For today’s lesson we were assigned to go to a ‘cathedral of consumption’ of our choice. I had chosen to go to Liberty London. I chose this particular luxury branded store because of the interior and atmosphere within this space. The analysis is based on my observations within space.
Referring back to the text by Alan Bryman, he introduced the concept of Disneyization within disneyised space, this required two key concepts. These were main principles; the destination and stay longer principle. I took this into count when I was analysing and exploring Liberty. Liberty London was designed at the height of the 1920’s fashion for Tudor revival, it was created around three light wells. This was all separated into smaller rooms, which created an almost ‘homely’ feel to it. Some of these rooms contained a fireplace, which gave it more of the Mock-Tudor like warm, homely feel.
Figure 1; Liberty London light wells.
As you walk into the store, you could see and feel the homely atmosphere within this space. Each light well has separate small rooms, where it’s almost like an exhibition containing different things to look at. Each light well has its own room to separate different brands, for each floor. For example, one light well would be, home furnishings, the other side would be luxury fabrics and the top section would be clothing, alongside stationary etc.
The basic colours of varnished, carved wood have a simple affect, whilst all products and the interior has a block colour against it. speaking to the manager in Liberty London, I asked where the inspiration came from for each window display and how it changes over time? For every season, the popular trends are always displayed. The exterior within the building is such a ‘old’ ‘Tudor like’ feel to it, that when they display something crazy and vibrant, it always has to make in contrast with the building, making it busier with pop of colours, crazy effects it helps create a narrative that makes it more interesting when people are walking past, making them want to come to this old, historic looking building in contrast to the modern displays. This relates too what Ritzer and Stillman state, ‘while the consumer may be searching for a particular location, the setting may be designed to force the consumer to pass other location deemed more desirable (or profitable)’
In seasons such as winter, the mannequins are dressed in heavy fur coats, big scarfs etc. that would automatically come into mind when thinking of winter, also summer for example, they would display things such as seasonal flowers, pastel/light colours. For Christmas 2016, they have displayed everything very seasonal, a lot of burgundy/red to give it that festive Christmas feeling. This whole concept draws into a constructive idea like a structure, but not only is it just the Liberty’s house, it presents each window as a different room, from a bedroom to a dining room, to a bathroom.
Christmas time is the most commercial time in liberty, but visual merchandisers have to think about where and why and which product should be included to almost promote in the window displays.
Ritzer, G. and Stillman, T. (2001) ‘The Modern Las Vegas Casino-Hotel: The Pragmatic New Means of Consumption’, M@n@gement 4(3): pp. 83-99
Adamson, G. (2009) ‘If you build it, will they shop?’, Blog – Victoria and Albert Museum, 30 June. Available at: http://www.vam.ac.uk/blog/sketch-product/if-you-build-it-will-they-shop (Accessed: 24 November 2016).
Scones with a dash of politics. (2016). english | Scones with a dash of politics. [online] Available at: http://www.allaboutthescones.com/category/scones/scones-from-england/