Holland & Barrett, the UK’s biggest health food retailer, is being bought by a Russian billionaire for £1.8bn.
L1 Retail, a fund controlled by Mikhail Fridman, is buying the chain from US private equity firm Carlyle.
Carlyle acquired Nuneaton-based Holland & Barrett as part of its $3.8bn (£3bn) purchase in 2010 of US firm Nature’s Bounty, now NBTY.
The chain, which has more than 1,300 stores worldwide, is expected to change hands in September.
Holland & Barrett was founded by William Holland and Alfred Barrett in Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire, in 1870.
They initially sold groceries and clothing, but later split the two into separate businesses. The grocery business was sold to Alfred Button & Sons in the 1920s, but the original name was retained.
The company eventually started focusing on health foods and changed hands several times. It now employs more than 4,000 people.
“Holland & Barrett is a clear market leader in the UK health and wellness retail market, with attractive growth positions in other European and international markets,” said L1 Retail managing partner Stephan DuCharme.
“We believe that the company is well positioned to benefit from structural growth in the growing £10bn health and wellness market and has multiple levers for long-term growth and value creation.”
OFFERING high quality fashionable products at great prices, Max Fashion has launched its first store in Malaysia at IOI City Mall, Putrajaya.
Max Fashion is part of the Landmark Group, which is one of the largest retail conglomerates in the Middle East and India with its headquarters in Dubai, UAE.
The store was launched by Landmark Group group director and board manager Ramanathan Hariharan. Also present was artiste Scha Al-Yahya.
“Max Fashion started in Dubai in 2004 and this year marks our 13th year in the fashion and footwear industry.
“We offer our customers trendy and fashionable items but at very reasonable prices,” said Ramanathan, adding that Max currently has a total of 400 stores with 10 million loyal customers.
Offering well-designed products at a bargain, Ramanathan believes there is an immense potential for growth and is looking forward to expanding to other parts of the country, especially in the Klang Valley.
“I believe this is the right time for our brand to enter the Malaysian market and I am very excited to engage with the customers,” he said.
Max Fashion hopes to provide the best shopping experience for their customers.
“We also want our customers to have a memorable shopping experience, so we broadened the scope of products to not only include clothes for men and women, but also trendy footwear and accessories,” he said.
In the next six months, Max Fashion will open several more stores in the country, specifically in the Klang Valley, and is working on an online store within the next year.
Volkswagen Bullring Birmingham storeVolkswagen is the latest car brand to embrace the retail-friendly ‘store’ concept in the UK. Its first store will open in Birmingham’s Bullring next month, on Friday 7 July.
The new VW store has been set up by local Volkswagen dealer Johnsons Cars. A development of the dealer’s other retail pop-up sites, the intention is to let casual customers browse and buy cars from somewhere they already spend a lot of time. And the opportunity to attract visitors is enormous: Bullring Birmingham has a footfall of 36 million people a year.
Volkswagen says the design is ‘refreshing’ and feels it’s such a showcase, the new Birmingham store will become the firm’s second ‘landmark retailer’ after the massive Volkswagen West London site. It will be bright, modern and packed with display screens, so customers can configure new cars and check out Das Auto approved used stock.
There will also be a couple of real cars in the shop.
Volkswagen Bullring Birmingham store
It even offers the opportunity for test drives: customers book in the shop then walk over to the test drive handover area, and they’re away.
This bit has got Bullring Birmingham general manager Michaela Moore excited: “Volkswagen joining the centre is a real coup for us. We were excited by the new store concept and, with their additional offering of onsite test drives, we think it will be a real hit with our shoppers.”
For its part, Volkswagen Passenger Cars director Alison Jones says it allows the brand to try out new ways of interacting with customers: “The store is very much a long-term pilot that we will learn much from.”
It even offers clarity on pricing, adds Johnsons Cars operations director Mike Berwick. “We have set a very competitive ‘no haggle’ pricing model. This will remove the stress experienced by some from the typical showroom visit and will allow us to speed up the enquiry and sales process, therefore delivering a better experience for shoppers.”
Operations will be shifted to its office in Dundee, Scotland, creating 250 jobs, Tesco added in a statement.
Tesco supermarket to axe 1,100 UK jobsLondon- Britain’s biggest retailer, supermarket giant Tesco, said Wednesday it plans to cut 1,100 jobs with the closure of a call centre in the Welsh capital Cardiff.
Operations will be shifted to its office in Dundee, Scotland, creating 250 jobs, Tesco added in a statement.
“The retail sector is facing unprecedented challenges and we must ensure we run our business in a sustainable and cost-effective way, while meeting the changing needs of our customers,” said Matt Davies, chief executive of Tesco’s UK operations.
Tesco last week reported climbing sales during its first quarter by keeping a lid on food prices despite rising UK inflation.
Superdrug owner AS Watson Group is reportedly considering a takeover bid of at least £1bn for Holland & Barrett.
AS Watson Group, which is part of the Asian conglomerate CK Hutchinson Holdings, has tabled an indicative offer for the UK high street health foods chain, according to reports by Mark Kleinman at Sky News.
Hong Kong-based AS Watson may not go through with a formal takeover offer as talks are in an early stage.
As the largest international health and beauty retailer in Asia and Europe, AS Watson’s retail portfolio already includes The Perfume Shop and Savers, a discount shop. It owns 13,000 stores in 25 countries.
Holland & Barrett is part of a company called NBTY, which also owns a natural products maker and retailer Nature’s Bounty.
Interest in the health foods chain is reportedly heating up as a number of private equity groups and other retail investors are circling.
Online retail giant Amazon is buying Whole Foods in a $13.7bn (£10.7bn) deal that marks its biggest push into traditional retailing yet.
Amazon, which has been experimenting with selling groceries, will buy the upmarket supermarket for $42 a share.
Founded in 1978 in Texas, Whole Foods was a pioneer of the move towards natural and organic foods.
It has grown to more than 460 stores in the US, Canada and the UK, and employs about 87,000 people.
Amazon founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos said: “Millions of people love Whole Foods Market because they offer the best natural and organic foods, and they make it fun to eat healthy.
“Whole Foods Market has been satisfying, delighting and nourishing customers for nearly four decades – they’re doing an amazing job and we want that to continue.”
Whole Foods has been under pressure from investors amid falling same-store sales and increased competition. Last month, the company named a new chief financial officer and new board members.
In April, activist investor Jana Partners called the firm’s shares undervalued, noting “chronic underperformance”.
The price being paid by Amazon marks a 27% premium to the level Whole Foods’ shares closed at on Thursday. The $13.7bn value includes assumption of the grocer’s debt.
The takeover deal is expected to be completed in the second half of the year.
Whole Foods boss John Mackey said: “This partnership presents an opportunity to maximize value for Whole Foods Market’s shareholders, while at the same time extending our mission and bringing the highest quality, experience, convenience and innovation to our customers.”
The Whole Foods brand will continue. Mr Mackey is expected to stay on as chief executive.
Whole Foods stock immediately soared almost 27% on the news.
Amazon climbed a more modest 3.4%
Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail, said the deal should give the grocer financial breathing room, while making it more competitive online and improving its supply chain logistics.
The takeover also makes Amazon an instant player in the grocery industry, which it has been eying for some time.
“There is an inherent logic in the move which, in our view, brings benefits to both businesses,” Mr Saunders wrote, describing Amazon as a “white-knight” that has come to the grocer’s rescue.
But he had a less sanguine view of the effect on rivals, which took a beating in morning trade.
Kroger fell more than 14%, Target plunged more than 10% and Costco Wholesale Corp. dropped nearly 7%.
Walmart, which announced its own $310m deal to acquire the online clothing company Bonobos, slid 6%.
Mr Saunders said the deal is “potentially terrifying” for rivals.
“Although Amazon has been a looming threat to the grocery industry, the shadow it has cast has been pale and distant,” Mr Saunders wrote. “Today that changed.”
Michael Kors plans to open around 100 new stores in China in next three years, as the US brand continues to plan for mass global retail closures, forming part of its recently revealed “Runway 2020” restructuring program to turn dwindling sales around.
Michael Kors’ initial restructuring announcement came in early June, after the brand posted a double-digit same-store sales percentage decline in the fourth quarter ending April. It was here that Michael Kors said it would shutter 125 stores worldwide.
“We think that the [accessories market] is down slightly in North America. We think it’s flattish in Europe. We think it’s up slightly in Asia,” John D. Idol, Michael Kors’ chairman and chief executive officer, told WWD in a recent interview.
The New York-based luxury leathergoods and accessories added that its main growth drivers moving forward will be its retail presence in Asia and its surging men’s category — each of which have the potential to become $1 billion segments of the brand.
Growth in Asia is the main, most achievable goal, according to Idol, with plans for 100 stores to be added in China alone and more elsewhere in the region over the next few years. There are 111 Michael Kors stores in Asia in operation now.
In addition, some 100 global stores will be renovated to sell better a new Michael Kors luxury collection, and reposition the high-end factor of Michael Kors to a bored clientele. Speciality salons for shoes are another area of planned growth for the brand.
The company also wishes to minimise wholesale, aiming for a revived Michael Kors brand that is 30 per cent wholesale and 70 per cent retail.
With the aforementioned retail and product changes in put in place, Michael Kors said it expected revenue of $4.25 billion for fiscal year 2018 and also forecasts a high single-digit drop in same-store sales.
For the fourth quarter ended April 1, total sales fell 11.2 per cent to $1.06 billion. Analysts had expected $1.05 billion.
Swarovski Perth flagship store opening Australia – Retail in Asia
Crystal maker and jeweller Swarovski has opened its Perth flagship store, the second store in Australia to feature the brand’s crystal drop chandelier, as part of its new retail design.
Located in Perth Hay Street Mall, the new Western Australia store boasts Swarovski’s new ‘crystal forest’ outfit, which was unveiled at the opening of the Austrian firm’s Sydney store in May.
Updating the store layout, Swarovski employed renowned architect Tokujin Yoshioka as part of the brand’s plan to improve aesthetics across its distribution network.
Robert Buchbauer, member of the Swarovski Family and of the company’s CEO, said the new store design is “a tremendous illustration of Swarovski’s contemporary vision and taste for design.”
In an interview earlier in the year, Australia managing director of Swarovksi, Brett Spinks, said Australia was a “growing” market, adding that the high-end jeweller plans to roll out more new store in 2017.
“We see robust growth in our retail channel both online and in our physical [stores],” Brinks said.
“Due to this significant growth, we are delighted to be able to further meet our consumer demand by opening a number of new stores in 2017.”
The Australian watch and jewellery retailing industry grew by an annualised 2.9% over the five years through 2016-17, to reach $3.3 billion, according to Ibis World.
Shares of Starbucks Corp. sank Wednesday to an eighth straight loss, after a Wedbush Securities analyst downgraded the coffee giant for the first time, on concerns that investors may be too optimistic about the sales outlook.
The stock SBUX, -1.07% shed as much as 1.7% intraday before closing down 1.1%, after tumbling 5.6% over the past seven sessions. The current losing streak matches the eight-session stretch ending Jan. 3, 2017, which at the time was the longest since a 10-session losing streak ending Nov. 14, 2008.
Wedbush analyst Nick Seytan cut his rating to neutral, after being at outperform since he started covering the company in September 2013. He kept his stock-price target at $65, which was 7.8% above current levels.
Just before the losing streak started, the stock had soared 13% in three months to a record close of $64.57 on June 2, amid expectations of a ramp-up in comparable-store sales.
Seytan said that the sales outlook followed signs of improving trends in March and April. He suggested, however, that the current share-price levels may imply that investors are too upbeat to hold on to his bullish stance.
“We now view current 2017 and 2018 expectations as realistic and valuation as fair,” Seytan wrote in a note to clients. “Checks indicate U.S. [comparable-store sales] acceleration, but acceleration is in line to slightly below expectations.”
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Same-store-sales growth is currently expected to accelerate to 5% for the third quarter, ending this month, and then to 5.2% for the fourth quarter, according to analysts surveyed by FactSet, from 3% growth in the second quarter. Starbucks is scheduled to report third-quarter results after the July 27 close.
“Given in-line U.S. checks, we no longer see upside to margins,” Seytan wrote. “We would expect any potential upside to be reinvested in partner and technology initiatives.”
Starbucks shares have gained 8.6% in 2017, while the SPDR Consumer Discretionary exchange-traded fund XLY, -0.06% has rallied 11.6% and the S&P 500 index SPX, -0.10% has climbed 8.9%.
Announcing its first set of 12-month results since moving the company’s financial year end date to March 31, Global Brands Group said that it achieved a solid performance despite a tough business environment. During the reporting period, the group revenue increased by 11.6 percent to 3,891 million dollars. The company’s total margin improved from 33.9 percent to 36.4 percent as a percentage of revenue.
“I am pleased to report that Global Brands delivered solid results for the year ended 31 March 2017. Despite a tough business environment, we achieved one of the strongest levels of topline growth in the industry, alongside continued improvement in our margins and profitability,” commented Bruce Rockowitz, the company’s Chief Executive Officer & Vice Chairman in a media release.
Operating profit rises 64.5 percent
The company added that compared to the same period last year, both core operating profit and net profit attributable to shareholders posted a strong increase of 64.5 percent and 89.4 percent and reached 173 million dollars and 90 million dollars, respectively, while adjusted net profit attributable to shareholders also increased by 49.4 percent to 72 million dollars. The company’s EBITDA increased by 26.3 percent to 380 million dollars.
Global Brands discloses its results in accordance with the group’s four business verticals: kids, men’s and women’s fashion, footwear and accessories, and brand management. For the reporting period, the company said, kids business performed strongly because its characters business continued to deliver consistently, while kids fashion business also performed well on the back of strong growth of brands such as Under Armour. Segment revenue grew by 3.9 percent to 1,603 million dollars, while total margin increased by 9.9 percent to 584 million dollars. Core operating profit increased by 62.2 percent to 76 million dollars.
Revenue from men’s and women’s fashion increased by 31.5 percent to 820 million dollars compared to the same period last year, while total margin increased by 47.8 percent to 353 million dollars due to growth of businesses as well as the addition of new licenses. For the reporting period, core operating profit increased by 78.6 percent to 73 million dollars.
Revenue from footwear and accessories segment increased by 5.6 percent to 1,281 million dollars, while total margin increased by 13.6 percent to 428 million dollars due to new businesses and improved business mix in favour of higher-margin businesses. Footwear and accessories recorded a core operating profit of 8 million dollars for the period under review.
Brand management business saw considerable growth, largely driven by the formation of CAA-GBG, with revenue reaching 188 million dollars and total margin of 50 million dollars. Core operating profit for the reporting period was 17 million dollars.
The geographic split of the group’s revenue was 80 percent North America, 15 percent Europe/Middle East and 5 percent Asia.
Over the course of the past three financial years, our first Three-Year Plan as an independent company, we have made significant strides in establishing a solid foundation for our business and were able to deliver compound annual growth of 5.8 percent in revenue, and 9 percent in core operating profit, and 8.7 percent in EBITDA, while total margin percentage increased by over 500 basis points. As we enter into our new Three-Year Plan (fiscal year 2018 to 2020), we will continue to focus on growth with the goal of reaching 5 billion dollars in revenue by the end of fiscal year 2020, improving our total margin percentage by 150 basis points, and increasing EBITDA by 50 percent,” added Rockowitz.
Amazon has once again been named the world’s most valuable retail brand in the annual BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Brands ranking published by WPP and Kantar Millward Brown.
The online giant took fourth spot in the ranking behind technology firms Google, Apple and Microsoft, but Amazon did achieve the highest dollar value growth of all the brands in the top 100 ranking, increasing by 40.3 billion dollars, up 41 percent to 139.3 billion dollars.
The ranking said that Amazon’s growth was linked to its continuing innovation and its focus on its technology ecosystem honed to meet multiple consumer needs such as online shopping, rapid delivery, and entertainment, as well as introducing new artificial intelligence-enabled services including grocery delivery and personal assistant Alexa.
David Roth, chief executive EMEA and Asia, The Store WPP, said: “This year’s BrandZ global top 100 continues to demonstrate that strong brands deliver superior shareholder value and returns regardless of disruptive external climates.
“Dubbed the ‘The Frightful Five’ by some, the tech giants that head the rankings are more like the ‘Fearsome Five’ to their competitors, given their huge brand power and a seemingly unassailable market position.”
Other highlights in this year’s ranking included Adidas being the fastest-rising brand by percentage growth as it increased 58 percent in value, because “its retro sneakers connected perfectly with the fashion moment and the brand made operational and marketing changes to strengthen its US business”, said the report.
The fastest-rising category was retail, increasing 14 percent, but the report also added that beyond the numbers, the category faced new turbulence, as both Amazon and Alibaba (ranked 14th) prepared to open extensive networks of physical stores, and Walmart (ranked 31st) acquired an e-commerce startup. While luxury only saw a 4 percent increase in brand value on last year.
Other retail and luxury brands to make the top 100 included Nike taking 26th place, while Yves Saint Laurent was the highest-ranking luxury brand at 29, and Zara was the top high street fashion chain at 34. Hermes made the cut at 41, while Gucci was down in 80th place.
In the apparel category of the report it noted that there the two category growth drivers, sportswear and fast fashion, struggled last year. The apparel Top 10 declined 7 percent in value, following a 14 percent rise a year ago, as shoppers purchased with more discretion, looking for durability and value, and favouring brands that were on trend, such as Adidas, said the report.
UAE-based Gulf Capital said more than 76 per cent of the work has been completed on its $1-billion retail venture coming up in Abu Dhabi and is on track for opening by the end of 2018.
Al Maryah Central, located at Al Maryah Island, is a joint venture project between Gulf Capital and the US-based Related Company.
The project is progressing well, on tack and on budget. It will open by the end of next year, reported Gulf News, citing Gulf Capital’s top official.
“The construction will finish in September next year and we need a bit of time for getting approvals from the regulatory and governmental bodies before we open the mall,” stated CEO Dr Karim Al Solh.
The 2.8 million sq ft mall will feature the first Macy’s outside of the US, the first Bloomingdale’s in Abu Dhabi and 20 specialist Al Tayer stores as part of the 400 store retail offering.
In addition, Al Maryah Central will include 100 restaurants and cafés, a 21-screen Vox Cinema with Imax and a host of other attractions. Subsequent phases of the development will include residential units and a hotel in two high-rise towers.
According to him, the mall will have a mix of entertainment and dining that will drive a lot of traffic.
“About 20 per cent of the mall will have food and beverage component and 10 per cent entertainment. That is important because you just can’t have retail alone,” he noted.
“Apart from this, we are bringing a number of new brands to the region. This will be a unique mall on par with what you see in the US or Europe,” explained Al Sohl.
On the leasing activity, Al Solh said 50 per cent of the retail space is already leased with a number of new potential customers showing interest. “We are expecting 70 per cent of the mall to be leased by the end of this year,” he told Gulf News.
The new shopping mall will be linked to the adjacent property, The Galleria Mall, which opened in 2013 and was also developed by Gulf Related, said Al Sohl.
On its regional projects, the company chief said its residential project in Saudi Arabia will be built in phases due to slowdown in the economy. The firm is building 520 units including villas, town houses, and apartments.
As H&M braces for the opening of its first Arket store, it is already putting a plan in motion for its second location.
The fast-fashion chain announced in March that is plans to launch its new brand, Arket, in early fall. Arket, H&M’s first new brand in three years, will feature merchandise men, women and children, and a smaller, curated assortment of home goods.
The chain announced that the first Arket, which is Swedish for “sheet of paper,” will initially open its first store in London, and online in 18 European markets. However, the company announced that a second London location is also now in the works, according to The Retail Gazette.
H&M still plans to introduce Arket in Copenhagen, Brussels and Munich, the report added.
Tesco and Dixons Carphone have announced a new partnership which will see two Currys PC World concessions opening within Tesco Extra stores this summer. The first store is scheduled to open in July at Tesco’s Milton Keynes Extra store, followed by a second concession at its Weston Favell Extra store in Northampton later in August.
A tailored range of Currys PC World products will be on offer in the outlets including televisions, computers, white goods and accessories. Laptop repairs, advice and comparison services – allowing customers to explore switching broadband and energy supply – will also be available.
‘We’re always looking at ways to offer our customers the best possible range of services in our stores. We think this is a winning combination for customers and look forward to opening the first outlet in our Milton Keynes store in July,’ says Matt Davies, UK CEO of Tesco.
‘Customers tell us they want to pick up the latest electrical products conveniently and at competitive prices, with expert advice and from someone they trust to keep them working seamlessly. This trial gives them all of this during a weekly grocery shop, which we hope they will enjoy,’ adds Katie Bickerstaffe, UK & Ireland CEO of Dixons Carphone.
Joules has reported a near 20% rise in sales to £157m in the year to 28 May 2017, which marks its first full year as a listed company on AIM.
In its pre-close period trading statement the premium fashion and lifestyle brand said the business had had a strong start to FY17 followed by a strong Christmas and the growth was “a reflection of the brand’s expansion in the UK and international markets, Joules’ growing customer base, and the positive customer responses to both new and core ranges across product categories”.
Retail revenue was up by around 19.4% on the prior year driven by strong e-commerce growth and and the addition of 11 new stores in the UK and Republic of Ireland. Wholesale was up by approximately 20.3% and the group has upped its guidance for its full-year profit forecast.
“The appeal and strength of the Joules brand continues to resonate with our loyal and growing customer base. The brand’s growth continued in the second half of the financial year, building on the strong performance in H1. As a result of the brand’s momentum across channels and product categories, the Board anticipates reporting profits for the full year comfortably ahead of its previous expectations,” said CEO Colin Porter.
“Our focus on our brand and our customers as well as our steadfast commitment to product quality remain the bedrock for the Group’s growth and success. Underpinned by these strengths, the Board has confidence that Joules’ momentum will continue into FY18, despite the uncertain macro-economic outlook. This confidence is supported by the growth in our customer base and our exciting new store opening plans, as well as a robust Autumn/Winter wholesale order-book both in the UK and internationally,” Porter added.
The business will publish its preliminary results on 28 July.
Lidl U.S. announced on Tuesday that it will exclusively feature a new fashion collection by supermodel/fashion designer Heidi Klum, launching later this year in stores in Europe and the U.S. according to a press release emailed to Retail Dive.
The no-frills retailer, which like Klum hails from Germany, describes the collection as “high-end, yet affordable.” In addition to the Klum collection, Lidl will host other ‘Lidl Fashion Weeks,’ which will feature various fashion collections in stores at certain times throughout the year, the company said.
Lidl, which operates about 10,000 stores in 27 countries throughout Europe, recently announced it will open its first nine stores in cities along the east coast of the U.S. on June 15.
Redoubled competition from no-frills grocery companies hailing from Germany — fast-growing Aldi and its Trader Joe’s sibling, and U.S. newcomer Lidl — poses a dramatic threat to U.S. grocery stores, particularly Walmart, which depends on grocery for more than half of its revenue.
Lidl poses a problem especially for Walmart because it sells not just groceries, but also home goods and apparel, according to Howard Davidowitz, chairman of New York retail consulting and investment banking firm Davidowitz & Associates.
Both Lidl and Aldi run their stores with limited merchandising, store brands and bottom-barrel prices, an approach that defies the common notion that the U.S. consumer wants choice — and their prices are as much as a third lower than many rivals. “Aldi and Lidl really know what the hell they’re doing, and Lidl is even more of a direct threat to Walmart than Aldi and Trader Joe’s,” he said. “Their stores are bigger [than Aldi and Trader Joe’s], and they have all kinds of other merchandise.”
Nick Egelanian, president of retail real estate consulting firm SiteWorks, says Walmart is distracted by Amazon in particular and digital sales more generally, and doesn’t seem to realize the threat from the German companies, which have successfully disrupted retail in Europe, igniting a bruising price war in the U.K. “If I ran Walmart, I would be much more concerned about [Lidl coming to America] than about Amazon,” Egelanian told Retail Dive last year.
The tie-up with Klum is also a challenge to Target, which has reasserted its merchandising differentiation (innovated to compete with Walmart on more than price) with similar partnerships with designers for its home goods and apparel. It’s most recent collaborations include a furniture offering from mid-century design brand Dwell and a limited-edition fashion collection from designer Victoria Beckham.
“Lidl is known for making quality products at affordable prices and I’m proud to partner with them on this fashion collaboration,” Klum said in a statement emailed to Retail Dive. “I had so much fun designing the pieces in this collection and can’t wait for you to see it. I hope you love it as much as I do!”
House of Fraser is the best high street retailer that also sells online in the UK, according to a new report.
The annual Multichannel Retail Report scores and ranks 187 high street retailers selling online, identifying the top 10 the industry should benchmark against.
Following House of Fraser in the top 10 are Schuh, Argos, B&Q, Screwfix, Karen Millen, Marks & Spencer, Superdry, Coast and Warehouse.
The list also identified the bottom 10, which offer less-than-optimal multichannel experiences for customers.
The high street retailers that made the bottom 10 include Nespresso, Oak Furniture Land, Smythson, Mulberry, Party Delights, Cameraworld, Miu Miu, The Whiskey Shop, Multiyork Furniture, and Thomas Pink.
Meanwhile, the most improved retailers for 2017 include F.Hinds, Dior, Mamas & Papas and Richer Sounds.
The list and rankings were compiled based on the core tenets of multichannel retailing, covering facets such as technology, customer experience and delivery.
The Multichannel Retail Report also indicated that 22 per cent of retailers were still failing to offer a persistent cart – whereby customers can add items on one devise while logged in and access it on another device later. However, this is a marked improvement from 2015’s figure of 31 per cent.
When it comes to checkout, the report found that 44 per cent of retailers lack transparency andndo not show accepted payment types until the basket page, while only 11% of retailers offer login/registration with social media.
In addition, 19 per cent of retailers don’t offer next day delivery – a method favoured by 52 per cent of consumers, according to a 2017 YouGov survey.
British outdoor and leisure clothing brand Regatta Great Outdoors is making its US retail store debut exclusively at Sears with 11 shop-in-shop locations through the New England area.
“We chose Sears for our American debut because their customers align well to the type of enthusiasts who have fallen in love with the Regatta brand in Britain and across Europe,” said Keith Black, chief executive of Regatta Great Outdoors. “With its seasonality, vast outdoor adventure and leisure options, New England is the perfect region to introduce the brand.”
The Regatta outdoors collection is now featured in 1,800 square foot shops inside the following Massachusetts Sears locations: Saugus, Burlington, Auburn, Peabody, Braintree, Natick and Hyannis, as well as Salem and Nashua, N.H., Warwick, R.I., and South Burlington, Vt. In addition, the Regatta collection will also be available on Sears.com starting this autumn.
“Our members’ tastes change quickly so we are always looking for partners who can help keep our assortment fresh,” said David Pastrana, president of Sears Apparel. “Regatta is a long-established apparel leader that knows its customer well and was selective about who they made their US debut with. Sears is proud to be Regatta’s exclusive home and we welcome American shoppers to discover this great brand.”
Based in Manchester, Regatta Great Outdoors is one of Europe’s most popular outdoor clothing, footwear and equipment brands, and offers active, performance, outdoor, and leisure wear for women, men and children.
US fashion brand J.Crew has announced its long-standing chief executive Mickey Drexler is to step down.
The retail veteran who helmed the company for 14 years will stay on as chairman while former president of West Elm, Jim Brett, steps in to take over the role.
The surprise announcement follows recent news that the company’s creative leader of 26 years, Jenna Lyons, would also depart. T
he pair are attributed to spearheading the company’s success both in the US and internationally.
“This is an exciting time for J.Crew as we continue to make significant changes to position our company for long-term success,” Drexler said in a statement.
READ MORE: J.Crew launches value label to help revive sales
“As chairman and an owner of the company, it is my responsibility to focus on the future of J.Crew and find the right leadership to execute on our strategic plans.”
Recently J.Crew, which trades in seven UK locations, announced plans to cut 150 jobs as its $1.5 billion (£1.16) debt continues to hinder its turnaround strategy.
Drexler has successfully led turnaround efforts at Ann Taylor and Gap in the past, but admitted to the Wall Street Journal he didn’t anticipate just what an influence technology would have on the industry.
“Jim has a proven track record of pushing for innovation and growing omnichannel brands,” Drexler said.
“I look forward to moving into my new role and assist Jim and the team in every way possible to help ensure a smooth and successful transition.”
The Foschini Group could be bringing some of its 22 brands to Australia: What will land first?
Aussie retailers could soon see yet another influx of new competition, with South African retail giant The Foschini Group (TFG) saying it’s considering bringing some of its 22 retail brands Down Under.
Speaking to Fairfax, TFG chief executive Doug Murray said the group is looking to build a “mini-TFG here in Australia” after its $302 million acquisition of Retail Apparel Group last week.
The acquisition will see TFG add menswear brands Tarocash, .yd and Connor, as well as women’s activewear brand Rockwear to its stable. Foschini already has a number of brands across, jewellery, homewares, tech, and other specialty fashion.
Murray told Fairfax the group is looking to start a brand migration to Australia with its jewellery retailers, specifically diamond jewellery and watch retailer AmericanSwiss.
“We’ll go through each of our brands and do our research and make the call of which brands come in under this platform,” Murray told Fairfax.
“We’ve done full market research on jewellery … and we believe there would be an opportunity to bring one of our jewellery chains here, probably AmericanSwiss.”
The other jewellery chains under TFG’s umbrella are Sterns and Mat and May.
However, retail expert and academic at Queensland University of Technology School of Business Gary Mortimer believes the Australian jewellery retail space is crowded, and a jewellery or watch retailer would be “the last business I would consider opening here in Australia”.
“We’ve got a number of high profile jewellery retailers such as Prouds and Michael Hill which are starting to position themselves further up in the market,” Mortimer told SmartCompany.
“It’s a tough market to crack as the type of purchases made there are frequently related to discretionary spending which has recently been quite low in Australia.”
TFG also owns two different sports retailing brands; Sportscene and TotalSports, and Murray believes there’s possibility to bring one to Australia along with homewares brand @home.
However, Foschini might leave its “ladieswear” business out of the equation for some time.
“Sports is certainly one we’ve spoken about and we’d like to see how we could take that one forward,” Murray told Fairfax.
“Foschini is a very good ladies wear business but to bring another ladies wear business into Australia … we might get there one day but at the moment there are other opportunities.”
Mortimer believes TFG’s overall strategy makes sense, as Australian shoppers are keen to try out new brands, and there hasn’t been a “great deal of choice” in areas such as sportswear, which have been dominated mostly by Rebel Sports or Super Amart.
This has changed somewhat in recent times, with global retailer JD Sports opening its first store last month, and French sporting retailer Decathlon on the way.
Both Murray and Mortimer believe these specialty-focused stores are the future of Australian retail, with Murray highlighting TFG’s position as a specialty retailer.
“We are not department store lovers, we think department store retailing is generally out of favour long-term worldwide – you can see that in America and Australia and South Africa,” Murray told Fairfax.
Mortimer agrees, saying the days of department stores “are numbered”, with retailers like Myer shutting a number of their regional stores.
“The way Australian consumers shop today is not with department stores, as we’ve got such a great range of specialty stores,” he says.
“Shoppers are more likely to walk into a specific brand’s store than a multiple level department store.”
TFG’s brands include:
• Charles & Keith
• Colette (South African franchise)
• G‑Star Raw (stores already in Australia)
• Phase Eight
• SODA Bloc
• The FIX
• American Swiss
• Mat & May
SmartCompany contacted TFG but did not receive a response prior to publication.
Sears is closing 72 more stores, in addition to the more than 180 that have already been announced this year.
The company released a list internally on Tuesday of the closing stores, which includes 16 Sears stores, 49 Kmart stores, and seven auto centers.
Most of the stores will close in September.
Sears did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The closures will bring Sears’ store count to about 1,200, down from 2,073 five years ago.
Here’s a list of the closing stores, which was obtained by Business Insider.
Chico, CA, store 2048
Dalton, GA, store 2615
Biloxi, MS, store 2256
Asheboro, NC, store 2645
Minot, ND, store 2152
Vineland, NJ, store 2374
Columbus, OH, store 1150
Elyria, OH, store 1310
Columbus, OH, store 1370
Franklin, OH, store 2940
Midwest City, OK, store 1261
Richmond, VA, store 1445
Columbia, SC, store 1525
Texarkana, TX, store 2567
Sherman, TX, store 2627
St. George, UT, store 2220
Dothan, AL, store 3082
Muscle Shoals, AL, store 7045
Little Rock, AR, store 3120
Bullhead City (Riviera), AZ, store 3375
Blythe, CA, store 3881
Sacramento, CA, store 4117
Manteca, CA, store 4862
Sacramento, CA, store 4117
Manteca, CA, store 4862
Fort Oglethorpe, GA, store 3083
Calhoun, GA, store 9625
Iowa City, IA, store 4315
Marshalltown, IA, store 7583
Mishawaka, IN, store 4152
Newburyport, MA, store 9147
Elkton, MD, store 9524
Traverse City, MI, store 3009
West Branch, MI, store 3864
Cheboygan, MI, store 9245
Mantua, NJ, store 3060
Manahawkin, NJ, store 3641
Las Cruces, NM, store 3682
Alamogordo, NM, store 9119
Las Vegas, NV, store 3680
Henderson, NV, store 3857
Sparks, NV, store 4151
Liverpool, NY, store 3352
Malone, NY, store 3943
Cortland, NY, store 7134
Watertown, NY, store 7432
Wooster, OH, store 4875
Streetsboro, OH, store 9676
Tulsa, OK, store 4473
Roseburg, OR, store 7580
Butler, PA, store 4771
Belle Vernon, PA, store 7120
Indiana, PA, store 7217
Summerville, SC, store 3606
Seneca, SC, store 9320
Madison, TN, store 4093
Johnson City, TN, store 7353
El Paso, TX, store 3491
El Paso, TX, store 7347
Virginia Beach, VA, store 3560
Virginia Beach, VA, store 3801
West Allis, WI, store 3618
La Crosse, WI, store 4089
Medford, WI, store 7656
Lewisburg, WV, store 7582
Sheridan, WY, store 9074
Spanish Fork, UT, store 7425
Sears Auto Center
Elyria, OH, store 6060
Midwest City, OK, store 6509
Columbia, SC, store 6013
Texarkana, TX, store 6739
Sherman, TX, store 6929
St. George, UT, store 2653
The National Credit Regulator has referred Mr Price Group to the National Consumer Tribunal for breach of the National Credit Act, following an investigation by the NCR, which revealed Mr Price has charged consumers a club fee on credit agreements. The National Credit Act does not permit the charging of a club fee on credit agreements.
Mr Price Group accused of breaching National Credit ActThe NCR is asking the Tribunal to:
• Order the group to refund the affected consumers the club fees charged;
• Order the group to conduct an independent audit into its loan book to determine the number of consumers to be refunded;
• Interdict the group from charging consumers a club fee on credit agreements;
Britain’s biggest retailer, said on Wednesday it had struck a deal with electricals group Dixons Carphone <DC.L> to trial Currys PC World concessions in some of its largest stores.
As shoppers increasingly use smaller convenience stores and shop online, Tesco, in common with Britain’s other major supermarket groups, is looking to refit its once bustling superstores with new attractions such as rival retail brands to fill empty space.
The aim is to make the space profitable and avoid store closures. Under the Tesco/Dixons Carphone deal, the first Currys PC World store will open in July at Tesco’s Milton Keynes Extra store, in central England followed by a second concession at its Weston Favell Extra store in Northampton, central England, later in August.
A range of Currys PC World products will be on offer in the outlets, including televisions, computers, white goods and accessories. Tesco already has third-party outlet deals with firms such as fashion retailer Arcadia and health foods retailer Holland and Barrett. Sainsbury’s <SBRY.L>, Britain’s second-biggest supermarket group, trialled Argos concessions in its larger stores before taking over its owner Home Retail for 1.1 billion pounds last year.
Mr Price earnings up due to successful retail formula
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s Mr Price Group Ltd posted a 12 percent drop in full-year earnings, the first drop in annual profit since 2001, as consumers struggle in a sluggish economy.
The no-frills retailer, which also sells homeware and furniture, is facing increased competition from international chains Zara, H&M and Cotton On and has lost market share as local competitors, such as the ailing Edcon, mark down stock.
“This was the Group’s first earnings decrease in 16 years during a very difficult trading period,” Chief Executive Stuart Bird.
Mr Price blamed a drop in sales on weak consumer sentiment as political turmoil culminated in President Jacob Zuma firing finance minister Pravin Gordhan in March and credit ratings agencies downgraded the nation to sub-investment grade shortly after.
“Cabinet reshuffles and downgrades by ratings agencies have caused further exchange rate volatility, which the consumer ultimately has to absorb,” the company said.
Mr Price, which has grown over the past three decades by undercutting competitors and catering to thrifty shoppers’ fashion needs, said a mild winter caused rivals to mark down stock to match its own prices, further weighing on sales.
Edcon, an unlisted retailer, has had to restructure debt and clear old stock at much lower prices. Woolworths also marked down stock in what its chief executive Ian Moir described as a “feeding frenzy”.
“The retail environment has become more competitive, with any growth in a stagnant market coming from increased market share,” Mr Price said in a statement.
Diluted headline earnings per share fell to 887.9 cents in the year to end-March, from 1,012.9 cents in the previous year.
Mr Price maintained its full-year dividend at 667 cents per share.
The company said improvement in the consumer environment is likely to only be gradual, but added that it was seeing encouraging signs in the current financial year.
Retail cannibalisation is becoming a significant feature in the domestic market and it is for this reason that Edcon is shutting down stores where it can, says CEO Bernie Brookes.
Edcon shuts stores in bid to save salesRetail cannibalisation occurs when a company’s new stores steal customers from existing stores. This can reduce overall sales even though sales in the new stores generally do well. Cannibalisation can hurt sales volumes and market share.
“As the leases come up, we are reviewing the stores to see if we should keep them open or not,” said Brookes.
“It’s the most sensible thing to do, especially if you consider the market as it is right now. If you look at Mall of Africa, for example, our store there has taken sales away from stores close to that area.
“In some cases, we are looking at reducing store size by closing certain departments or floors,” said Brookes.
In the year ended 25 March, Edcon closed eight Edgars stores, four Jet stores and five Jet Mart stores. The retailer closed seven stores in its speciality division that includes CNA, Red Square and Boardmans.
Brookes said fewer stores would be opened in the future.
Amazon has officially begun operating its AmazonFresh Pickup locations in Seattle, letting customers order groceries ahead of time and then quickly grab them on their way home. The service requires as little as 15 minutes advance notice, without any minimum purchase requirements, and it’s a free service for any Amazon Prime members.
Amazon first revealed Pickup back in March, but it’s officially opening shop for general use as of today. The pilot is limited to just one market – Amazon’s home turf – to begin with, but if it works it’s likely to make its way to other cities, since Amazon has been chasing the fresh grocery carrot for many years now in hopes of finding a way to make it profitable at scale.
Look inside Apple’s latest retail store shows stunning staircase, Apple Park paintings, boardroom
Two days ahead of the opening of the first Apple Store in Singapore, the company has provided a press preview of the interior.
One notably missing feature is the glass staircase which has traditionally been a signature design element of Apple’s retail stores. There is instead what is being reported as a stone staircase but may be a ceramic one. This design was first seen in the Nanjing store in China, and appears to be destined for the refitted 5th Avenue store in NY too …
CNET draws attention to the handrail, which is a carved slot in the wall following the spiral curve of the stairs – and looks quite stunning.
Another rarely-seen feature is a boardroom intended for private meetings. Some other stores have these, using them for meetings with business customers and sometimes individuals, but they are tucked away out of sight. During the Apple Watch launch, they were used to hold private try-on appointments for the gold Edition model.
The boardroom also has paintings of the Apple Park.
Since her appointment to the M&S board in 2012, Curtis has served on the remuneration, audit and nomination committees.
Robert Swannell, chairman of M&S, said: “We are delighted that Miranda will be with us until the end of her second term in February 2018. I would like to take this opportunity to thank her for her significant contributions to the M&S board and its committees over the last six years. Her experience, challenge and insights have been invaluable. We wish her well in her new role at the FCO”.
E-Mart said on March 19 that the Korean first store of Drugstore Boots opened in Starfield, Hanam. It was only 10 months since the signing of a partnership agreement between E-Mart and the Wall Green Boots Alliance (WBA) in July last year. The Boots store is located on the first floor of Starfield with the size of 619 square meter (187 pyeong).
WBA is a global ‘distribution giant’ that has 13,100 stores in 11 countries around the world, including the UK’s No. 1 health and beauty (H & B) brand, with annual sales of 145 trillion won.
E-mart will show Korean version of H & B, which is differentiated by global sourcing power of boots, the world’s top drugstore company, and E-Mart’s product planning ability.
The H & B market in Korea last year was1.2 trillion won. It has been on a steady upward trend with a growth of 30~40 percent every year and the business holds great promise for the future. In the next five years, it will grow to over 3 trillion won.
The boots strengthens the competitiveness with their own brand products (PL) and services. Boots has PL products such as ‘Soap & Glory’ and ‘Botanics’, including functional cosmetics ‘No.7’. In particular, No7 is the number one beauty brand in the UK, and has already been famous among Korean customers. With the official opening of boots, consumers can purchase boots PL products more easily such as No7.
The boots offers a ‘Match-made’ service that will consult the colours for their skin tones on the opening day. It recommends foundation and colour cosmetics by measuring consumer’s skin tone using No7 exclusive device.
To celebrate the opening of the Starfield Hanam store, the boots will carry out the ‘3 for 2’ event, which takes one more item if you buy two items of their own brand of boots by the 1st of next month. Until June 29th, 5000 won discount certificate will be presented to customers who purchase more than 50,000 won. The boots eco bags will be presented to 5,000 people by order of arrivals regardless of the amount of purchase. When purchasing more than 50,000 won, the boots beauty box will be presented for the first 400 people as well.
E-Mart will also open a large flagship store in Myeong-dong, which is called “The Holy Land of Cosmetics” in July. The size of the store is 1284 square meter (388 pyeong). E-Mart plans to gradually expand its H & B gmbusiness, starting with Starfield Hanam, complex shopping mall and Myeongdong stores.
Continuing its global expansion, Canadian winter clothing specialist Canada Goose Holdings has announced it will open two flagship stores this autumn, in London and Chicago. The company has also announced the expansion of its e-commerce channel to seven new markets including Germany, Sweden, Netherlands, Ireland, Belgium, Luxembourg and Austria.
Marking the company’s first location in Europe, the Canada Goose London flagship store, the brand’s largest retail space to date, will be located on Regent Street. In Chicago, the brand will open its doors on Magnificent Mile on Michigan Avenue. Both stores will feature inspired Canadian design elements, including marble quarried in British Columbia, as well as the broadest assortment of seasonal collections and exclusive collaborations, and will provide an opportunity for consumers to engage and learn more about the company’s 60-year history.
‘Opening our first European store is not only a milestone for Canada Goose, but it’s turning a dream into reality. London and Chicago are world-renowned shopping destinations and I’m proud to bring our Canadian heritage, experience and unparalleled product to their historic streets,’ says Dani Reiss, president & CEO of Canada Goose.
In 2016, Canada Goose opened its first two flagship stores in Toronto and New York, showcasing the spirit of Canada Goose. The stores weave together the brand’s authentic heritage and commitment to craftsmanship with modern design in an Arctic-inspired environment.
Footwear and apparel retailer Geox has unveiled its newest store concept in Milan, Italy which aims to bring together technology, design, sustainability, and well-being.
Known as the ‘X Store’ concept, the new design preserves and enhances existing architectural features in the building, such as glass windows, columns, ceilings and exposed brickwork and works them seamlessly into the new concept.
In line with Geox focus on sustainability the new store concept, which has been unveiled in Geox flagship stores in Rome, London, Toronto Kuala Lumpur, uses only green materials. In fact, all materials used in Geox X Store concept, ranging from the terracotta tiles to the natural wood, are compliant with Leed Certification, in line with the company’s commitment to the environment.
The new concept also features a range of digital touchpoints to offer consumers a multi-sensorial shopping experience. These range from integrated digital screens and interactive displays where customers can learn more about an item, to charging stations in the fitting rooms. X Store is said to offer further proof of how important technology is to the Veneto-based company.
“This is a brand-new approach to retail. As soon as customers cross the threshold of a Geox store, they breathe, see and absorb the values which inspire our corporate design philosophy and mission day by day, gaining insight into our immense motivation to constantly improve quality and performance,” said the company in a statement.
COACH left Russia in 2011, where it was only distributed via multibrand stores, is returning to the country with a new partnership. Coach has just signed an exclusive agreement with BNS Group, a distributor in the region for labels including Calvin Klein, Michael Kors and Topshop.
The agreement has a duration of five years, with the possibility of renewal. The opening of four Coach boutiques in Russia is forecast between 2018 and 2023.
Currently, Coach is sold in Russia via two multibrand stores through Tsum. The brand entered the Russian market in 2008, partnering with local usiness Jamilco. At the time, it planned to open 15 stores. Finally, it only opened a handful, which have been closed since 2011.
Over the past 2 years, Coach has seen its stores in esteemed shopping destinations multiply: in Paris in 2015; then on London’s Regent Street in November; its flagship opening in New York in December on 5th Avenue; followed by its very first Italian boutique in the upscale Milanese Via Montenapoleone. Coach now operates over 450 stores in North America, 520 in Asia and 40 in Europe.
Coach recorded revenue of $4.147 billion (3.946 billion euros) for its fiscal year 2015-6 ended last July, of which women’s handbag sales accounted for 53%.
Mothercare used to have almost 400 stores, but will now have about 80 to 100. Photograph: Rex
Mothercare is to almost halve the size of its UK chain and stop selling clothes for older children as it tries to carve out a profitable future on the high street.
Mark Newton-Jones, Mothercare chief executive, said it would look to close up to 70 of its 152 UK stores as it adapts to a digital age where 41% of sales are rung up online.
“We are taking a fresh look at our estate and asking how many do we really need?” said Newton-Jones. “We’ve got six stores in Bristol – we don’t need six stores in Bristol. In Sheffield we’ve got five within a 20-minute drive time when we only need one or two. To cover all the major conurbations you only need 80 to 100 stores.”
At the start of this decade Mothercare was a ubiquitous presence on British high streets with closer to 400 stores but successive management teams have whittled away at that figure as the retailer struggled to compete with incursions by the supermarkets and online giant Amazon into what was once a specialist market.
Newton-Jones was hired in 2014 to lead a turnaround of Mothercare, but confidence was knocked by poor trading last summer. Since taking the helm he has closed 100 loss-making UK outlets and modernised 70% of the remaining stores.
Rather than competing in the cutthroat general kidswear market his strategy has focused on the lucrative niche of expectant parents and the paraphernalia required for newborns and toddler. It will now also stop selling clothes or toys for children older than four – previously its ranges ran up to age 10.
Pruning the UK chain, which has racked up losses of close to £100m over the last six years, has put it on the road to recovery with analysts predicting it will move into profit next year.
In recent years Mothercare has been forced to fall back on the success of its large overseas business but that is now facing headwinds of its own as shoppers in the Middle East – its biggest regional market outside the UK – spend less because of the slump in the oil price.
Pre-tax profits at Mothercare were flat at £19.7m on sales of £667.4m in the year to 25 March. Within that UK losses narrowed to £4.4m from £6.4m a year ago while underlying profits at its international business declined 13% to £35.2m. UK like-for-like sales were up 1.1%. The shares closed down more than 3% at 124p.
GlobalData analyst Sofie Willmott described the figures as “lacklustre” with the inclusion of online sales masking some poor store performances in the UK: “Given that Mothercare’s turnaround plan is in part focussed on investment in store refits we expected to be seeing more significant gains in UK store sales by now.”
Lidl is opening its first stores in June, ahead of the original 2018 schedule
German grocer Lidl said Wednesday that it’s going to open its first U.S. stores on June 15.
The company will open 20 stores this summer in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. By next summer, it plans to have up to 100 stores across the East Coast, and create a total of 5,000 jobs.
Stores will be open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week.
Last year, Lidl said it planned to open its stores in 2018.
Lidl already operates about 10,000 stores in 27 countries in Europe. The company opened its U.S. headquarters in Arlington County, VA in June 2015.
For now the company will be focused on bricks-and-mortar stores, according to Boudewijn Tiktak, Lidl’s chief commercial officer, who spoke at a Tuesday evening media event. The company is starting in these three states because of their proximity to Lidl’s U.S. headquarters and its facilities, the company said.
Lidl locations will be newly constructed and span six aisles over 20,000 square feet. About 90% of the goods sold will be Lidl private label, with far fewer items in each category available for sale, though the total number of stock keeping units (SKUs) is undisclosed.
“Do you need 50 labels of ketchup?,” asked Tiktak, at a media event Tuesday evening.
According to the company, its goods and groceries will be up to half the price of other U.S. supermarkets. Both fresh and frozen seafood in the core assortment will be certified sustainable or responsibly farmed. And there will be an assortment of organic and gluten-free merchandise in stock. All of the company’s private label goods will be free of certified synthetic colors, trans fats or added MSG, the company said.
“Curation” was a word that came up many times during the event, with various department representatives on hand to talk about the ways in which goods are selected.
Adam Lapierre, director of wine for Lidl U.S., said he tasted at least 10,000 wines to create Lidl’s assortment, which includes a rare Chilean Malbec and a rosé from Provence that he said shoppers won’t find elsewhere.
And Anna Sadovskaya, senior purchasing manager who works with items like chocolate and snacks, ate peanut butter for a week to select what goes on the shelf.
“You get to follow it through to the end and interact with items on a more intimate level,” she said.
These efforts to differentiate itself will be necessary in a crowded U.S. grocery market, where giants like Whole Foods Market Inc. WFM, -0.44% Wal-Mart Stores Inc. WMT, +1.59% and Kroger Co. KR, +0.48% are vying for market share.
“They can be disruptive,” said Rupesh Parikh, senior food analyst for food, grocery and consumer products at Oppenheimer & Company, who points to Lidl’s success in the U.K. as evidence. But, he asks, “can they execute?”
Much about Lidl stores is still a mystery, such as the size of the produce department amid consumer demand for fresh food, how items will be presented, and what the overall experience will be like.
“Are they willing to make an investment and take losses because they see bigger opportunity down the road?” Parikh asked. Wal-Mart is watching competition like Aldi and Lidl closely, he said.
“If [Wal-Mart] reacts it can cause a chain reaction for others so they don’t lose share,” Parikh said. “If others have to follow, that can be an issue.”
But with consumers shopping in more places for groceries and willing to try new things, Lidl has a chance to make its mark.
Dubai retailers are gearing up for a three-day ‘Super Sale’ in the emirate starting Thursday May 18.
More than 750 retailers across the emirate – more than 250 brands – will slash prices, knocking between 30 percent and 90 percent off products.
Some of the brands offering discounts include Guess, Steve Madden, Kurt Geiger, Roberto Cavalli, Galeries Lafayette, Furla, Missoni, Boutique 1, Scotch and Soda, Balmain, Aldo, Toms, Birkenstock, Charles & Keith, Nine West, Desigual, Al Jaber Optical, IDdesign, Marlin Furniture, Porsche Design and Disney Fashion.
More than 1,000 retail outlets across Dubai will offer discounts on a range of electronics, jewellery, toys, homewear, furniture, apparel and fashion.
The pre-Ramandan sale is organised by the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), an agency of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism).
Apple is planning a new Apple Store in Mexico as it continues to expand its presence around the globe. The new retail location will be located in the city of San Luis Potosi and construction is currently ongoing…
Specifically, the Apple Store will be located in a new section of the El Dorado Mall. While Apple has not yet confirmed details about the store, there is a sign with Apple branding where the store will be located that reads “Próximamente,” or “coming soon.”
Additionally, Apple has started hiring for the store, according to people familiar with the matter.
Apple opened its first retail store in Mexico last September and is already working on another location in Mexico City. The San Luis Potosi will be the company’s third in Mexico. The new Mexico City location is said to be “flagship” in nature, with a design akin to that of Apple’s World Trade Center location in New York City. The store is said to be multi-level with the Genius Bar and retail space split from one another.
There’s no word on when Apple’s new San Luis Potosi retail location will open to the public, but the company is clearly moving things along as construction and hiring both continue. It’s also unclear just how big the new retail location will be and what sort of design traits it will share.
Elsewhere around the world, we reported last week that Apple will do a worldwide overnight refresh on older retail locations on May 16th. This effort will see Apple bring some of the qualities of its new flagships stores to older, smaller stores that can’t accommodate the full redesign. The changeover is best described as sort of a “‘halfway house’ between the original and new looks.
Apple also recently showed off motorized carbon fiber windows in its Dubai Mall store, and is working on the opening of a new Singapore store.
As always, we’ll update with more information about Apple’s new San Luis Potosi retail location as we get it. Do you have plans to visit this location when it opens to the public? Let us know down in the comments.
Apple reveals its plans for a flagship retail store in Milan, where you walk through a fountain to enter
It was back in January that we first heard that Apple was planning a new flagship retail store in Milan, Italy, with an outdoor amphitheater – and the company has now confirmed those plans.
It will be a square full of ideas. We are incredibly happy to be in the center of Milan, a town that for centuries combines creativity and innovation. In the coming months we will work to give you a new Liberty Square: an open space for everyone to take a break, meet with friends, discover new interests.
The store will sit beneath the amphitheater, and you’ll enter it using a staircase that descends through the middle of a fountain …
The store is there but you do not see it. Thanks to an original architectural solution, it is hidden beneath the cozy outdoor amphitheater. It will be the perfect place to share your passions, discover new ones and deepen your skills.
You enter the store passing through two tall walls of water forming a great fountain, a tribute to traditional Italian squares.
The store will be named Apple Piazza Liberty and will be located at Piazza del Liberty, 1–20121 Milano. Apple is reportedly paying the city around €768k ($843k) to cover the cost of reconstructing the square after the store is completed, as well as an annual rent of €127k ($140k) for the use of the square. The opening date has not yet been announced.
This is the first store I’ve seen that really makes sense of the idea of Apple Store becoming a new place to meet friends. With usually crowded interiors and no tea or coffee, that aspect of the Today at Apple initiative seemed a bit of a stretch, but where the roof of your store is a piazza, the idea clearly works. Apple is also expanding both the scope and the profile of its workshop program.
Apple has been rather active on the retail store front of late, removing the iconic glass cube at NYC’s 5th Avenue store as part of a major development, preparing to open its first store in Singapore, revealing plans for a Carnegie Library store in DC and ensuring that older stores unsuitable for a complete makeover don’t get completely left out.
Check out a couple more photos below.
The London store in Regent Street will be the first Canada Goose shop in Europe. The Chicago store will be situated on Magnificent Mile on Michigan Avenue.
Dani Reiss, president and chief executive of Canada Goose, said: “Opening our first European store is not only a milestone for Canada Goose, but it’s turning a dream into reality. London and Chicago are world-renowned shopping destinations and I’m proud to bring our Canadian heritage, experience and unparalleled product to their historic streets.”
Canada Goose will also be expanding its ecommerce channel to seven new markets this year including Germany, Sweden, Netherlands, Ireland, Belgium, Luxemburg and Austria.
In 2016 Canada Goose opened its first two flagship stores in Toronto and New York, having launched its first ecommerce site in Canada in 2014. This was followed by the launch of online stores in the US in 2015 and the UK and France in 2016.
Canada Goose was founded in a small warehouse in Toronto in 1957 and has grown into one of the world’s leading makers of performance luxury apparel.
Due to take up his position on 31 July, Williamson will join House of Fraser from the Goodwood sporting estate. Having originally started at Goodwood in 2008 as chief financial officer, he was promoted to group managing director and in 2012 took up the position of chief executive.
Prior to this, he was head of finance at TUI Travel and has held a variety of other roles and across the leisure and hospitality sectors.
Frank Slevin, executive chairman of House of Fraser, said: “Having recently set out our vision for the future of House of Fraser, we are delighted to announce the appointment of Alex Williamson as our new CEO. Alex is uniquely placed to execute our vision, and to contribute his extensive expertise of delivering compelling and engaging experiences for the customer.
“House of Fraser operates in an exciting and challenging market requiring an ability to innovate and manage an increasing pace of change. I am confident Alex will be able to add his perspective and skill of running the Goodwood Estate, one of the great British heritage brands to the benefit of our continued growth.”
Situated on the Upper Rose Gallery adjacent to Topshop, the 889 square foot shop recreates the look and feel of the legendary Smashbox Photo Studios in Los Angeles.
Anuschka Kuhnel, brand manager at Smashbox Cosmetics, said: “The new Bluewater standalone store is an exciting step for the Smashbox Cosmetics brand, further marking our move of opening standalone stores outside the capital in select locations. The enthusiasm and demand we have experienced for our brand amongst consumers throughout the South East makes Bluewater an exciting move for us.”
The news follows the launch of The White Company’s new upsized statement store earlier this month on Bluewater’s lower Guildhall and the opening of Gap’s new UK concept store on the lower Rose Gallery in March.
Russell Loveland, portfolio director at Land Securities, co-owner and asset manager of Bluewater, said: “Smashbox Cosmetics is a fantastic addition to Bluewater’s outstanding offer. The new flagship retail space will further strengthen the health and beauty category of the scheme, and reinforce Bluewater’s position as the UK’s leading retail and leisure destination.”
Dubai Ruler Sheikh Mohammed has announced the launch of Marsa Al Arab, Dubai Holding’s latest tourist destination development in the emirate.
The $1.7 billion (AED 6.3bn) mega-project, spread across 4 million sq. ft, will be developed on new two islands on both sides of Burj Al Arab Jumeirah. Marsa (Arabic for marina) Al Arab is expected to be completed by 2020.
One island will be dedicated to entertainment and family tourism, while the other comprises an exclusive luxury resort. The two islands will add 2.2 kilometres of beach frontage, as well as three new hotels and a number of new tourist attractions.
The family resort island will see Jumeirah Group introduce new leisure concepts and services as well as a new family-oriented hotel. To boost guest experience, Wild Wadi Waterpark will be moved from its current road-side location closer to the beach, and will be more than double its existing size when fully completed.
Dubai Holding will also develop ‘Marine Park’, a first-of-its-kind marine life edutainment centre in the Middle East, with a live theatre of a 1,000 seat capacity that will attract world-class shows to showcase various elements of marine life.
Marsa Al Arab will also include a private marina and a yacht club, as well as diverse food and beverage offerings, as well as a helipad.
Complementing Madinat Jumeirah, the development will include a mixed-use convention centre capable of hosting large international conferences and festivals. The convention centre will be supported by a new hotel, offering a selection of services for businessmen and corporates.
The project will also include a large retail space stretching across 20,000 sq. m, which will replace the current Wild Wadi Water Park area.
The shopping centre will consist of international high-end brands, as well as a selection of restaurants and coffee shops to meet the needs of its luxurious shoppers. Marsa Al Arab will also offer 300 sea-front residential apartments in the heart of the development.
Together, the enhanced Wild Wadi and Marine Park will sprawl over an area of 2.5 million sq. ft.
The new family destination will house a dedicated theatre with a capacity of 1,700 seats, which will become home to the world-renowned show Cirque du Soleil for the first time in the Middle East.
Dubai Holding will develop 140 luxury villas on the ‘exclusive private island’, which will include a marina for its residents. Located on the left of Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, the luxury villas will be operated by Jumeirah Group. The island will also host a boutique hotel equipped with world-class facilities that reflect ‘Marsa Al Arab’s status as an attractive destination for elite travellers.
Overall, Dubai Holding will add 2,400 hotel rooms to Jumeirah Group’s portfolio, bringing its total offering to 8,428 rooms. There will be 400 new F&B outlets throughout the destination.
The existing hotels in the vicinity will be transformed into a unified tourist destination.
The development will offer pedestrian pathways, a jogging track, large swimming pool and a cycling course, allowing its residents to practice a diverse selection of physical activities.
Location of the two islands – on the left is the luxury island, located behind Jumeirah Al Qasr and Madinat Jumeirah. On the right, the island located behind Jumeirah Beach Hotel and Jumeirah Beach.
Jumeirah Group will offer 10,000 additional parking spaces to accommodate the anticipated influx of visitors, as well as work closely with various government entities and other relevant companies to provide a rapid transport network to interconnect the resorts and entertainment destinations, facilitating fast and easy movement throughout Marsa Al Arab.
The project will break ground in June 2017 and will completed by late 2020.
In addition, Dubai Holding will launch the Dubai Pearl Museum to showcase a historical collection of rare and ancient pearls from the region and worldwide. The Dubai Pearl Museum aims to shed light on the lives of the divers as well as the tools they used to find the precious jewels, reflecting the UAE’s heritage, culture and national pride.
“The launch of this new and ambitious project is in line with the directives of the visionary leadership to provide the finest and rewarding tourist experiences for visitors to Dubai, as well as enhance Dubai’s position as a global tourist destination,” said Abdulla Al Habbai, Chairman, Dubai Holding.
“We are proud of the vital role that Dubai Holding plays in this sector through supporting innovation and contributing to the economic diversification of Dubai.”
The new store in Bogota at Centro Commercial La Colina has been highly anticipated with 3,000 locals queuing from 2pm two days before the opening to get the first glimpse of one of the world’s largest H&M stores and its fashion collection
The 6,000 square metre shop over two levels houses a selection of fashion and accessories for men, women and children.
H&M north American continental manager Daniel Kulle said: “We have been waiting for this day for a long time now and the response from our fans in Bogota was worth the wait! I am proud to welcome shoppers to our very first store and we are pleased to be able to offer our customers added value through fashion, quality and sustainability at the best price.”
The first shoppers in the store were given gift cards worth 600,000 pesos and the next 300 people received 150,000 pesos each. H&M staff then performed their iconic team dance along with award winning dance troop Dunkan Dance.
To celebrate the anniversary of brothers Thomas and Stuart Musgrave launching the business just over 140 years ago, Musgrave has unveiled a new brand identity.
The company has revealed a new logo – a modified version of the Musgrave chairman in 1902’s signature – which will now rollout across the entire Musgrave business.
Commenting on the new brand identity, Musgrave CEO Chris Martin described it as “a symbol of Musgrave’s heritage and the pride we share in being a sixth-generation Irish family business”.
He added that the new identity “will support our ethos of Growing Good Business as we continue to expand our retail, wholesale and export offering”.
Musgrave’s brands comprise SuperValu, Centra, Daybreak and Marketplace. Together with its retail partners, the business employs over 35,000 people in the Republic of Ireland alone – making it the State’s largest private sector employer.
Musgrave’s Growing Good Business strategy has also seen the company explore new opportunities, including the rollout of Frank & Honest, its new artisan take away coffee brand which has been launched in SuperValu and Centra. The strategy has also encompassed the development of a food emporium at its Musgrave Marketplace in two locations in Dublin; the launch of Chipmongers, it’s new foodservice franchise; and export to China through a partnership with Alibaba which has seen Musgrave start to export SuperValu products.
“Food retail is our core business and we are focused on strengthening the leadership position of our brands through our food leadership agenda, through investing in digital and by building on the foundation of our success,” Martin added.
Demise of firm fronted by former bankrupt Dominic Chappell could aid administrators seeking to recover funds owed to creditors
Former bankrupt Dominic Chappell’s Retail Acquisitions bought BHS for £1 from billionaire Sir Philip Green in 2015.
Retail Acquisitions, the former owner of the collapsed BHS, is on the point of liquidation, potentially helping investigations into the demise of the department store chain.
The group, which bought BHS for £1 in 2015 and was fronted by former bankrupt Dominic Chappell, has been accused of extracting an estimated £17m from BHS despite owning it for just 13 months before it went into administration in 2016. An estimated £6m was owed by Retail Acquisitions to BHS when it collapsed.
The failure of BHS led to the loss of 11,000 jobs and left a £571m pension deficit. A high-profile parliamentary investigation into its demise concluded that the company had been systematically plundered by its owners and accused Chappell of having “his fingers in the till”.
The Pensions Regulator is also understood to be seeking as much as £17m via legal action against Chappell and Retail Acquisitions (RAL) in relation to the pension deficit.
On Wednesday the high court heard insolvency proceedings for Retail Acquisitions, and the judge ruled it should be put into liquidation. The judgment has been temporarily stayed and is expected to be formally handed down in the next few days.
Duff & Phelps, which is acting to track and retrieve BHS assets for the company and its creditors, said: “Duff & Phelps, acting on behalf of BHS Group Ltd, is satisfied that RAL has been put into liquidation. The process of realising the assets of RAL can now commence to the benefit of all the creditors of the BHS companies.”
The insolvency will give administrators complete financial records of RAL giving clarity on where funds taken from BHS were moved on to with a view to potentially recovering them for shareholders.
Chappell said: “RAL is disappointed by the outcome of the hearing … The order has been stayed by the court until its written reasons are provided so that RAL has an opportunity to properly consider an appeal.
“It will look forward to those written reasons and will then be able to take advice and decide next steps, to include an appeal.”
The collapse of BHS is still being investigated by the Insolvency Service which could recommend that former directors of BHS are banned from being company directors in Britain. The Financial Reporting Council is also looking into the collapse, while the Serious Fraud Office is also considering whether to launch a formal investigation.
Chappell was also arrested last year as part of an HMRC investigation into unpaid taxes on profits made from the collapsed department store chain.
Apple’s first retail store in Singapore has been partially unveiled, providing the first official confirmation of the long-rumored Orchard Road location.
It was back in 2015 that Apple confirmed that it was opening a store on the island. At that point, the location wasn’t known, though there were strong signs pointing to the location on Orchard Road, the main upmarket retail area in the country …
Apple has now removed the barricades around the store, revealing a giant ‘Apple loves Singapore’ message in graphic form. The name of the store is also shown as Apple Orchard Road.
StraitsTimes notes that smaller versions of this graphic are used to signal the Creative Pros who will be available at the store.
There are 12 smaller groups of these icons close to the doors of the store. Each group of icon has a different red dot to represent the 12 local Creative Pros that Apple has selected.
Dubbed “Red Dot Heroes” by Apple, these Creative Pros are the liberal arts equivalent of Apple’s technical Geniuses that specialise in troubleshooting and repairs of products. Some of them will conduct free hands-on sessions at the upcoming Apple Orchard Road Store.
Apple first revealed its new ‘Today at Apple‘ initiative at its retail stores – with much greater focus on free workshops and help with creative projects – in a CBS interview last month, though we first learned about it last summer. The program was also a major focus at the recent opening of the spectacular Dubai store.
The opening date of the Singapore store isn’t yet known, though we have heard whispers about May 29. All of Apple’s operations in the country will be powered by solar energy.
The new 8,258 square foot shop will be situated on East Walk and will stock the brand’s full collections including Victoria’s Secret PINK.
Other premium brands at Intu Milton Keynes include Hugo Boss, Apple, Karen Millen and Michael Kors. The shopping centre attracts 35 million customers a year.
Nick Round, regional director at Intu, said: “With its high proportion of affluent customers and location in the heart of one of the UK’s fastest growing cities, Intu Milton Keynes is the perfect destination for desirable brands to flourish. The increasing number of aspirational brands like Victoria’s Secret joining Intu Milton Keynes is giving our customers even more great reasons to visit the centre thus helping all our retailers flourish.”
Card Factory, which has more than 800 stores in Britain, has targeted opening 50 stores a year over the next three years1
Card Factory, which has more than 800 stores in Britain, has targeted opening 50 stores a year over the next three years
UK high street retailer the Card Factory is gearing up for its entry to the Irish market, three years after it first floated a plan to open as many as 100 outlets here.
New CEO Karen Hubbard, who has been in the role for just a year, has told investors that she intends to pursue a strategy of expanding in Ireland and that there is a “clear opportunity” to build a strong presence here.
The retailer has just established a company in Ireland to spearhead the expansion.
Over the next three years, Card Factory plans to open a total of about 50 stores a year.
At the beginning of February 2016, it had 814 outlets across the UK, including a handful in the North, a figure that had risen to 865 at the end of last January.
Listed on the stock market, Card Factory posted revenue of £398.2m (€473.2m) in its last financial year, with like-for-like increases of under 1pc.
Its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) was £98.5m (€117m), which was 3.8pc higher on the previous financial year. Its margin slipped slightly from 24.9pc to 24.7pc.
The profits fell as footfall to its stores declined.
But apart from paying a regular dividend, it also paid a special dividend to shareholders. It is a strong cash generator and has only a small amount of debt on its books.
The company floated on the stock market in May 2014, in an initial public offering that was widely seen as unsuccessful at the time.
But its market capitalisation has risen from £712m in 2014 to the current £1.1bn (€1.3bn).
Card Factory recently hired Edinburgh Woollen Mills finance boss Kristian Lee as its chief financial officer.
Coach is being seen as the most likely buyer to win up-for-sale British luxury footwear brand Jimmy Choo as the American giant forges ahead with its plan to become a multibrand luxury player.
Jimmy Choo was put on the block last month after its majority own JAB Holdings decided to focus on its coffee shop and café interests leafing to its other British brand Belstaff and its Swiss luxury label Bally also being up for sale.
It is thought less likely that one of the big European luxury houses would target a Jimmy Choo buy with Coach’s rivals more likely to be wealthy private equity investors from Asia or the Middle East.
Buying Jimmy Choo would instantly strengthen Coach’s presence in the growing footwear sector and take it even into more upmarket territory than its existing premium-to-luxury Stuart Weitzman label.
Industry sources told the Sunday Telegraph they see $11bn market-cap Coach as having the resources to beat off competition for Coach, as well as the investment cash to expand it fast. The company also benefits from the Coach brand’s new president and CEO, Joshua Schulman, having been CEO of Jimmy Choo until 2012.
After buying Stuart Weitzman for almost $600m in early 2015, Coach continued its won turnaround and drove Weitzman’s sales upwards. It now seems determined to convert itself into a much bigger multibrand player and in recent months an audacious approach to buy Burberry was turned down by the UK firm. Coach is still among the big names linked to a potential Kate Spade buy, however.
Whether it eventually wins Spade, Kors or any other giant brand, with Jimmy Choo potentially having a £700m-plus prince tag, buying it would be an affordable way to give Coach a label with massive growth potential and an as-yet-under-exploited presence in the key Chinese market. It’s also a brand that’s growing fast in the men’s sector and has a thriving perfumes portfolio, two crucial growth areas.