London is fashionable. That may be something of a truism but it’s occasionally a fact that can be overlooked.
However, In Düsseldorf, Germany’s ‘fashion city’, the UK’s status as the fulcrum of cool is alive and well.
In recognition of this, last week department store operator Karstadt launched a Feel London promotion across its Düsseldorf store.
The five-floor shop has had its two escalator atria adorned with store-high banners stating ‘Feel London’ and featuring a monotonal Union Flag.
This symbol and its associated strapline have been taken to almost every area of the store and used to highlight a wave of new brands from Topshop to Barbour, and a Rolling Stones pop-up, that have been added to the existing in-store mix, all aimed at refreshing the Karstadt brand.
While only a relatively small percentage of the offer is actually British, it is hard to go anywhere in the shop and be unaware that the British are not just coming, they have arrived. For the most part, that is thanks to a very extensive graphics package but it is also down to skilful visual merchandising and bringing the UK elements to the fore across each floor.
The Feel London promotion, which will run for a month, is not confined to the Düsseldorf store but will be taken, to varying degrees, to Karstadt’s other 83 shops in Germany.
The Düsseldorf store in particular is noteworthy because the promotion coincides with the end of a complete refurbishment of the city’s largest retail store.
This stands as an interesting example of a retailer using a foreign city’s aura to promote its retail activity.