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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.
CBI surveys forecast economic growth of 1 per cent this year Monday, 13th May 2013
Photo credit: My-Retail Media
Britain starts to show signs of economic recovery as business activity picks up, The Guardian reported on Monday.
Surveys published by the CBI suggest the UK is on the road to recovery after its double-dip recession.
CBI forecast economic growth of 1 per cent this year and 2 per cent in 2014. This is in stark contrast to IMF who forecasted a dip of 1 per cent to 0.7 per cent in the UK.
John Cridland, director general of business lobby group CBI, said: "The UK economy is moving from flat to growth."
He did warn however, "Although recent data suggests rising business confidence, the economic climate remains tough, hampering demand here and overseas. Meanwhile, consumers remain under pressure, as inflation continues to outstrip wage growth."
It also seems that Britons are parting with their cash more readily, with a 3.6 per cent growth in spending from last year, Barclaycard confirmed. Cinema and theatre ticket sales grew 21 per cent and restaurant spending rose 11 per cent on last year. Other sectors to benefit from consumer spending is the DIY industry, which saw an 8.5 per cent rise from April last year.
It seems that online retail continues to outstrip the high street too, with an 11.7 per cent rise from last year, next to a comparatively low 1.7 per cent increase in bricks and mortar stores.
Valerie Soranno Keating, chief executive of Barclaycard, said: "Although economic data is generally mixed, this is the first time since 2011 that we've seen growth above 2% for three consecutive months, which may suggest a more sustained improvement in sentiment."
eBay Q2 forecast disappoints analysts Thursday, 18th April 2013
Image courtesy of eBay
EBay has unveiled a restrained earnings forecast for its fiscal second quarter as the business continues to tussle with a weakened European economy.
The online marketplace forecast profits of around 61 to 62 cents per share for the period, along with revenue of USD 3.8 billion to USD 3.9 billion.
Analysts had predicted 66 cents per share on revenue of USD 3.95 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.
Chief financial officer Bob Swan said the business expects Europe’s economy to be weaker in 2013 than it originally thought in January. UK traffic to the eBay website has slackened and the weak British pound will affect PayPal’s revenue and take rate this year, according to Mr Swan.
Shares in the company fell 2.9 per cent to USD 54.45 in after-hours trading on Wednesday.
Christian Louboutin launches e-commerce push in Asia Thursday, 4th April 2013
Image courtesy of Christian Louboutin
Christian Louboutin is stepping up its social media activity in Asia as the launch date of its first e-commerce site in the region approaches.
The French luxury brand has launched brand profiles on Weibo.com, Tudou.com and Youku.com in the form of behind-the-scenes videos of the designer and his show at the Design Museum in London last year.
An e-commerce site for the Asia-Pacific is set to launch over the coming months along with a Chinese corporate website and a Stop Fake site, which allows users to flag rogue sites dealing counterfeit Louboutin goods.
Victoria Beckham launches e-commerce site Tuesday, 26th March 2013
Image courtesy of the Victoria Beckham Facebook page
Victoria Beckham today launched an e-commerce website for her Victoria, Victoria Beckham label and accessories including handbags, denim and eyewear.
Commenting on the launch, Ms. Beckham said: “It’s all about modern luxury, and the ability to shop online and have anything delivered to your door is very much a modern convenience”.
A collection consisting of Ms. Beckham’s favourite dresses from her archives, dubbed ICON, is currently for sale, with pieces from the main line expected to be posted at a date in the near future.
Amazon receives over 30 million unique visits in December Tuesday, 26th March 2013
Photo Credit: Amazon
A report by comScore Inc. has revealed that Amazon is currently attracting more unique visits from European consumers than any other e-commerce site.
The statistics in comScore’s results were obtained both from web servers and from a panel of European consumers currently totalling 2 million.
The results show that Amazon received over 30 million unique visits in December 2012. Of these visits, 6.6 million were from a mobile device, an increase of 87 per cent compared to December 2011, highlighting the rapid rise of m-commerce over the last few years.
The rise in mobile transactions is the inevitable result of the continual increase in the percentage of the European population owning a smartphone. Mobile devices reached a new milestone in December 2012, as the overall number of smartphone owners in France, Italy, Germany, Spain and the UK surpassed 50 per cent for the first time.
Of the other European retail sites mentioned in the report, home products retailer Home Retail Group received the second highest number of unique visits at 13.3 million, with visits from mobile devices rising by 80 per cent to a total of 2.4 million.
Tesco increases investment in e-commerce Monday, 25th March 2013
Photo Credit: Tesco
Tesco has announced plans to increase its investment in e-commerce worldwide, selling music and books in the UK and expanding its online food sales in Asia.
The supermarket chain intends to begin selling digital music and books by the end of this year, bringing it into direct competition with Amazon and Apple’s already established digital media services. Tesco will be selling its books and music through Blinkbox, an online streaming service which the supermarket acquired in 2011 and which already allows customers to pay for movies and TV shows.
Tesco has also announced that it intends to expand the availability of its online food sales to three major Asian cities where the service was previously unavailable. The company will begin delivery of food to consumers in Bangkok, Shanghai and Kuala Lumpur.
Philip Clarke outlined the importance of e-commerce in today’s market at a World Retail Congress event in Singapore earlier this month. He stated, “We’re living in an age of connectivity. It’s transforming every retail company. The future cannot just be about developing low-cost goods and rolling them into new markets. We need to rethink the way we retail”. He added “This is a world of hyperspeed choice and global connectivity – and you fail the moment you stand still.
Clarke announced that Tesco’s investment in technology this year will total £492 million, an amount which has tripled since 2010.
Alibaba reports 600% increase in m-commerce transactions Wednesday, 20th March 2013
Photo Credit: Alibaba Group
Alibaba Group, currently China’s largest e-commerce group controlling an 80 per cent share of the market, has reported that the number of customers making their purchases via mobile devices increased by 600 per cent last year as smartphones continue to rise in popularity in the country.
Alibaba has reported that its e-commerce site Taobao Marketplace received 300 million unique visitors over 2012, of which 57 million (19 per cent) ultimately made a purchase through the site. Of these transactions 6.87 per cent were made through a mobile device, compared to 1.77 per cent the previous year.
An official blog by Alibaba quoted Alex Qiu, vice president and general manager of mobile business at the company, as stating that “The speed of mobile adoption has been faster than we thought it would be. Mobile is changing how we operate our platform and how online merchants operate their businesses. These are revolutionary changes, similar to the change from offline to online more than 10 years ago”.
The increase in sales made through smartphones is expected to increase over the next few years. Qiu acknowledged this, stating, “Three years from now, the amount of time people spend on mobile devices will have increased significantly, as will the amount of money you spend online”.
Alibaba is currently ranked at No. 1 on the Internet Retailer Asia. The company, which recently rebought about half of the 20 per cent stake which Yahoo had owned in it, is currently estimated to be worth around 40 billion USD.
Jonathan Lu to succeed Jack Ma as CEO of Alibaba Group Tuesday, 12th March 2013
Photo Credit: Alibaba Group
Alibaba Group, China’s largest e-commerce firm, has announced that Jonathan Lu will become the company’s chief executive officer after founder Jack Ma steps down from the position this May.
Lu, currently the chief data officer of Alibaba, has been with the company for over a decade, having been hired in 2000 to increase the e-retailer's sales in South China. He was instrumental in forming Alibaba Group’s online payment service, Alipay, and served as its president.
In 2008, he was redirected to Taobao, an ecommerce website also owned by Alibaba Group and two years later he was appointed as its head. In 2011 he also became chief executive of Alibaba.com.
Lu’s impressive credentials and extensive experience with the company led to the announcement yesterday that he will take over the position of chief executive officer.
Ma, currently listed by Forbes as China’s 11th richest man, will remain chairman of Alibaba Group upon stepping down as CEO.
Barclays recently estimated that Alibaba has a value of around 55 million USD.
Net-a-Porter prepares for e-commerce expansion Wednesday, 6th March 2013
Net-a-Porter is planning to introduce new versions of its e-commerce site in French, German and Chinese this month.
The fashion e-tailer is also to open a new distribution center in Hong Kong which, the company says, will sharply reduce delivery times.
The Tsing Yi-based warehouse will cover 130,000-square-foot space and will serve 17 countries in the Asia-Pacific area.
“The primary reason for choosing to open a distribution center in Hong Kong is because it’s a free port with strong courier networks, which will allow us to improve on our existing shipping service time period by around one day,” Adrienne Ma, a senior vice president of Net-a-Porter Asia Pacific Group, told The New York Times. “We plan to offer a same-day delivery service in Hong Kong and next-day shipping service to major cities in Australia soon.”