Luxe body Walpole works to create ‘virtual Bond Street’
Walpole, the trade body for the British luxury sector, has launched a campaign to help high-end brands drive online sales during the lockdown.
Walpole said it will work collaboratively with its more than 250 luxury members to establish a ‘virtual Bond Street’.
The project involves promoting brands’ online shops across its platforms, including hosting an online directory of members’ virtual shops on its website and Instagram, and featuring brands’ activities on its digital newsletter.
“By working together, we will have a bigger platform to cut through the uncertainty, with the message being: you may not be able to get to the shops, but you can still support your favourite brands online,” Walpole said.
A dedicated hashtag, #BuyOnlineLuxury has been set up for brands to use and members’ stories will be shared via Instagram Highlights.
To participate, brands are being asked to send a selection of images, details of any special offers they are including, such as free delivery, and key messages they would like to share.
High-end retailers including Harrods, Selfridges, Gieves & Hawkes, Dunhill, Fortnum & Mason, Smythson, Burberry, Net-A-Porter and Estée Lauder are some of Walpole's members.
In addition to collectively losing millions pounds in sales due to social-distancing and tighter measures on non-essential retail, many luxury brands will suffer from Italy’s decision to close non-essential manufacturing factories.
For example, Burberry said last Thursday that trading has deteriorated significantly over the last couple of months due to the coronavirus pandemic. The fashion giant expects sales to plunge by as much as 80% in the few remaining weeks of its financial year.
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