Burberry Unleashes Trench Coats on Chicago

Retailer uses social media campaign, influential Chicagoans to help promote brand

A quick glance at Burberry's new floor flagship store on Michigan Avenue and it's clear that this isn't a company that does things in a small way.

One of the most sought-after invites in the city was the British retailer's lavish grand opening party hosted by its chief creative officer Christopher Bailey late last week.

But chances are you've already noticed the Burberry fever in the form of pictures of influential Chicagoans sporting trench coats on bus shelters and other locations across the city.

It's all part of Burberry's Art of The Trench series, a social networking campaign focused on the iconic garment the retailer has become known for, and the company's effort to merge the physical and the digital in pushing its brand.

"Inside of the store, all of our sales associates have iPads so that they can access our world store, and every event that we do, we have some sort of livestream ... all of the screens around the store are controlled in London so that everything is consistent around the world," Bailey said. The store sports five floors of retail space, including interior digital walls, the first North American Burberry Beauty consultation counter and exclusive lines of men's and women's outerwear and accessories.

Bailey says Chicago was the perfect place to extend the Burberry brand.

"People here seem to really enjoy style. They're interested in fashion, but they actually enjoy what's stylish," Bailey said. "You guys have a need a lot of outerwear and a lot of coats because of your weather. We have this incredible site on Michigan so (we) took the opportunity to build something strong and architectural."

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