“For some time now, it’s used unexpected or creative brand activations and collaborations and cultural programming not just to bring people into the store, like a sort of immersive magazine, but also to establish its full authority in understanding cultural and consumer trends,” she said.

The department store has also benefited from being a small chain, Ms. Green added. It has just three other stores in Birmingham and Manchester, which allows for more creativity.

Among the latest examples: the Oxford Street store has an area dedicated to secondhand items, and another offering clothes for rent, both reflecting the company’s sustainability campaign.

“The levers of what makes you buy something are changing and increasingly it’s being led by service and experience or being part of a community,” Ms. Green said.

Still, the pandemic and other changes roiling the industry have taken a toll. In July 2020, the privately held company…

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