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Tesco launches UK’s first virtual supermarket Tuesday, 7th August 2012
Photo credit: Tesco plc
Gatwick airport’s departure lounge will play host to the UK’s first virtual supermarket as Tesco hopes to cash in on bored Brits waiting to board their flights.
Tesco, the UK’s largest retailer, has set up 10 screens in the lounge, with images of its most popular products. Working in a similar way to its South Korean train station trial last year, customers are invited to scan items with their phone to create a virtual shopping list which can be delivered shortly after they arrive back home from their holiday.
"We got a lot of interest in our Korean sites and it went viral, so we wanted to see if customers would use this, with a view to launching at more airports." Tesco internet retailing director Ken Towle told press on Tuesday.
Now in operation, the Gatwick trial will run for two weeks during peak summer holiday season.
Portas Pilots chooses 12 towns for rejuvenation Monday, 28th May 2012
Photo credit: My Retail Media
The first 12 towns to become Portas Pilots were unveiled on Monday, as Mary Portas admits she has been “deeply touched” by the nation’s reaction to the initiative.
Of the 370 towns that applied, only 12 will get to share the £1.2 million granted to the first round of Portas Pilots scheme, following the Portas' review of the high streets last year.
The twelve winning towns are: Bedford, Bedfordshire; Croydon, Greater London; Dartford, Kent; Bedminster, Bristol; Liskeard, Cornwall; Margate, Kent; Market Rasen, Lincolnshire; Nelson, Lancashire; Newbiggin by the Sea, Northumberland; Stockport, Greater Manchester; Stockton on Tees, Teesside and Wolverhampton, West Midlands.
Each town will be provided with tailored support to help them spend the grants on rejuvenating their high streets and town centres.
Local government minister Grant Shapps said there would be a second batch of 12 pilots announced by the end of July, along with three more to be funded by the Greater London Authority.
"The best local high streets offer more than simply shopping - they are the beating heart of their neighbourhoods: places to meet, work, relax and come together as a community," Shapps said.
"It's why this competition to become a Portas pilot has captured the imagination of the nation, with communities across the country uniting to support their high streets."
Having become somewhat of a figurehead for the battle high streets are facing in the economic downturn, Portas said she had been “deeply touched by the quality and creativity of the bids and the momentum Britain's first town teams have generated in just a few short weeks.”
“It is now clearer to me than ever that Britain wants its town centres revitalised and the energy and accountability for that needs to rest with the people who live and do business there."
Coach to list shares in Hong Kong Monday, 28th November 2011
US luxury leather goods label Coach has announced plans to list shares in Hong Kong, as it switches its Asian focus from Japan to China.
The company will retain its primary stock listing in New York, but said the move would “demonstrate Coachs commitment to, and focus on Asia.”
The high-end handbag maker said in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange on Friday that it would issue up to 293.6 million Hong Kong depositary receipts, a method that allows companies already publicly traded elshewre to list in Hong Kong.
The depository receipt will represent a tenth of Coach’s stock listed in New York and holders will receive dividends like owners of the company’s regular stock.
Coach added that the shares would be offered “by way of introduction” rather than a public offering, and that no new funds would be raised.
"China is our largest geographic growth opportunity, given the size of the market, its rate of growth, and our increasing brand awareness," the company said.
The company added that consumers in North American and Japan remained cautious. Of Coach’s 745 stores worldwide, the majority can be found in North America. The brand will have some catching up to do in China, as it currently operates just 71 compared with Japan’s 171.
John Lewis unveils first 24 hour virtual store Friday, 25th November 2011
The department store has taken its m-commerce offering up a gear by launching its first virtual shop.
Customers passing John Lewis’ window display in the Brighton Waitrose can now scan QR codes to purchase specific featured items. After scanning the code, the shopper is linked up to the johnlewis.com mobile site in order to complete the purchase.
What’s more, if the order is completed before 7pm the products are available to collect from 2pm the next day.
To catch as many passers-by as possible, John Lewis has compiled a list of ‘top 30 favourite things for Christmas’ that will be offered as part of the virtual shop. Items in demand include the Lego sort and Store head, the Kindle and Hunter wellies.
John Lewis Marketing Director Craig Inglis said: 'The roll-out of our Click and Collect service to Waitrose shops is proving incredibly popular. This new 24 hour virtual shop in the heart of Brighton takes that convenience to another level.'
The virtual store will trial from today until the end of December as an extension of the retailer’s Click and Collect service.
Neiman Marcus reveals 85th fantasy gift list Wednesday, 19th October 2011
From luxury yurts to dancing fountains, Neiman Marcus’ Christmas Book rarely disappoints, and this year the upscale retailer has gone all out for its nine ‘fantasy gifts’, which focus on experiences and giving back to charities.
Priced from USD 5,000 to USD 1 million, shoppers will mostly be browsing the array of customised libraries and Ferraris, which all come with a charity tie in, thought to be a nod to a more recession-friendly festive period.
For USD 75,000 shoppers can have the “Dream Folly”, an 18-foot in diameter yurt build in their garden. Or how about a USD 20,000 trip round Stone Barns farm in New York state, where wanna-be farmers will eat what they learn to sow during a four-course lunch.
"The annual holiday tradition continues this year with a new selection of fantasy gifts that cater to people's wildest dreams and promise to provide truly unique, once-in-a-lifetime experiences," John Koryl, president of Neiman Marcus Direct, said in a statement.
"Even though most people don't have the means it's still a great thing to fantasize about," Ginger Reeder, a spokeswoman for Neiman Marcus, said of the high-end offerings. According to Reeder the gifts rarely find buyers but do generate a buzz of activity for the premium retailer.
Uniqlo eyes world domination with new global strategy Wednesday, 14th September 2011
Japan’s wealthiest man and head of Fast Retailing Co. Tadashi Yanai said Wednesday that his company is planning to become the world’s top apparel manufacturer and retailer under a new overseas expansion strategy.
The chief executive and founder of Uniqlo told press that Japanese companies are doomed if they don’t go global, as the country’s economy continues to stagnante.
“Japan has been on a downtrend for 20 years,” said Yanai, who is known for his outspoken views. “We are at a critical moment.”
Fast Retailing will now aim to open between 200 and 300 stores worldwide each year, focusing on rapid growth in Asia. By 2014 the company intends to have opened a “large number” of stores in Southeast Asian countries including Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia. “It’s a gold rush,” Yanai said of Asia.
“A gold rush is right in front of our eyes. To say we won’t dig for it is inconceivable.”
The retailer will also open new flagship stores in New York, Paris and London, and well as regular outlets in other major cities.
Overall, Fast Retailing intends to increase revenue by JPY 500 billion annually. In 2020, it hopes to generate JPY 5 trillion in sales in order to surpass its rivals including Gap Inc and Zara owner Inditex SA.
Launched in 1984, Fast Retailing now covers Uniqlo as well as Theory brand and Comptoir des Cotonniers. The group operates more than 800 stores at home and 150 overseas outlets.
My-Retail Media's top five menswear stores in London Sunday, 7th August 2011So here we are again, this time charged with the task of uncovering the cream of the menswear crop in one of the most fashion-forward cities in the world. Of course, this list is by no means exhaustive; in fact it was quite difficult to narrow it down to just five names. We tried to be as fair as we could by including big labels, unknowns, casual wear as well as the finest suits on Savile Row. Have a look through and don't hesitate to leave a comment if you've got a few ideas!
1. Ozwald Boateng
A man that spits in the face of the worn jeans and plain t-shirts that appear to pervade many a shop floor in 2011. Expect to spend a fair amount of your hard-earned cash if you dare to step into his Savile Row store (pictured). We would tell you how much it is for a suit but the prices aren't listed on his website. Expect to pay something between "loads" and "ohmygodhowwillipaytherent".
Since his birth in Muswell Hill 44 years ago, Boateng has racked up some seriously impressive achievements. The designer opened his first Savile Row store when he was 23 and has been dressing some of the most important men in politics, fashion and television ever since. Boateng's skill lies with his ability to transform a suit into a striking symphony of colour, texture and impeccable design. Better get saving then.
Under the watchful eye of design director Gordon Richardson, Topman manages to provide casual basics for the nation’s youths, as well as keeping London fashionistas happy. Expect to find reworks of your favourite elite designers on the shop floor as well as an impressive slew of own-brand collections which not only look up to date, but the colours and styles are versatile enough to see you through the seasons.
Also, rather excitingly, you can pick up a rather nice outfit for about £100. Fear not, Mr. Landlord, you'll be getting your money after all.
Late last year Alastair Rae and James Shaw’s excellent menswear line, Albam, jumped off the internet and into its first store, on Beak Street, W1. Their refined yet rather manly aesthetic soon won them a loyal fanbase, dressing well-heeled gents, fashion editors and regular guys who appreciate Albam’s no-nonsense style. Not bad for a former mail-order fashion label from Nottingham. With a focus on classic, high-quality design with a subtle retro edge (as inspiration they have cited the book ‘Steve McQueen: The Last Mile’, Barbara McQueen’s photo-document of the late actor), their store is the label’s unofficial clubhouse: airy and minimal, but unselfconsciously warm and friendly.
In short, James and Alastair offer the ‘backbone’ of a man’s wardrobe without, it seems, bothering too much about fickle trends. It’s a brave move, considering the glut of expensive chain stores just a few steps away on Carnaby Street, but for Alastair and James it has paid off.
4. The Library
My-Retail Media has a confession to make. Not only are we very much interested in retail, we love a good book. This is probably why we love The Library so much. Expect to find Alexander McQueen, YMC, Dryshod and Fake in store, as well as some charming second-hand books. The books also seem to be an interesting way for all the girlfriends and wives out there to pass time whilst their significant others pore over creations from some of the best, youngest and coolest designers to ever wield a needle and thread.
5. Ease The Squeeze
Last but by no means least we have vintage label Ease The Squeeze. In their own words :
"We have a magnificent trend inspired vintage clothing Emporium on Brick Lane in London, run a wonderful boutique on Asos, and stalls at various locations including Trumans Brewery on Brick Lane. We design our own fabric prints and wholsesale the finest vintage clothing, and the most amazing jewellery you would have probably ever seen."
Popular with art students and hip young things in general, Ease The Squeeze is a lovely little find for those who love a good rummage through mountains of clothes in the hope of finding a little treasure which is both cool and affordable. It's also lovely for the crowd-hating young things who would quite like to look cool and sartorially elegant but can't muster the courage to steam through pile after pile of shirts and jumpers for hours (thank you Asos store).
And there we have it! A lovely little selection of menswear stores in one of the finest cities in the world. Now go and put the kettle on. Mine's a tea, two sugars.