The world and his wife seems to have bought into the William and Kate wedding. Live & Breathe’s tour of West End shops threw up some real gems of window displays - as well as a few duds. A lot of retailers have jumped on the Wills and Kate bandwagon without much of a thought for relevance.
Using the Royal wedding as a theme for a new promotional campaign is, however, an easy way to add freshness. Clarks Buy a pair of shoes, get 30% off the second pair. Add a jaunty crown and some bunting and away you go.
Nothing more to say really, other than to ask why?! L’Occitane French, upmarket brand, no Royal family of its own – well you’d have to go back a long way – a cute spring promotion offering money off its “exclusive Romantic Collection” – after all, Kate won’t be the only bride in the land this month, so we guess pampering isn’t really that off-message.
Godiva This time a it’s Belgian retailer claiming its piece of the action. The Royal wedding is a great excuse for eating and drinking and what better gift to offer your host/hostess than luxury chocolates? Godiva’s window is classy – we love the gilt look and feel created by the golden chocolate box display. There’s nothing revolutionary here, but we like it nonetheless.
River Island This is another damp squib. A bit of ropey bunting and the words “Congratulations William & Catherine” – not even a hint of a promotion. Is that it?
New Look A postage stamp-style window decal with a tongue-in-cheek corgi and the words, “New Look says ‘I do’ to the long weekend.” We like this for its simplicity and its honesty. Austin Reed At last, a retailer that has put some thought into its Royal wedding activity.
A Union Jack-framed postcard invites its customers to watch the big event broadcast live – presumably on state of the art plasma screens – from its third floor. With a window display showing morning suits and bigging up its Royal Warrants against a backdrop of Westminster Abbey, this one’s got our seal of approval.
At Whittards, its Regent Street store window display is a fusty take on the patriotic mood sweeping the nation that looks like a tired after-thought. What a shame – unlike many other retailers, Whittards has a legitimate claim to this most British of celebrations.
Hamleys The story of Will and Kate is a modern day fairytale – an ordinary girl finds her prince. Hamleys celebrates this event with a mixture of well-known cartoon and story book characters – Paddington Bear, Wallace & Gromit and Beatrix Potter bunnies – attending their very own street party, on “Palace Road”. The Daily Regent newspaper billboard announcing “It’s Wedding Bells”, is a cute touch.
House of Fraser Another Royal Warrant holder uses the occasion to reinforce its noble credentials as supplier to the Royal household. And who can blame them? A simple white backdrop, a Union Jack, a large fountain pen and a jauntily angled giant card with a message from HoF wishing the happy couple all the best on their big day, says it all.
John Lewis With such a large offer under one roof, it must have been hard for one of the nation’s favourite retailers to know where to focus. A display of household items, comprising mainly sofas, cushions, picture and chinaware in red, white and blue create an appropriately patriotic scene. This Royal couple represent “togetherness” and John Lewis encourages its consumers to “come together and celebrate.
Harrods - this British institution has gone all out with a complete window takeover paying homage to the great day... and all the tourists passing through their doors...
At Esprit, despite not having any British provenance, it has captured the moment with denim dressed with the Royal wedding paraphernalia including epilates, crowns and confetti. A very simple and very striking window execution befitting of the couple and Regent St. Eastpak A royally good idea, right royally lost in translation, almost worthy of treason.
Jack Wills have managed to strike the right balance of tradition and fashion to appeal to their audience with these psychedelic Union Jacks married with multi coloured ghetto blasters to celebrate the union of ‘Wills’ & Kate... every pun intended.
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