HAR­RODS

Mark Briggs, Store im­age di­rec­tor.

Plaza Magazine US & International - - SPOTTED -

“From idea to ex­e­cu­tion, I’m in­volved in sev­eral projects at Har­rods. First of all I de­cide on a cre­ative theme that has to work both aes­thet­i­cally and com­mer­cially while also be­ing at­trac­tive to our lux­ury brands. As soon as the idea and theme get an all­clear I start work­ing with my lo­gis­tics team. I’d say Bergdorf Good­man have the best win­dows in the in­dus­try, their work is in­cred­i­bly in­spir­ing. My favourite Har­rods pro­ject so far is the Christ­mas dec­o­ra­tion we did in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Dis­ney. It al­lowed us to blend Dis­ney’s themes like fan­tasy, nos­tal­gia and en­ter­tain­ment with the themes Har­rods rep­re­sent, i.e. lux­ury and fash­ion. From Os­car de la Renta to Ver­sace, we in­vited iconic de­sign­ers to in­ter­pret and cre­ate their own ver­sions of Dis­ney princess dresses, and the re­sult was... well, mag­i­cal. If the win­dows aren’t tempt­ing enough, we’ve wasted an op­por­tu­nity. A shop win­dow is a free advertising space and a high stan­dard has to be main­tained through­out. That ap­plies both to ideas and ex­e­cu­tion.”

Small chil­dren are picked up and placed on their par­ents’ shoul­ders for a bet­ter glimpse, stressed ur­ban­ites stop to have a look dur­ing their lunch break and the re­laxed week­end shop­pers ad­mire them at their leisure. Com­bin­ing com­merce and art, the depart­ment stores win­dow dis­plays are there to re­mind us of another uni­verse and ex­is­tence, far away from our ev­ery­day lives. From awe-in­spir­ing drama to de­tailed per­fec­tion­ism, win­dow dis­plays have been en­tic­ing cu­ri­ous shop­pers since the be­gin­ning of the 20th cen­tury and con­tin­ues to do so to­day with the help of dig­i­tal tools. While at first glance it may seem to be a sim­ple case of lin­ing up a se­lec­tion of brand’s prod­ucts be­hind a glass plate, the re­al­ity of vis­ual mer­chan­dis­ing in­volves some care­fully thought out tech­niques. Pro­ject­ing a mes­sage to passers-by, the win­dow dis­play is the first im­pres­sion po­ten­tial cus­tomers will have of the re­tailer: it is they key op­por­tu­nity to not only grab their at­ten­tion, but to also en­cour­age them to step in­side. In en­sur­ing they have the best win­dow dis­plays in town, the pres­ti­gious depart­ment stores have put in place a cre­ative team, led by ei­ther the Store Im­age Di­rec­tor or the Cre­ative Am­bas­sador. Inspired by the­atri­cal il­lu­sions and scene con­struc­tions, the 1930s’ depart­ment stores ini­ti­ated the move­ment away from elec­tric light­ning and styled man­nequins to per­fected stages de­signed to bring out al­lur­ing at­mos­pheres to be ad­mired by passers-by. The 1940s saw the in­tro­duc­tion of sto­ry­telling by Gene Moore’s fa­mous

“MER­CHAN­DIS­ING IS SHOW BUSI­NESS – IT’S THE ART OF STORY TELLING.”

Har­rods, Wiz­ard of Oz, 2009.

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