Five years ago, I went to a conference that looked at the rise of online and confidently predicted that shops would essentially become ‘showrooms’ in the future. It made me think that we would be throwing out all the merchandise and creating art galleries where three diamond encrusted handbags would be displayed in a glass case with a security guard.
The decline of retail is well-documented with stores closing or condensing their offering to instead have one or a few flagship stores (instead of stacks of smaller ones) and using online to be their global shopfront. The ‘showroom’ idea has become so much more than it even intended to be, and in the age of Instagram, everything has become so ‘EXTRA’, retail has embraced the idea of treating their store or cafe as a living, breathing, art installation to maximise social media reach and give people a reason to visit.
Big department stores (with department store size budgets) have long used their windows as a key part of their marketing calendar, but now we’re seeing everyone from independent designers to old fashioned pubs carving out a PR story and point of difference using visual merchandising to max out their place on the High Street. London is the perfect place to experiment with pink cafes, floral shop fronts and artwork ensuring more footfall and therefore more cash in the till. Here I’ve rounded up my favourite retail Instagrammable hot spots for 2018 – which I will keep adding to as new places perk their places up!
The most Instagrammed cupcake shop in all the land has to be the pretty pink parlour that is Peggy Porschen! Their floral displays which adorn the outside and delicately decorate the inside, has been designed by Dickinson & Doris and changes for Valentine’s, Easter, Spring Summer, Halloween and Christmas – phew. The beautiful archway, outside, the al fresco seating and, let’s face it, the cakes, make it a total dream. Elizabeth Street in Belgravia, SW1W 9NZ
To celebrate Belgravia in Bloom this year DONNA IDA has installed a beautiful window where flowers burst out of a pair of jeans and frame the window in a dramatic fashion. Elizabeth Street will be taking part in Belgravia in Bloom and for 2018 it will be inspired by the Frida Kahlo exhibition at the V&A. Find out more details here. Elizabeth Street, Belgravia, SW1W 9NZ
While we’re on Elizabeth Street, pop to perfumer Les Senteurs for their fabulous installation. Their sky blue store front is framed by a tree (a huh) with multi coloured flowers. It is a blooming lovely look. Elizabeth Street, Belgravia, SW1W 9NZ
You will have seen this cafe e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e but hey ho, it is is still a must-see thanks to THAT wall of flowers. My pals Belle & Bunty are frequently spotted making the place look gaw-geous with pretty coffee cups and snacks to die for.
Super Instagram star LornaLuxe introduced me to Dalloway Terrace, the beautiful restaurant named after Virginia Woolf’s eponymous character. The chic hangout has a delightful indoor/outdoor feel with a floral terrace recently installed by Wild At Heart Flowers which this season is themed around the humble bumble bee. Check out their Honey-bee Afternoon Tea – yum.
Jo Loves was created by Jo Malone MBE and the store on Elizabeth Street is the very same place where Jo worked as a florist when she was 16. Flowers are still very much part of the business, with No. 42 The Flower Shop being one of her signature fragrances. Flowers also appear on the outside of the store which frequently change with the season. 42 Elizabeth Street, Belgravia, SW1W 9NZ.
I love this picture that @gokican captured of Moyses Stevens – the pretty florist on Elizabeth Street. What better place to look for flowers than a working florist? Elizabeth Street, Belgravia, SW1W 9NZ.