Flannels Offers Antidote to Sterile Online Shopping

News by Madeleine Oakley

Michael Murray, head of elevation at British store Flannels, is convinced that their new London shop will be a success. Apparently, the key is to make the shopping experience more “creative” and intimate.

Flannels has carefully considered the location of their new shop, opting for East Oxford Street, an area which lacks other luxury store competitors.

Despite not being the most well-known luxury shopping destination, Flannels has been operating since the 1970s and currently has 45 shops across the UK. They plan to reach 100 within the next few years; a sensible plan, considering that in-store shopping supplies 75% of their takings. The shop is proving increasingly popular with millennials: a group who are arguably in charge of the direction that clothes shopping will go in, and will be beneficial as fans of the store.

The main idea for Flannels is to bring back a personal and friendly shopping experience, something which cannot be achieved through internet purchases. Murray wants to supply a community feel for shoppers, and commented: “Our customer is a 19 or 20-year-old who knows the product she wants – maybe she’s seen it on Instagram.  She doesn’t want to buy it online as it’s a piece that costs a high proportion of her disposable income, so she wants the full experience – she wants to come in with a friend and try on a few dresses or few different pairs of trainers. She knows what she wants to buy, but she wants to overextend the experience, rather than order it online and have it delivered by DHL the next day.”

One aspect of this individualised experience is a Style and Collect service. This allows shoppers to buy clothing online and collect it in store from a designated stylist. They can then try on the clothing, and be guided through their choice, in order to benefit fully from the products. The aim is to make the store visit enjoyable and memorable, qualities which shoppers will hopefully value above the ease experienced through normal online shopping.

Customers can expect to browse renowned luxury brands, such as Balmain and Gucci. Plus, excitingly, Flannels will stock exclusive garments from these fashion houses.

Murray’s plan to make Flannels the ‘biggest luxury retailer’ is certainly a huge aim. Would the promise of a personalised and friendly shopping experience be enough for you to reject online shopping?

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