Thursday, 26 August 2010

Harrods, Buenos Aires

Image copyright La Nacion

Further to my post earlier this week, my Buenos Aires contact very kindly translated the newspaper article that she sent to me announcing that Harrods Buenos Aires was due to re-open. It is a considerable article so I can only offer a synopsis of it here. However, this store first opened on 31st March 1914 and was in fact the only branch of the store we know so well here in Knightsbridge, London. This store has been closed over a decade (since 1998) and the worked planned renovating it back to its former glory will cost, it is estimated, more than £25m. The new store will "conserve the model of retail store by departments" distributed across five floors. "The upper four floors are planned to be used for hotel services and offices." In a frozen scene from when the store was last open "black and White barbers chairs are still subtly leaned". "The ceilings and floors will be well as the marbles, bevelled glass, and the covering of the impressive columns" . Within the article it also mentions how two doormen, one very tall and one very short would receive customers with an umbrella on rainy days and even the managers offices still have pictures hung on the walls of the celebrities of the time. This is such a fascinating insight to times long gone. With Internet shopping so prevalent this is perhaps indicative of an interesting cultural shift towards shopping habits -albeit locally - and maybe what customers actually want after all? Time will tell. However, as creatures of habit, and our love of nostalgia, perhaps (depending on which sources you read) 'Internet shopping only' customers may still not be in the majority for a little longer?

Images Copyright La Nacion

Banana Republic, London

This really must be the best scheme from Banana Republic that I have recorded to date. The overall scheme is based on 'Life at Work' with stacks of newsprint piled around the figures in some windows and the multiple use of these umbrellas printed with newsprint designs in another (as above). I also had flash backs to the, was it the early 1980's? when the Newton's cradle was marketed as an executive toy (or executive ball clicker as it was affectionately known) firstly by Harrods here in London. Of course it actually dates back much further than that and actually is a great example of both the conservation of momentum and kinetic energy (perhaps the information around this is a little too complex for our purposes within this context). However, although this is an electonic version it is nonetheless great fun and speaks to me on all sorts of levels. I must go in to the store and see if this has been carried thoughout the site. Job well done guys.

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