The inviting and uninviting shop front

Harrods and Barclays bank sit side-by-side on Brompton Road, but are miles apart in their approaches to their windows displays. The question is what effect does this have on passerbys (and potential customers), and to what extent are these shop fronts symbolic of the companies? Ponder that readers.

Roll up #1 HARRODS.

So what comes to my mind? I thought I’d tackle this with a bit of a word scramble- just like when you are walking pass shop windows and thoughts continue to circulate and build up (that domino effect of “oh”, “ooh”, “look at that” etc…). As such, in this atypical, nonsensical manner, my first impressions of Harrods’ shop front would have gone something like this-

    Chanel // pricey but classic, could be a good investment in the long run. definitely one of the big fashion brands that everyone would have heard of. not too edgy. in fact not much flesh showing in the entire collection // wolves, how intriguing. very in the mode given the success of twilight and those types of films. a lot of fur generally. and using animal heads on the manakins is a clever touch, good way to bring in crowds. quite funny but also slightly creepy. reminds me of fantastic somehow // love the mossy colouring and the natural imagery of the collection. that lace dress is stunning // really want that // never going to be able to afford. need to get a proper job // look at that // should pop in later. which floor // very shiny windows, not the best thing early in the morning // aargh the time

And so forth. In this way, Harrods’ choice of Chanel and its carefully and innovatively crafted window display, encourage passerbys to stop and look, while also representing the ‘classic, but exstravagant and expensive’ brand image that I associate with Harrods. In contrast, the exterior of Barclays bank was rather less enticing, and more severe-looking and business-like:


In close-up the user-UNfriendly spikes outside Barclays Bank in Knightsbridge

And my pedestrian-self’s rather rambling impression of Barclays’ use of spikes in its outer window bays-

    Ouch // never seen that before. this is not a good sign // well that is just mean. unneccessary surely? // security gone mad or a tourist deterrent, I wonder // clearly do not want people looking in, or anywhere near the entrance for that matter. no new customers here // that is a lot of spikes. they look rather pointy, a bit like shark’s teeth // rather foreboding entrance to the bank. fort knox welcome to barclays // definitely uniniviting

So the moral of my rather sorry story here is that shop fronts matter. They represent the company at that important point where a passerby can transform into a customer; and where a inviting window can create a point of interest, a place that generates that all important buzz. That being the case I am completely sold to the Chanel Autumn 2011 collection, and a note to Barclays- please do better.


3 responses to “The inviting and uninviting shop front

  1. Pingback: The longest running theatre production in banking history « Marzipan and Marmite·

  2. Pingback: The bank that asks a lot of questions « Marzipan and Marmite·

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