Doing things in a flagship is easy. Money is usually available and the labour to turn a vision into reality is also normally on hand.
What is rather trickier is the business of translating a flagship visual merchandising initiative into something that is portable and can be deployed in smaller spaces for use in other stores in the retailer’s portfolio.
That is what Levi’s has done, however, with its skateboard installation that occupies the front of its flagship on Regent Street.
A suspended grey silhouette of a skateboarder crouched on his board is replicated in mildly different positions to create a cartoon-like image that gives the sense of action.
The idea is eye-catching and although the windows are relatively simple, you can’t help but have a look at what’s been done inside, both with the cut-out skateboarder and the stock that is displayed against the surrounding faux brick walls. Yet there is a sense that, while it is interesting, this is the kind of thing that you would expect from a Levi’s flagship.
Travel a couple of miles east, however, and you arrive at the modish Boxpark development in the heart of edgy Shoreditch. Here, Levi’s has taken a very small unit and managed to recreate both the look and feel of what has been done on Regent Street – a feat that shows flagship visual merchandising can be successfully exported to other stores.
There is much to be said for show-stopping windows and displays at flagship stores, but there is also the occasional sense that customers who can’t visit these shops are in some way being short-changed. Levi’s proves that well thought-through visual merchandising campaigns are about something that can be experienced across multiple locations.