Standing across the street, I had already taken some exterior shots of the Burberry store on Madison Avenue showing pedestrians walking by a huge interior video screen filled with flashing models. When I returned days later for some close-ups, the store front was surrounded by scaffolding for building repairs. Swell. It was tough to see inside the store plus the scaffolding killed a lot of available light.
Still I gamely pressed on. Hogging a big chunk of front window display space, something retail stores don’t like nohow, I was trying to get a few shots in and finish before annoyed stares of store personnel shot me down. Standing on public property I couldn’t be asked to leave the premises as often happened when I was photographing inside buildings. Nevertheless, small retail stores don’t appreciate anyone standing between them and sales. Not feeling exactly relaxed, I was startled by a voice right at my elbow. It belonged to an attractive young woman who pleasantly asked, “Would you like to come inside to take some photographs?”
What? What was going on? Was someone actually inviting me inside their store? It took me a few moments to realize she was the store manager who had stepped outside with some shoppers. Floored, I immediately said no, thank you. But finally grasping the full import of it, I reversed course and accepted her invitation.
Inside the store had little floor space and maneuvering room. Not wanting to disturb anyone, I stood off to the side and focused on the super-size video screen with dynamic models streaming by one two three, while shoppers and salespeople crossed around me. Speaking of shooting in a circus! But Miss Cool, the store manager, calmly went about her business and graciously let me go about mine. Grateful, I restrained myself from hugging her when I left, and instead gave her a heartfelt thank you. A classy lady. A classy store.
So to Angela Ahrendts, the CEO of Burberry now moving on to Apple to head their retail operations, I say good luck. You and Apple should make a great combo.
(The image shown here has been enhanced with graphic software to heighten the dramatic element and bring it closer to my perception of the scene.)
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