Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Why the Capital Is Coming Up Roses; TRENDSFragrance Clouds, Complex Sensory Systems -- Yes, Store Scenting Is Big Business. Emma McCarthy on the Smells That Are Making You Spend

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Why the Capital Is Coming Up Roses; TRENDSFragrance Clouds, Complex Sensory Systems -- Yes, Store Scenting Is Big Business. Emma McCarthy on the Smells That Are Making You Spend

Article excerpt

Byline: Emma McCarthy

WHAT'S the first thing you notice when you walk into a shop? The row of mannequins posed strategically by the entrance? The music -- be it soft and tinkling or heavy on the bass? Or, if you're like me, the sale rail? But what about the smell? Unless it's bad, the answer's likely to be no. But while a shop's scent may not register highly on the sensory agenda among sights and sounds, it's almost certainly there. And crucially, it's proving an increasingly powerful tool in encouraging Londoners to part with their hard-earned cash.

Of course, we're not talking about the whiff of freshly sprayed Mr. Sheen here. Take Abercrombie & Fitch. The brand's London flagship has become renowned for its distinctive breed of fragrance -- named Fierce, in case you were curious -- which wafts through the dimly lit corridors and out to the groups of teens queueing at the door, via scent machines or dedicated members of staff spritzing liberally. Victoria's Secret is just as intoxicating. But its purpose is not just to act as an air freshener. As Nike once reported, when it first introduced scent into its stores, customer intention to purchase increased by 80 per cent.

When it comes to London's most exclusive shopping streets, scent is just as important to a brand's success as the quality of its window displays and handbags on offer. Mainly because shopping is a very different experience to what it used to be.

As little as 20 years ago, the focus for luxury shopping was on exclusivity -- think sales assistants with raised eyebrows and don'touch-what-you-can't-afford displays, circa Pretty Woman. Now the rise of e-commerce has opened up luxury labels to a far widerreaching audience. But while eshops can stimulate sights and sounds, only bricks and mortar stores can offer a fully immersive experience from the minute a customer steps through the door to the moment they leave. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.