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Microsoft eyes mainstream with Nokia Lumia 521 Friday, 3rd May 2013
Photo credit: Nokia
Microsoft Corp begins its drive into the mainstream as it looks to boost market share with Nokia Lumia 521.
The world’s largest software company this week shifted tactics as it looks to win mass market share, launching the Nokia Lumia 521 at an unsubsidized USD 150 price point. In comparison, the iPhone 5 is currently priced at USD 579.99 across 24 months, making it more than 3 times as expensive.
Having so far focused on teaming its Windows Phone Software with high-end devices, the new model is relatively cheap, aimed at appealing to the mass market with high-end features. The Nokia Lumia 521 will go on sale at Walmart later this month, having already sold out on the Home Shopping Network last week.
"There is an opportunity for us to offer a very high quality device in the mainstream," said Terry Myerson, head of the Windows Phone unit, said last week. "That's where we've made progress in the last couple of months and it's a strategy we'll continue to explore in the United States."
Stella McCartney’s whistle stop tour Wednesday, 24th April 2013
Photo credit: Stella McCartney
Stella McCartney’s eponymous label is set to continue its expansion into Europe and Asia, having recently opened new stores in Sweden, Denmark and Japan.
According to WWD, McCartney is set to celebrate the launch of her two new stores in both Stockholm and Copenhagen on Friday, ahead of a visit to Tokyo in May to see the city's second Stella McCartney store, which opened just last week.
The new stores are expected to be joined by further openings in China this year, including a second store in Shanghai.
Miss Selfridge makes Beirut debut Thursday, 18th April 2013
Photo credit: Miss Selfridge
Arcadia’s Miss Selfridge this week announced the opening of its first store in Lebanon, in Beirut’s city centre.
Having launched on Saturday 13 April, Miss Selfridge’s first store in the region runs across 180 square metres, and features a bespoke edit of the brand’s dresses, accessories and footwear.
Founded in 1966 as a young fashion section in London’s prestigious Selfridges department store, Miss Selfridge now operates on a global scale, with outlets and concessions spread as far as Russia, Thailand, Dubai, and Australia.
Dior expands into Vietnam with first flagship store Tuesday, 2nd April 2013
Photo credit: Christian Dior
Christian Dior last week opened the doors to its first store in Vietnam, as the company eyes growth in Asia and Australia.
The quintessentially French fashion house launched its new flagship on Vietnam’s iconic Trang Ten Plaza shopping centre last Thursday, modelled after Dior’s first address in Paris.
Fronted by a floor-to-ceiling glass façade, the Dior Women boutique’s interior was designed by Peter Marino and features 18th century details including a custom wrought-iron balustrade mixed in with modern elements.
The new Hanoi boutique opens just a month after Dior launched its flagship store in Sydney in February, marking the fashion brand’s debut in Australia.
"The world has changed over the last three or four years and the centre of gravity of the global economy is moving towards Asia. We are developing our business in this part of the world,” said Dior chief executive Sidney Toledano in light of the opening.
UK shopping centre investment up 194% for Q1 Tuesday, 2nd April 2013
Crowds at Trinity Leeds celebrate opening day. Photo credit: Trinity Leeds
As Trinity Leeds enters its second full week of trading, Savills reveals the total value of shopping centre deals in the first quarter of 2013 has risen 194% year-on-year.
According to the property agent, the total value of deals in the first quarter of the year was £1.43 billion, up 194 per cent on the £488 million achieved in the same period last year.
What’s more, the value of the deals in the first three months of 2013 is already more than half the total investment into the market in 2012. In the past year total investment reached £2.7 billion and included the Norwegian sovereign wealth fund acquiring 50 per cent of Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield for £750 million.
Major deals so far this year include British Land’s £142 million acquisition of Ealing Broadway shopping centre and Intu Properties’ purchase of Midsummer Place in Milton Keynes for £250 million.
Nick Hart, head of shopping centre investment at Savills, said: “The sales at Midsummer Place, Milton Keynes and Guildford demonstrate the appetite at the prime end of the market from Real Estate Investment Trusts and institutions and the levels at which they are prepared to pay to secure a prime asset.”
According to Savills, total shopping centre transactions could now reach £2 billion by May as current talks continue.
Land Securities gears up for Leeds Trinity launch with Henry Holland Monday, 18th March 2013
Image credit: Land Securities
Delayed for three years as the nation continues to struggle out of recession, it’s hoped the new £350 million centre will bring a new lease of life to a northern city keen to reinvent itself. Already 90 per cent pre-let back in January, Trinity Leeds is the only 1 million sq ft UK retail scheme to open in the next four to five years, and is set to house around 100 retailers in Leed’s city centre, employing up to 3,000 people.
Marks & Spencer, Next, Armani Exchange, Topshop and Bose will join the UK’s largest Superdry store and the first Victoria’s Secret to open outside of London at the opening ceremony on Thursday 21 March, which will be curated by fashion designer Henry Holland.
Speaking in the run-up to the opening Holland said; “Curating the launch ceremony for Trinity Leeds has given me the opportunity to celebrate fashion in a unique and memorable way. I was challenged to deliver a spectacular show that will excite Leeds’ shoppers and propel Trinity Leeds into the fashion spotlight. It has been an immensely rewarding project to work on and I can’t wait to hear the reaction from the public and see it all come to life on opening day”.
David Laycock, Trinity Leeds Centre director said; “With such a wide range of fashion brands under one roof, we wanted to work with a renowned designer to celebrate the best of British fashion and showcase to the rest of the UK what Leeds has to offer.
“We’re incredibly excited about revealing Henry’s event on launch day and hope it captures the imagination of the British public, from those local to Leeds, to shoppers up and down the country.”
Net-A-Porter announces move into beauty Saturday, 16th March 2013
Photo credit: Net-A-Porter
Net-A-Porter is set to launch a much-awaited beauty collection later this month as it looks to continue its stellar growth rate of 2012.
The luxury fashion e-tailer on Friday announced it would make its first steps into the world of beauty retailing, launching its DEBUT edit of beauty brands online on 20 March.
Alison Loehnis, managing director at Net-A-Porter told WWD: "As we started to expand it was a disconnect to not be able to offer beauty. By being at the front lines, we have an enormous amount of insight and exposure to talent and also product."
Just as Topshop and Burberry have in recent years launched stand-alone beauty lines, Net-A-Porter are determined to bring something different to the dressing table. The “Quintessential Edit” collection will be sold through the same fashion site and will include brands such as Philip B, Aesop, Chantecaile and Beauty Works West.
"The proposition is really where the beauty-meets-fashion aspect, and we see it as so symbiotic with the rest of our offerings. As we've developed our content, beauty is such a big part of fashion," said Loehnis.
Rihanna launches first collection for River Island Tuesday, 5th March 2013
Marks & Spencer teams up with British Fashion Council to promote home-grown talent Tuesday, 19th February 2013
Photo credit: British Fashion Council
Two great British institutions are set to team up to promote home-grown talent over the next three years.
Marks & Spencer will partner with the British Fashion Council (BFC) as part of the Best of British initiative, which will include two clothing collections and an emphasis on sustainability and local production.
"The M&S brand is synonymous with all things British so we are delighted that they will be partnering with us to champion the very best of the UK's manufacturing, textiles and practice," said Natalie Massenet, chairman of the BFC and Net-A-Porter founder.
"We are charging them with taking a lead on positive fashion and change within our industry. Myself and the team are looking forward to developing this with them over the next three years."
The clothing collections, which have been dubbed as “luxury capsule edits”, will run across both mens and womenswear and will mark the first stage of the partnership.
"We are proud to collaborate with the British Fashion Council and look forward to working alongside them on our exciting Best of British initiative," said Marc Bolland, chief executive of M&S. "This is the start of an exciting journey to put more emphasis on British design and talent."
Victoria Beckham teases e-commerce site launch with cryptic video Friday, 25th January 2013
Photo credit: Victoria Beckham
If you thought Victoria Beckham would be giving anything away with a teaser video a month before the launch of her e-commerce site, think again.
The pop-star turned a-list designer is about to take her fashion empire to the next level with a new e-commerce site set to launch in February. The teaser video itself refuses to give anything more than a few tightly-edited, behind-the-scenes shots away, but is still guaranteed to whet the appetite of Beckham’s fans in the run up to the big unveil.
Speaking of her upcoming project, Beckham said:
‘My new website has been in the making for a very long time. It was so important that the concept, tone and look of it were true to me and my aesthetic and that the shopping experience was the very best that it could be for my customer.
‘The site will be ever evolving featuring never seen before insights into my world through the medium of film. I'm incredibly excited with what I have created and the unique access to the brand I am now able to offer.’
The new site will offer an online platform for the Victoria Beckham line, retailing her accessories, eyewear and denim, along with her fashion collections.