The Restory brings luxury repairs to Harvey Nichols
London – The Restory has made its retail debut at luxury department store Harvey Nichols, expanding its high-end repairs service to reach a wider consumer base.
Catering to time-pressed customers, the company will now accept repairs through a new drop-off station at the high-end department store. Guests can deliver their items – such as worn leather handbags, scuffed shoes or broken straps – to any member of staff in the accessories or shoes department, to be collected by The Restory within 48 hours. Once received, the items will be assessed and the customer will receive a quote detailing the repairs needed, the approach The Restory will take, the cost and turnaround time. Standard work, such as paint touch-ups, polishing, and stain removal, will take between five to seven working days. The items are then wrapped and shipped to the customer’s chosen destination, be it their home or back to the store.
As luxury consumers seek to develop more sustainable relationships with their clothing, brands are exploring how to prolong the life of garments through services that re-create their original state.
Aura merges private and commercial air travel
US – ZEDA aerospace is launching Aura, a new airline that offers the luxury and convenience of private air travel at an affordable price.
Billed as ‘America’s first five-star flight experience’, Aura will provide guests with an inflight service that includes extended legroom, gourmet meals, Wi-Fi and reclining seats, at a lower cost compared to a commercial first class flight ticket. Individual fares start at £212 ($280, €239) or alternatively passengers can opt for a membership service, costing £76 ($100, €85) a month for unlimited flights at fixed fares.
Accommodating just 29 passengers, Aura’s plane will operate in a similar way to private jets. Passengers can arrive 20 minutes before take-off and will be guided to a private hangar to board. Targeting businesspeople who frequently travel for work, the service will initially operate between larger metropolitan cities, including New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Denver, and Los Angeles.
Aura joins an expanding list of flight providers working to broaden the appeal of private aviation. For more, read our dedicated listicle.
Neighborhood Goods creates a future-fit department store
Texas – Neighborhood Goods is a new retail concept that enables smaller brands to temporarily invest in physical space to test their products.
Brands wishing to sell their collections will create their own activations for both the physical and digital Neighborhood Goods platforms, offering customers a holistic retail experience. Customers visiting the physical store can download its supporting iOS app to learn about the current brands in residence and make purchases. With features such as its own bar, restaurant, social spaces, event programming, and speaker series, Neighborhood Goods also doubles up as a cultural destination for consumers.
‘What we’re doing is creating an ecosystem wherein brands test new product types and capture new customers in a way that’s really affordable and easy for them to get into,’ says Matt Alexander, CEO of Neighborhood Goods. ‘Retail isn’t dead, but traditional retail has become mundane and stagnant. Consumers are clamouring for unique and memorable experiences, as much as they’re searching to uncover the newest and best products, meanwhile, brands are motivated to explore — and become more experimental with — physical retail.’
For more on how to be smarter with your brand’s physical space, explore our Storefront Salvation macrotrend.
Volvo redesigns traditional family parking icons
The floor signage depicting same-sex couples with children or older people with pushchairs was installed to mark the launch of the new Volvo V60, the latest model in the brand’s recognisable family car series. ‘The introduction of the new V60 gives us the ideal opportunity to celebrate the modern family in all its guises. As the contemporary iteration of our mid-size family estate, the V60 perfectly reflects our human-centric approach to car design, which aims to make its owners’ lives easier and safer’, explains Mike Johnstone, marketing strategy director at Volvo Cars UK.
Following positive public response, Grey tells LS:N Global that it could expand the initiative, with the potential for the icons to become a permanent feature of car parks across the UK. For more on how brands can embrace a modern family mindset, read our Post-Family Marketing microtrend.
Consumers favour advice from pharmacists
In an oversaturated world of health advice, consumers are seeking ways to conveniently access professional expertise. New research from pharmaceutical firm Sanofi found that two-thirds of individuals would rather visit a pharmacist than a GP for advice on minor ailments.
The findings were most prominent among middle age respondents, with 70% of those aged 45-54 years saying they would visit a pharmacy for advice, compared to 50% of 16-24-years-old.
For more on how access to healthcare is evolving, download our new Health and Wellness report, launched on July 12.
Thought-starter: How is African cuisine gaining popularity outside of the continent?
In bars and restaurants, chefs are putting a new twist on regional African dishes. Ikoyi opened last year in London to rave reviews and has become a byword for modern African cuisine in the British capital. The restaurant uses a mix of west African and English ingredients to reinterpret homely dishes from across the region, combining them with fine dining techniques and unexpected plating.
‘West African food [is] kind of global cuisine that doesn’t really have an origin,’ says Ikoyi’s head chef, Jeremy Chan. ‘That made us realise we can do whatever we want. What’s stopping us doing our own rice dish, our own take on this whole cuisine? We’re just trying to understand and celebrate these incredible ingredients.’
Elsewhere, some restaurateurs are experimenting with a fast-casual take on traditional dishes from the continent. I Go Chop claims to be London’s first Nigerian takeaway. The menu includes a choice of grain bowls with African components such as jollof rice or yam porridge as a base, and beef stew, plaintain gizzard or chop fish among the topping options.
For more, see the full report here.