For years now, retailers have long lamented the death of brick and mortar as more and more customers choose the ease of online shopping. I certainly have opted for the simplicity of Googling what I am looking for, selecting my size, and hitting the Buy Now button. It’s so much easier than driving to the store, parking, walking in, and roaming around in hopes of finding not only something that I like, but something that I like in my size. I do miss the days of going to the store or the mall, and enjoying the experience of shopping. Particularly as a way of spending time with either a friend or a loved one. My 15 year old barely even thinks of shopping in a physical store which she considers a waste of time.
However. We just got back from a month long trip in Europe and I had the best retail experience I have had in over a decade.
Harrods in London was exceptional and it was PACKED – brimming with customers in every single department. From Fine Jewelry to Produce, Confections to Electronics, and everything in between. Harrods proved to me that brick & mortar retail isn’t dead; it’s the retail experience that is lacking. I entered to The Harrods Perfumery, and I was immediately greeted by a salesperson who knew the products she was selling well enough to ask me what scents I prefer to wear so that she could introduce me to some options that were the best match to me. She took her time, asked me general ice-breaker questions, and never made me feel like I was an inconvenience or a bother. Meanwhile, my partner Steve headed down to the Cigars and Whiskey area where he found the Baccarat Bar. His experience at the Baccarat Bar was on par with mine – he chatted with a number of the staff in the bar as well as a couple of the other clientele.
My 15 year old daughter, who typically does not want to give a brick & mortar retailer the time of day, was mystified by the fruit in The Produce department as well as the chocolates and other sweets in the Confectionery. As a matter of fact, she was willing to try the Butter Chicken with Naan that they were serving in their Dining Hall and she actually ate the whole thing!
Why is an event design business posting about Harrods Department Store? Because it completely encapsulates and reinforces what sets a business apart from the rest. It’s the experience…
Our visit to Harrods further reinforces the Clandestine Events + Experiences raison d’être ~ always provide a superlative experience; one that hones in on both the big pillars as well as the minute details. We want every client and their guest to get our full attention and to feel valued. And we spend hours on every event, activation, experience – drilling down to the details that go the extra mile. In my mind, as the founder of Clandestine, I know that our clients could hire another event planner; they could even try to produce it themselves. It’s with that lingering thought in mind that we are always in pursuit of the pixie dust that will make the experience extra thoughtful. What can we incorporate into the event services we are providing that sets it (and us) apart? One example of this is custom branded napkins. But not just any napkins – custom branded napkins that are a high quality material similar to the texture of linen. We’ve received numerous compliments on these napkins – and they communicate our attention to quality and detail. Service, quality, detail – that’s exactly what we got out of our experience at Harrods and it is a perfect reflection of what we aim o provide to our clients at Clandestine.