A new experiential store aims to replicate the best aspects of the online experience by combining technology with luxury retail shopping.
Online fashion unicorn Farfetch has opened a new bricks and mortar outlet of cult luxury boutique Browns. The store, Browns East, will be the first new Browns store to open in 20 years. It is located in a former print factory in Shoreditch, London, and is the first of Farfetch’s new Stores of the Future, retail stores which combine technology and physical space.
The Store of the Future concept is based on statistics that show luxury e-commerce purchases plateauing at about 20 percent of the total luxury market by 2025. This means that the vast majority of luxury sales will continue to take place in physical stores. With Browns East, Farfetch is hoping to present an augmented retail environment that will bring the advantages of online commerce into the physical space. The concept could include ideas such a universal login that recognises customers as they enter the store; an RFID-enabled clothing rack that detects which products customers are browsing and automatically places them on a customer wishlist; a digital mirror that allows customers to instantly request wishlist items in different sizes and colours; and a mobile payment platform. The stores will also collect extensive data on each customer, which can be used to present them with a more personalised range of choices.
The Store of the Future concept is designed as a platform, allowing each of Farfetch’s brands and boutiques to pick and choose the components that suit them best, and will also allow third parties to build new services for the stores. Browns East will be the first Browns Nomad store – boutiques that use the Store of the Future platform to create semi-permanent, roaming retail spaces that are tailored to their customers, city and neighbourhood.