This April, retailers and marketers alike were shaken by news that Debenhams, the UK’s biggest department store, had gone into administration. Luxury retail expert Lindy Woodhead had an insightful response to the announcement.

You have to put on a show.

Woodhead, who worked in international public relations for 25 years and was the first woman on the Board of Directors at Harvey Nichols, told Radio 4: “In order to work and survive in retail you have to put on a show.”

Talking about why the store failed, she continued: “There’s no show at Debenhams anymore. Shopping now has far eclipsed just going to buy goods. If you want to buy goods, you can just press your button and buy online.”

“We mustn’t write off the department store in total because there are some that are rising above it, but the customer wants to eat, drink, maybe see an art exhibition, definitely hear some music… so it’s a chance for the street environment to come into the retail environment.”

We couldn't agree more.

Shoppers need something more than a straightforward transaction if they are to form a relationship with a brand or retailer.

They need an experience - a reason to come back again and again. Retailers, no matter what they’re selling, shouldn’t neglect this.

Retailers who offer customers an experience can form long-lasting connections – connections that are much more difficult to form online.

The stats.

EMI & Mosaic data showed that 74% of event attendees say that they have a more positive experience about the brand after that event. 70% become regular customers after an experiential marketing event, and 65% of brands say their experiential programs are directly related to sales.

We’re pleased to be able to work with some of the world’s biggest brands to excite shoppers and bring them unforgettable experiences. Check out some of our work with global brands here.