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Prada plots 80 new stores for 2013 Saturday, 18th May 2013
Photo credit: Prada
Prada Group is set to continue its steady rate of global expansion as it looks to open up to 80 new stores in 2013, focusing on Asia, the Gulf countries and North America.
The Italian fashion house’s Miu Miu brand will also launch a bevy of new stores in China, despite the fluctuating market conditions in the region.
Prada currently operates 196 stores in Asia and 185 in the Western hemisphere. Founded 100 years ago in Milan by brothers Mario and Martino Prada, the brand last year invested EUR 265 million in retail expansion.
Rihanna sues Topshop for $5m Friday, 17th May 2013
The pop star is suing Topshop for USD 5 million after T-shirts bearing her image were sold without her prior consent.
International law firm Reed Smith has been appointed to file the suit in London.
The NY Post reported that the case is “in discovery”, and that Rihanna has already handed over details of her fashion deals with Armani and River Island.
Calypso St. Barth set to complete California expansion Thursday, 16th May 2013
Photo credit: Calypso St. Barth
The American women’s clothing and apparel brand, Calypso St. Barth, are due to open three stores in Southern California this summer, in a plan to expand its bricks and mortar outlets from 39 to 45 by the end of the year.
The stores due to open are located at Westfield Century City in Los Angeles in July, with two more stores due to open later in the summer in Malibu and Montecito.
In just the last two months, the luxury fashion outlet have expanded the brand by opening stores in North Carolina’s Stanford Shopping Centre in Palo Alto, and Santana Row in San Jose, and its president Stefanie DiRienzo-Smith has said the company are particularly choosy when it comes to picking retail real estate.
WWD reports that ideal store locations for the brand largely consist of areas with zip codes responsible for strong e-commerce activity or in-store customer purchases when they travel to a city with an existing Calypso St. Barth store.
DiRienzo-Smith, when talking about shopping centres owned by Jim Rosenfield’s company JS Rosenfield & Co, said: “Jim’s properties are good examples of what we love.
“They are places where a customer can come and get a lot of things done, not just shop in an apparel store. Being in a lifestyle centre or outdoors on a main street is so much more our brand than being behind doors in a mall.”
The relatively small business is working hard to attract new customers, and its president believes its “old-school” approach in reaching cliental is key to their continuing success.
“The goal is to really embed ourselves in these neighbourhoods and ingratiate ourselves to those consumers, and hopefully we will gain them as great fans,” she continued by adding, “Every single sales associate has a client book. We ask her [the client] how she wants us to communicate, and we text, we e-mail, we call, we set up a ton of one-on-one appointments. We don’t rely on a lot of external factors. It’s sort of a lost art, but it is something that sets us apart.”
Calypso St. Barth have six stores comprising of home furnishings in addition to its fashion and accessories outlets. However, DiRienzo-Smith has confirmed that expansion in its fashion boutiques is the priority, and that the company will evaluate its home furnishing stores on a “case-by-case” basis.
DiRienzo-Smith confirmed to WWD that its 2011 revenue was in excess of USD 60 million, but failed to disclose the sales so far for this year.
Rihanna to release second River Island collection Thursday, 16th May 2013
Image courtesy of River Island
The pop star is set to release a second high street fashion range for River Island this summer.
The much-feted collection, which consists of high-waisted skirts, bralets and the ubiquitous summer short shorts, will hit stores on 25th May.
River Island have released a behind-the-scenes video of Rihanna working alongside the fashion team to finesse her new designs, which is available to view here.
Tamara Mellon to step back into fashion Thursday, 16th May 2013
Image courtesy of @TamaraMellon
Since reaching the end of her non-compete agreement with Jimmy Choo at the end of February, Tamara Mellon has stayed relatively quiet in terms of new business plans. Until now.
This morning the former Jimmy Choo chief creative officer and co-founder tweeted a picture of herself with a man named Francesco, whom she dubbed “the world’s most amazing shoe maker”. The businesswoman then tweeted “back to the factories!” alongside another picture of her having her foot measured - a sure sign that Mellon is about to make her grand re-entrance into British fashion.
Earlier this year the fashion rumour mill was rife with speculation that Mellon had secured backing from big names such as Tory Burch and Tommy Hilfiger for her new business. Stores in London, Los Angeles, New York, Brazil, Hong Kong, Qatar and Singapore were also discussed in the fashion press, but Mellon has not yet commented on the matter.
French Connection European trading comes in flat Wednesday, 15th May 2013
Photo credit: My Retail Media
French Connection said it saw a strong performance in the early weeks of the year, which softened in March but has improved again recently, in line with the same trend seen in the market as a whole.
"We are seeing progress from the initiatives that were instigated following the retail review last year and expect the impact of these to grow as the year progresses. Gross margin levels were slightly lower than last year," French Connection said in a company update.
The fashion retailer said UK/Europe wholesales revenues continued to be below last year’s levels, as a result of lower forward orders and reduced in-season business.
Elsewhere there were more positive signs for the brand, with retail revenue in North American up 5 per cent for the quarter thanks to a higher level of promotional sales. The group continued to perform well in Asia, despite the retail market slow-down in China and Hong Kong, as it noted a modest improvement in profit for the period.
Looking ahead, French Connection remained positive that the overall trend had improved with forward orders for the Winter 2013 season in line with those from 2012.
H&M hit by cold weather as April sales fail to meet expectations Wednesday, 15th May 2013
H&M Beijing store in China. Photo credit: H&M
Hennes & Mauritz on Wednesday revealed sales in April came in beneath expectations as cold weather continued to plague spring trading.
Same-store sales fell 1 per cent for the world’s second largest fashion retailer, beneath the 5.6 per cent consensus forecast polled by Reuters.
Total sales for the month were up 11 per cent, but still beneath the 14.6 per cent expected by analysts.
The Swedish fast fashion company cited the “unseasonably” cold weather that persisted across its key European markets as the main reason for the lagging sales, along with the continuing weak consumer demand on the continent.
With relatively soft comparable results from April 2012, the pressure is on for H&M to turnaround weaker sales in the current second quarter.
New lingerie floor opens at Galeries Lafayette Monday, 13th May 2013
Photo credit: Galeries Lafayette
The luxury French department store, Galeries Lafayette, has revamped its lingerie department in its quest to reorganise its flagship.
The new 37,675-square-foot lingerie section features 50 brands, 10 of which are new to the store, including exclusive French company, Maidenform, Esprit and Agent Provocateur.
The reorganising of the store includes a plan to split it up according to universes. Luxury and designer wear, including labels such as Etam and Princesse Tam Tam, is distinguished with a colourful palette of dusty rose and gold, whilst displays by brand are coloured blue and purple, and fuchsia for tights and socks.
Geraldine Mazin, head of lingerie buying at the store, explained how previous layout segmenting the floor by foundations and daywear, sleepwear and swimwear is no longer relevant to today’s lingerie consumer, who buys lingerie based on trends, not classification.
In another change, swimwear is now being displayed year-round in a variety of sizes, ranging from 28A to 44G.
The new layout was designed by French designer Stella Candete, who transformed the department’s entrance with 24,000 feet of tulle that was hand-sewn in her atelier.
“The concept is the Haussmann-style apartment, to give lingerie a more intimate feel, so that women who come here feel comfortable, at home,” commented Cadente.
The store also features mannequin displays which promote the trends of the season, a vending machine by Cosabella, and a sewing machine at Empreinte that tailors lingerie sets with lace, ribbon and other adornments.
The new floor will attempt to attract a larger demographic of female consumers by displaying items which are affordable from EUR 10 to more luxury premium brands such as Jean Paul Gaultier and La Perla from around EUR 2,000.
Mazin says the retailer is “hoping to get back to growth” with the developments. “The lingerie sector is flat and the market is difficult”.
The Parisian department store reported EUR 2.9 billion revenue in 2011 despite the Eurozone crisis and poor consumer confidence.
John Varvatos plans to take on the European fashion Monday, 13th May 2013
Photo credit: John Varvatos.
John Varvatos, the New York menswear designer is backed by the leading investment firm Lion Capital for plans to take on the world of European fashion. Varvatos plans to open shops in major cities throughout the continent, beginning with its first store in London next year. With celebrity fans including Zac Efron and Ben Affleck, Varvatos is hoping to also open its stores in Paris, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Germany.
Last month the group selected Cristiano Quieti, the former Diesel boss, as president and chief executive. It also hired property agent CWM.
Scott Murdoch of CWM comments: "US brands view London as the gateway to Europe and John Varvatos is the latest to follow this route."
Mike Ashley pushes for Republic rent reduction Monday, 13th May 2013
Mike Ashley is reportedly on the brink of closing Republic stores if landlords continue to charge high rents.
Landlords were offered 15 per cent of stores’ turnover to cover rent, service charges and rates. Sports Direct, owners of Republic, is said to be prepared for rents to be agreed on a short-term basis, with some Republic stores relocating within towns and cities.
The entrepreneur and Sports Direct boss rescued the retailer out of administration in February.