“Personally I believe the Eighties have been the richest and more vivacious period for international fashion,” Giorgio Armani said when asked what his favorite decade of fashion is. It was a moment of disruption and experimentation and only thinking back to the first years of that decade is always an emotion for me, for what they have meant to me and my work.” The influence is clear in @giorgioarmani spring 2018 collection, pictured here, which was full of bright colors and unexpected prints. Read more about which decades designers loved most on WWD.com #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
For Lady Gaga’s only Italian show on her “Joanne World Tour,” the singer wore a range of @versace_official outfits. The standout piece: this custom-made bodysuit inspired by the brand’s spring 2018 collection. #wwdfashion (RG: @ladygaga)
@_camillaruth_ is expanding on the wellness-craze concept with @westbourne – a new NYC restaurant that’s both a healthy-minded café as well as a business that gives back to the community. Marcus works with the Robin Hood foundation to give back to The Door, a non-profit providing youth development services, and also hires employees through The Door. Read our full interview with Marcus on giving back through food on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)