Amid the many claims made by Burberry when announcing its flagship store launch, from its ‘digital rain showers’ to its 38-square-metre video display unit (the largest in the world), the one that seemed most far-fetched was that Burberry wanted everyone to feel comfortable here – not just the retail elite who could afford to buy; that ordinary shoppers were encouraged to come and experience the brand in a multi-sensory way – treating it as a living brand showcase, rather than merely a store. Surprisingly, an approachable, relaxed store is exactly what they created. Walking through the four floors and 27,000 square feet of slick Burberry selling space, you never feel under pressure to buy, or even browse.
While product is displayed reverently, it’s not hidden behind glass boxes, so you can happily try on sunglasses and rummage through raincoats. Should you have the means, you can design your own trenchcoat in the world’s only Burberry customisation room, or have your suit tailored in a private suite overlooking Savile Row. But even if you don’t, you can have a bit of fun – take a furry jacket into the changing rooms, offer it up to a magic mirror and it will morph into a video showing said jacket on the runway at a Burberry show, giving it context and the added frisson that comes with seeing a piece of clothing whooshing down a catwalk on an impossibly beautiful model. Downstairs in the accessories area you can wave one of Burberry’s Prorsum collection clutches and a wall will blink into life, showing a making-of video featuring the Italian artisan who hand-chiselled the ornamental foxes adorning each bag. Upstairs in the kids’ area, iPads are the toy of choice (what, no rubber giraffes?) while mum flicks through the micro-trenchcoats – a small but indulgent choice at £250. The stuff of luxury dreams.
As featured in the 100 best shops in London