Hold on to Your Hat!

The Retail Hive: Twilight Meeting, 27th September
Hosted at the prestigious Lock & Co. Hatters, St James’s Street, London

Here at The Retail Hive, we like to do things a little differently. So, we invited a select group of Luxury members to put their usual evening routines to one side and immerse themselves in the wonders of Lock & Co. Hatters.

Having welcomed the likes of Charlie Chaplin, Queen Elizabeth II and David Beckham through its doors, the iconic shop has designed bespoke pieces for some of the biggest names in Britain—and even has 007’s seal of approval.

Once inside, members were greeted by canapés and the fizz of champagne before discussing how brands are leveraging partnerships to acquire new, global customers.

At each and every turn, members were given a glimpse into the rich history of the brand, and marvelled at the intricate headwear and handcrafted items on display.

After a magical evening, The Retail Hive’s Senior Conference Producer, Sophie McCallum recalls her experience inside Lock & Co. Hatters…

“A few weeks ago, I got the chance to mingle with our wonderful Luxury community for the first time since joining The Retail Hive! Ben Dalrymple and the team at Lock & Co. Hatters were generous enough to invite us into their iconic 347-year-old store on St James’s Street, London. Can you believe this is the oldest hat shop in the world!?

We kicked off the evening with champagne and canapés—a great way to start an evening if you ask me. As more and more guests flowed into the store, the shop transformed from a quiet, hidden treasure into a bustling, electric space.

By 6pm, we were ready to sit down and listen to Ben’s fascinating story on the history behind Lock & Co. Hatters and how he, as Managing Director, has utilised innovation and creativity to transform the oldest hatters in London into a luxury destination for international tourism. I won’t reveal all of Ben’s secrets, but there was a key focus on collaboration and bespoke, localised partnerships that maximise connections on your home turf.

A lively discussion then followed on driving international visitors into stores in London. Our wonderful members shared their experience, pain points and woes on this topic, and before we knew it, the hour had flown by…

Glasses were topped up and the group was taken on a tour of the historic building. Picture 300-year-old grandfather clocks chiming delicately, a coffin staircase and quirky characteristics that make the shop the wonderful space it is! We had a sneak peek of the very top of the store, where skilled artisans make couture hats by hand onsite. We then took in the dyeing area, where hats are hand-dyed and can also be stretched back into shape (a service they provide for all hats, not just their own!).

We continued downstairs to the ladies’ collection where the next generation of women’s headwear is showcased. For someone who did not consider herself a hat person before this day, I was convinced at that moment that I now need a hat for every occasion.

We finished the evening off in the heritage room—a room filled with rich history and featuring a few celebrities who had the most peculiar shaped heads!

The night came to a close and we waved off our wonderful Luxury members, thanking the Lock & Co. Hatters team for hosting such a lovely evening. If you are around St James’s Street in London and you fancy checking out the history for yourself, pop in and say hello to Ben and the team! They will be so happy to see you.”

What our Luxury members had to say:

“It was a truly insightful and fun evening! I look forward to joining future events!”

Flagship Boutique Manager, Stephen Webster

“I wish I’d known about this secret club before!”

Attending Member

“Thanks so much for the hosting of a great evening at a brilliant location this week. Great conversation and equally great canapés!”

Head of Customer Marketing, Bremont Watch Company

“Had a great evening!”

Interim Chief People Officer, Matches Fashion

Join our Digital Luxury Exchange meeting!

Next February, we’re hosting an intimate residential meeting for the crème de la crème of our Luxury community. The value of insights and networking at our one-day meetings is amazing, so just think of the sparks that will fly across two days!

Whether in-store or online, the experience of luxury shopping must be outstanding from discovery to order fulfilment. Brands and retailers must have a clear understanding of who their customers are, what they want, and how to communicate with them. Taking place on the 29th February-1st March at Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf and Spa, our Digital Luxury Exchange meeting isn’t one you want to miss…