Harrods invites Facebook fans to decide Burberry collection buy

Luxury department store Harrods has decided to listen to the voice of its consumer for the autumn/winter 2012/13 season, by handing the buying decision of the forthcoming Burberry collection over to its Facebook fans.

The day after the designer’s show at London Fashion Week on Monday, Harrods will post images of every look on its Facebook page. Those that receive the most likes, will be incorporated into the store’s buy for the season.

It’s an interesting move for a store renowned for its somewhat elitist approach to retail. But crowdsourcing for inspiration (as well as confirmation) is becoming an evermore appealing route for those in tune with successful social strategies.

The argument in this case is almost certainly that it’s common sense those outfits proving the most popular at this stage will end up being the ones that sell once they hit the floor later in the year (though the profile of the Harrods Facebook fan versus the actual Harrods shopper could be questioned).

It’ll be interesting to see how this develops and ultimately, whether it works.

Look out for my forthcoming opinion piece on how this season’s fashion week shows have been about offering full consumer access versus providing press and buyers with new digital exclusives…

Rachel Arthur is an award-winning business journalist specialising in fashion and technology. Alongside her work as the founder and editor of Fashion & Mash, she regularly contributes to titles including Forbes, Wired, The Daily Telegraph, The Business of Fashion, Fashionista, Mashable, Dazed and more. She is a regular speaker at conferences around the world, as well as an advisor on digital strategy and innovation to leading retail and luxury brands, and a mentor to start-ups on the likes of John Lewis’ JLAB accelerator programme. She was previously based in New York as a senior editor for leading online fashion trade publication and trend forecaster WGSN, where she managed global coverage of the industry from a communications, branding and technology standpoint.