Technological Revolution: Burberry


March 29, 2016

Founded in 1856, Burberry is one of the oldest fashion brands in the world. Despite their roots, they still manage to draw in consumers, and in 2014 they ranked 73rd of Interbrand’s Best Global Brands report, beating out brands like Hugo Boss and Ralph Lauren. Not bad for a company that’s 160 years old.

What’s allowed Burberry to flourish though isn’t their rich history. It’s the way that they’ve managed to stay flexible and to embrace the new technologies available in the retail sector today. When Burberry decided that they wanted a new flagship store, they selected a historical building on London’s Regent street. Even though the building itself was constructed in 1820, that didn’t stop the Burberry designers from making it their most technologically advanced store to date.

Location of the Flagship Store and Its Restoration

Jutting on the corner of one of London’s most trafficked shopping streets, Burberry’s flagship store is a grand testament to the vision behind its chief creative officer, Christopher Bailey. The store is a rich combination of traditional elements and stylings, along with a modern flavor that appeals to even the most sophisticated shoppers (320 km of cables run through the store, powering the vast array of high tech gadgetry).

The restoration of the store took an entire two years, but in the end the effort was worth it. Burberry can now boast of having one of the most technologically advanced stores in the UK, if not the world. Let’s take a look at a few of creations that make their Regent street location so special.

Technology Used in the Store

When you walk into Burberry’s flagship store, the first attraction that grabs your eye is a massive, 6.7 meter indoor screen, the largest one installed in a retail store anywhere in the world. Various pitches are played on the screen, and live fashion shows are streamed on it from time to time as well. If you talk to a sales associate, or several of them for that matter, you’ll notice that they all carry iPads with them. These iPads allow them to access customer profiles so that they can offer a better shopping experience. They also let them order out of stock items on the spot.

Another interesting technology being used by Burberry is the Burberry Beauty Box. This innovative area allows clients to select different beauty products, nail polish for example, then select their skin tone and see how it would look on them. In five years this type of technology might be common in even mid-range department stores, but for now, only a select few fashion brands can lay claim to having an advanced piece of hardware like this.

Of course, the Burberry flagship store features plenty of traditional technology as well. Inside you’ll find 500 speakers and 100 screens which feature a wide variety of digital content, as well as a unique idea that Steve Jobs would approve of himself. Inside each piece of clothing at Burberry’s is a radio frequency ID which triggers content specific images on smart mirrors as customers walk past. This is another unique technology employed by Burberry that we are unlikely to see in other stores for years to come.

Possible Future Technology That May be Used in the Store

If there is one technology that Burberry’s flagship store is missing, it’s smart mirrors. These mirrors allow you to virtually try on clothes, changing colours and styles with a simple gesture or flick of the hand. While Burberry’s flagship store doesn’t currently have this technology, you should definitely keep your eye out for it in the next year or two. As the technology improves and more customers become aware of this exciting new way to try on clothes, we may very well see even more cables being laid in Burberry’s flagship store to make room for this cool new technology.

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