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Dickson Concepts forges online alliance with Harvey Nichols UK

Dickson Concepts has entered a strategic partnership with UK department store Harvey Nichols to combine physical retail stores and e-commerce.

“Dickson Concepts will gain complete access to Harvey Nichols’ digital expertise, and allow Harvey Nichols to accelerate its global e-commerce strategy by combining its highly curated fashion edits from two iconic international locations online,” the Hong Kong-listed company said in a statement.

Dickson Concepts operates Harvey Nichols, Beauty Bazaar and Beauty Avenue stores and controls the UK-incorporated Harvey Nichols Group.

Leading international brands and emerging designer talent from both Harvey Nichols UK and Harvey Nichols Hong Kong will be available online, with local customers now able to shop the global Harvey Nichols range.

As part of the partnership, Dickson Concepts will also launch multiple omnichannel initiatives, such as introducing “Endless Aisles” at its stores that will allow in-store customers to enjoy the full offer of Harvey Nichols’ in-store and online offering simultaneously.

E-commerce styling lounges with stylists offering personalised service will be introduced to assist customers to coordinate their personal looks.

“Dickson Concepts will also work with Harvey Nichols to introduce augmented reality solutions in-store, which will allow Hong Kong customers to virtually try selected beauty products only available at Harvey Nichols UK, before proceeding to make purchases online. Furthermore, Dickson Concepts will work with Harvey Nichols to allow Hong Kong’s online customers to shop live with Harvey Nichols’ in-store stylists in the UK, via a solution powered by the global retail technology company Hero, with which Harvey Nichols has an exclusive arrangement.”

Hong Kong online shoppers will be able to connect and interact with associates from Harvey Nichols’ UK stores via instant messaging, photo sharing, and live video streaming, allowing customers to shop the group’s eight stores in the UK in the comfort of their own homes.

Since launching in 2011, Harvey Nichols has invested over HK$500 million in its e-commerce business, allowing the company to become the first luxury department store in the UK to integrate a marketplace solution in its e-commerce platform, along with being the first department store in the UK to link its online customers with in-store product experts in real-time, to enable live shopping via instant messaging, photo sharing, and live video streaming.

Harvey Nichols also recently signed a multi-year, global partnership deal to become the first department store in the world to join the Farfetch platform. Farfetch customers will be able to buy from Harvey Nichols from anywhere in the world.

Embracing digital

Dickson Concepts says the partnership with Harvey Nichols demonstrates the former’s commitment to embracing digital technologies and developing its e-commerce business to “define a completely new retail format for Hong Kong,” re-enforcing its belief that e-commerce will become a dominant part of retail internationally.

“As such, the group is prepared to invest up to HK$200 million on its digital marketing and e-commerce initiatives to grow its e-commerce business, and with its healthy cash balance in excess of HK$1 billion, will also make additional appropriate strategic investments to accelerate its growth in e-commerce.”

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