Monthly Archives: August 2016

UNIQLO Denim Factory arrives at London flagship

UNIQLO has introduced the ‘UNIQLO Denim Factory’ at its flagship store on Oxford Street in London. The retailer worked in collaboration with Harlequin Design on in-store spaces on the third and fourth floors, as well as the window scheme.
On the third floor Harlequin created four individual panels each with selvedge denim and each inspired by the unique patches and studs that are now available as part of the Uniqlo customisation service. 

The fourth floor showcases UNIQLO’s new denim range. The Harlequin team added powder coated clipping mechanisms to the back wall bays, used to hang large roles of denim and more than 2,000m of yarn.

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Marks & Spencer to scale back overseas

Marks & Spencer could retreat from swathes of overseas shops under plans by its new chief executive to jumpstart growth at the high street chain.

Steve Rowe, an M&S lifer, is making the retailer’s international shop estate his next priority after claiming that a decline in overseas profits was “not sustainable”.
The company’s annual report reveals the board is “looking at every part of our international business to make sure our strategy remains relevant”.
Mr Rowe will update shareholders in November about his plans for the retailer’s store estate after focusing his turnaround so far on reviving M&S’s flagging womenswear division. 

The company veteran took the reins in April this year from Marc Bolland and has since reshuffled M&S’s board so he maintains control of the clothing arm while the international team reports directly to him.

Prada to close 25 stores in 2016

Following negative financial reports in the past year, Prada has embarked on a restructuring plan. In 2016, Prada announced it will close 25 stores (among the least profitable ones) and will open 20 new stores in high-potential locations. The first store closure was one of the Prada stores in Milan – the 500 sqm store on Corso Venezia. The Prada currently operates 5 stores in Milan, two in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, two on Via Montenapoleone and one on Via Spiga.

Sephora’s Magnificent Mile store has new, high-tech look

Sephora opens Michigan Avenue store

Beauty retailer Sephora opened its 400th location, on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, on Friday. The location is one of the first where customers can get a look at Sephora’s new Beauty TIP Workshop — named after the company’s “teach, inspire, play” motto with more high-tech touches and space for classes and experimenting with products. Sephora Americas President and CEO Calvin McDonald talked about the new store look and why Sephora is “bullish on brick-and-mortar retail” in a chat with the Tribune on Thursday. The interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Q: Why did you think Sephora needed a new concept?
A: We build and have built beautiful stores. Knowing we were going to be dialing up our physical expansion plans, with more stores and more refreshes, it was the right time to hit a reset, rethink, and really build the store front to back, side to side, which we hadn’t done probably in six years.
 Sephora opens Michigan Avenue store

Q: What are some of the biggest changes people will see with the Beauty TIP Workshops?
A: We believe teaching beauty is a competitive advantage, and when you look at other choices clients have, it’s one only Sephora can bring to life and have a credible position in. We’ve been doing it over the years, but we really wanted to formalize it and bring it to life in our brand, and we need a stage to allow us to do that. At the center, you’ll see the Beauty Workshop, where we run beauty classes while the store is in operation. There are 12 screens, and a trained cast member walks you through it right then and there, so it’s a learning environment supported by technology.
There are more seats for the Beauty Studios, and we’ve added services in skin care and fragrance. Michigan Avenue has the first fragrance studio, so we’ll start the consultation at our Fragrance IQ (a station that walks customers through scent categories like floral or spicy before an “InstaScent” machine emits a jet of scented air to let them test the options). I’ll ask, “What notes do you like?” and if you’re like most clients, you’ll say, “I have no clue.” It emits the raw note so you can sit there not skewed by Johnny Depp and the millions spent trying to represent a brand, you really get the raw note and figure out what you like.
We’re scouting and discovering new brands, and we’re bringing an unbiased experience to (the customer). We’ve linked in service with the studio that allows us to express it and teach, and we’re bringing that formula from skin care to fragrance, the formula that’s worked so well in color.
Q: You say you’re bullish on brick-and-mortar stores. Not everyone in retail feels the same, so why is that?
A: If the sole purpose of your physical environment is nothing more than to transact, you’re in trouble, because dot-com can transact more conveniently and more easily than a physical environment. We believe that our retail footprint exists to do so much more than just transact. It’s designed to provide a service, a mini-makeover, it’s designed to teach, where you can sit down and have an interaction with a cast member. (The transaction is) the end result of her exploring, her learning, her being inspired and playing and having fun.
 Sephora Michigan Avenue opening

Q: It’s a tough time for a lot of retailers, mall-based ones especially. Does that affect Sephora, if the mall overall is less inspiring?
A: We love the centers we’re in, and we’re expanding and investing in them and seeing great success. Our mall-based business is growing at the same rate as our other portfolio component, so we’re very excited.
But we see opportunity in testing and developing other concepts. Not every mall is equal. You look at the A-plus and A malls, they’re doing well. There’s a few more we’d like to be in, and we’d like to expand and reinvest in some so we can bring a better client experience. But as we look at where are we going to grow our store base, I think it’s more neighborhood (stores), more streetfronts and lifestyle centers that we’re playing with and seeing great success with as well.
Q: A lot of people are surprised to see Sephora inside J.C. Penney. Why do you think it makes sense for Sephora?
Sephora shelf

A: The partnership is over 10 years old now, and it’s been incredibly successful for both parties. What I love about the partnership, it allows us to reach a client we otherwise would never reach. It has allowed us to get a larger footprint, get a different client, and back to the strategy of how do we grow prestige beauty, how do we get people to trade in and trade up. It was a fearless decision 10 years ago for sure.

Amazon bookstores coming to Chicago, San Diego, Portland

Amazon’s quiet march toward direct competition with brick and mortar bookstores will expand with the launch of an additional store in one of the biggest cities in the U.S. 

The move follows what some had seen as an experiment in the launch in 2015 of a physical bookstore in Amazon’s headquarter city of Seattle.

According to a report in the Financial Times on Friday, the online bookseller has confirmed plans to launch a physical bookstore in Chicago. That store joins previously mentioned locations in San Diego and Portland, Oregon.  

No details have been released regarding what the stores will look like, but Amazon’s first store may provide a few clues. The Seattle shop features book displays that focus on presenting books that have been highly rated on Amazon’s online bookstore. 
But the store isn’t just focused on print. It also acts as a marketing opportunity for Amazon’s other publishing concern: mobile e-book readers. Spread around the shop are displays that allow visitors to test out and purchase the company’s line of Kindle e-book readers. Other displays allow visitors to sample Fire TV and Amazon Echo. 

The rise of Amazon’s print outlets comes as the last remaining national bookseller, Barnes & Noble, continues to struggle in the rapidly changing book publishing landscape. Earlier this month, Barnes & Noble fired its CEO Ron Boire less than a year into his tenure, with the company labeling the Boire “not a good fit.”
Meanwhile, as Barnes & Noble continues to try to figure out its Nook e-reader strategy versus its physical stores, Amazon’s new brick and mortar locations appear poised to strike at just the right moment. 
The Amazon Books Chicago location is set to launch as soon as 2017. 

Gatwick set to open largest ever Next airport store

Gatwick airport has announced it is set to open Next’s largest ever airport store in September.
Spanning 1850sq ft (171sq m) and to be located in the South terminal, the store will retail both men’s and women’s ranges, with a focus on summer clothing and last-minute essentials. It will also house a range of accessories, shoes and swimwear all year round, as well as business wear and accessories.
Gatwick’s “carry on-board” policy means passengers won’t need to worry about whether they can squeeze purchases into their luggage as passengers will be allowed to take an airport shopping bag onto their flight.
The arrival of Next at Gatwick is in response to the airport’s regular surveys, which is among the most preferred brands passenger shoppers most would like to see at the airport.
Gatwick airport chief commercial officer Guy Stephenson said: “Next is the latest quality addition to Gatwick’s extensive retail offering, providing everything you need for your getaway.
“The store’s arrival is in response to passenger requests in our regular surveys and joins a stellar line up of recent new openings at Gatwick, including the world’s first airport gin distillery, The Nicholas Culpeper and renowned chef Bruno Loubet’s Grain Store.
“Coupled with the convenience offered by our airport wide ‘carry on-board’ and ‘collect on return’ services, the 41.7 million passengers travelling through the airport every year will experience the best of the high street at tax free prices.”
Next Gatwick store manager John Rowland added: “Launching the new Gatwick store is a great privilege; we will be able to show off our fantastic range and serve customers travelling to 80 countries in five different continents.
“Add to that the fact that our product offering is aimed at enhancing our customers’ holidays all year round and we have a service to be really proud of.”

Ted Baker debuts in South Africa with first store in Johannesburg

Ted Baker has announced the opening of its first store in South Africa within Sandton City, Johannesburg. The store, which draws inspiration from Johannesburg’s famous Shakespeare garden, has a stylish setting, showing off a beautiful Elizabethan wooden framed front and antique oak floor. The new Ted Baker store which covers 1960 sqft features the latest collections of menswear, womenswear and accessories.
Conservatory style panelled walls with lush green plants behind the arches act as a hiding place for famous Shakespearean symbols and artefacts. The skull from ‘Hamlet’ and the scales from ‘The Merchant of Venice’ are just a few of the treasures that can be found. Sumptuous, heavy velvet fabrics and drapes fall from the ceiling, softening the interior. Neon quotes on the wall mark the menswear and womenswear shopping area: “The soul of the man is his clothes” and, “And though she be but little, she is fierce” – A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Here is what Liffey Valley is set to look like after massive face-lift

Here is what Liffey Valley is set to look like after massive face-lift
Plans have been approved for a major expansion at Liffey Valley Shopping Centre, which will include another 22,000 square metres of retail space, a major new civic plaza and a 2,500 seat Olympic-sized indoor ice arena.
Plans also include a major new public space equivalent to a “typical European-scale urban plaza” and a multi-storey carpark.
The ice arena is set to have a capacity for 2.500 spectators and will be capable of hosting international ice skating competitions, ice hockey matches and ice entertainment performances.
 Plans approved include additional 22,000 sq. m. net retail space; a major new civic plaza and a 2,500 seat Olympic-sized indoor ice arena.5 5

Plans approved include additional 22,000 sq. m. net retail space; a major new civic plaza and a 2,500 seat Olympic-sized indoor ice arena.

Photographs released today show a large arena with a screen suspended over the ice. Other snaps from inside the centre show shoppers walking across a bright, spacious area with a large plaza outside.
The plaza has fountain features and trees positioned around the area, as well as seating areas for coffee shops and bistros.
Hines, as asset and development managers, welcomed South Dublin County Council’s decision to grant planning permission for the expansion of the west Dublin shopping centre.
Senior Managing Director of Hines Ireland Brian Moran said: “We are absolutely delighted that planning permission has been granted for the expansion of retail space; a major new civic plaza and a 2,500 seat Olympic-sized indoor ice arena. 
“We now have a visionary plan approved which will redefine Liffey Valley as both a shopping and retail experience and also as a leisure and recreation destination.”

John Lewis plans £9m beauty hall expansion

John Lewis plans £9m beauty hall expansion

John Lewis is investing £9m in expanding its beauty halls as the market for face creams, makeup and perfumes outperforms fashion.
The department store is to increase the size of its beauty departments in Cambridge, Bluewater in Kent and Cribbs Causeway in Bristol by 50% and modernise four other beauty halls including at Peter Jones in London’s Sloane Square.
The investment, which will bring in new up-market brands including Marc Jacobs Beauty, MAC and Tom Ford Beauty, follows the opening of the department store’s own &Beauty spa in Birmingham and the Clarins Beauty Bar, which opened at John Lewis Oxford Street last year.
Ed Connolly, buying director for fashion and beauty, said: “Beauty is one of the best performing categories at John Lewis and a significant footfall driver, so this investment is a reflection of our ambition in this space.”
The move comes as retailers including Debenhams and Marks & Spencer and supermarkets such as Sainsbury’s also expand their beauty ranges to try to cash in on rising demand.
Sales of colour cosmetics in the UK have risen by a third in the last five years according to Mintel while sales of soap, bath and shower products have risen 4.3%, despite it being a mature market under pressure from discounters.
In contrast, fashion retailers have endured a tough few years as a warm autumn and winter in 2015 hit sales of knitwear and coats while a chilly and wet start to summer 2016 forced many chains into early discounting.

Shoprite profit rises 17% amid tough retail conditions

Shoprite profit rises 17% amid tough retail conditions
Cape Town – Shoprite’s full-year profit rose to 17% due to its focus on giving the lowest prices while also subsidising the price of basic foodstuffs. 
Diluted headline earnings per share rose from R7.69 to R9 in the 12 months through June, which was higher than the R8.66 average that 13 analyst estimates told Bloomberg.
Trading profit was up 15% to R7.278bn, while turnover increased 14.4% to R130bn. Shoprite was trading 1.5% lower at R198.98 at 08:20 on Tuesday.
It will pay a dividend of R2.96, up from R2.43, per ordinary share. “This brings the total dividend for the year to 452 cents (2015: 386 cents) per ordinary share,” Shoprite said in a statement on Tuesday.
Shoprite CEO Whitey Basson said on Tuesday that the growing trust placed in the company by their customers was gratifying, “with the latest AMPS figures showing that 76% of the adult South African population shop at one of our supermarket brands – up from 72% a year ago”.
“There are many factors which contributed to the results we have achieved, but crucial amongst them has been an unwavering focus on ensuring the lowest prices while also subsidising the price of basic foodstuffs wherever possible,” he said in a statement.
“Rigorous cost control and more effective operating methods have enabled us to achieve this without compromising our trading profit margin which remained at 5.6%.”
“Despite intense local competition, we managed to keep market share above 30%. In June market share increased to the highest level in three years.”
“The level of efficiency with which we managed our business is also reflected in our internal food inflation.”
“Based on a monthly measurement of 81 000 product lines, it averaged just 3.5% for the period, well below South Africa’s official rate of food inflation according to Statistics SA of 7.2% for the same period,” he said.
Shoprite said the last year was a difficult period economically not only for South Africa, but also for the African continent and the world at large.
“The cost of living was compounded by the worst drought in 35 years, which has severely impacted prices of basic agricultural products,” the firm said. “As a result, the disposable income of especially lower-income consumers has come under increasing pressure.”
“This drought has had an equally debilitating effect on the economies of those countries in Southern Africa where we do business, while growth in West-African countries such as Angola and Nigeria has been stifled by the continued low price of oil on world markets and a severe lack of foreign currency.
“The strongest performance was delivered by the African division with impressive turnover and profit growth despite severe trading restrictions in some of its markets.”
Shoprite said the focus has been on becoming even more customer-centric. “Fulfilling shoppers’ basic requirements, so that they always find the products they want at competitive prices, has major implications for the way we run our business and for our relationship with customers.”
“To meet the challenge of having preferred products on the shelf in time, the group has continued to expand and refine its supply-line infrastructure in close cooperation with suppliers. At the same time staff training programmes have been greatly expanded to increase skills and build a more service- orientated culture,” it said.From Fin24 

Justin Bieber Announces Affordable Forever 21 Clothing Line

Warning to the planet: you’ll soon see a bunch of kids decked out in the same clothes as Justin Bieber.

This may or may not be a good thing depending on how you look at it… or if you’re a Belieber.
The 22-year-old singer just announced a collaboration with Forever 21.
The store will start selling his line of Purpose merchandise later this month.
“We are pleased to partner with Justin Bieber and Bravado [a music merchandising company] to celebrate one of the most influential musicians of this generation,” Linda Chang, Forever 21 vice president of merchandising, told Women’s Wear Daily. “This collection will give our customers and Justin Bieber fans access to one of the most in-demand merchandise lines in the world.”
The good news for those who like Biebs and his style – it is completely affordable for the average Forever 21 shopper.
Unlike his Barney’s collab which saw pieces retailing for $95 and more, Forever 21 & Bieber will range from $18-$35.
The line features eight exclusive pieces including oversize sleeveless, short-sleeve and long-sleeve tees with either Justin’s face or “Justin Forever.”
They go on sale MONDAY August 22 online and in-stores Friday, August 29!
This might make up for the fact that Bieber deleted his Instagram upsetting fans all over the world… MIGHT!

Joules chooses Edinburgh for biggest ever store

Premium lifestyle brand Joules is to open its biggest ever store at Edinburgh’s George Street later this month.
Due to open on 24 August, the store spans 3375 square feet and replaces the brand’s existing store which was also based in George Street. It will house all of Joules’ key collections including womenswear, menswear, childrenswear and homeware.

Joules is aiming to open 10-12 stores per year following its admission to the AIM Market in May 2016. The opening will follow the launch of a new Stratford upon Avon earlier this month.
The brand has created ‘The Joules Festival of Colour’ to celebrate the Edinburgh launch, with a number of events and activities planned. A day ahead of its official opening, Joules will welcome VIPs, press, bloggers, locals and fans of the brand to a preview event where they will be offered cocktails, canapes and goody bags, as well as exclusive in-store offers. On the week of launch,
Joules will also host a number of events for visitors, including painting workshops, a whiskey masterclass and a scrapbook making session.
Colin Porter, chief executive of Joules, said: “We’re proud of the way that our retail stores really showcase our brand personality and allow us to engage with our customers, so to open our biggest ever is a very exciting milestone. Given the warm response from our customers to our previous store in the city, opening a bigger store here felt like a natural step.”

Australian luxury lingerie retailer Honey Birdette has signed for its first UK store in Covent Garden.

Royal London Asset Management (RLAM) has let 56 Long Acre in Covent Garden to the brand, after Property Week revealed the company was seeking to open a boutique in the West End of London earlier this year.
The 825 sq ft unit will open at the end of this month.
Yasin Sadiq, senior asset manager at RLAM said: “We are pleased to have secured another strong retailer for the estate, which will complement the existing line up, and excited to see the brand open its first UK flagship in Covent Garden.”
Savills acted for RLAM.


“56 Long Acre was a rare opportunity for a retailer to acquire a flagship location close to Covent Garden,” said Peter Thomas, director in the Central London retail team at Savills. “We are pleased to have secured this deal with Honey Birdette.”

BHS stores to close in Dubai and Sharjah after collapse

Five BHS stores in Dubai and Sharjah are set to close after the British retail major collapsed in March.
Al Maya Group, a Dubai company that owns the franchise to BHS in the emirate, said its five BHS stores located in Dubai Mall, Festival City, Al Ghurair Centre, Lamcy Plaza and Sharjah City Centre would close by the end of the year.
“Al Maya owns the franchise to these stores so they do not have to close, but the company has chosen to close them,” the Al Maya buyer Noor Tayyaba told The National.
The BHS group collapsed a year after it was sold by Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia to Retail Acquisitions, a consortium led by the former racing driver and three times bankrupt Dominic Chappell.
But in Abu Dhabi it was business as usual for the 11 BHS stores operated by Liwa Trading Enterprises, a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi’s Al Nasser Holdings.
A Liwa spokesman confirmed that its stores, located in some of Abu Dhabi and Al Ain’s largest shopping malls, would continue to trade despite the closure this week of all 163 BHS stores in the United Kingdom.
“BHS still has a loyal cus­tomer base in the Middle East. Our customers in Abu Dhabi tend to be Arab expatriates who like the styling offered by the brand,” a Liwa spokesman said.
“We have always found it easy to meet the minimum targets for our franchises with the BHS brand and intend to continue with it.”
In June, the Qatari conglomerate Al Mana acquired the company’s international franchising business and all domain names.
Alshaya Group manages 26 franchised BHS stores across the Arabian Gulf – 13 in Saudi Arabia, 12 in Kuwait and one in Oman. The company is also understood to be continuing with the brand.
BHS is not the only international brand to continue trading in the region after facing insolvency elsewhere. The book seller Borders and the ladies fashion chain Jane Norman are among overseas high street names that continue to trade here.
“There are a number of brands which continue to exist in the UAE even though their parent companies have disappeared elsewhere,” said David Mac­adam, the chief executive of the Middle East Council of Shopping Centres.
“The challenge for franchisees in these sorts of occasions is to continue to source stock. However, for a brand like BHS that sort of low to mid-market value retailer is still very popular in the UAE and I think there is still a lot of room for them in the market.”

Apple store opens its doors at World Trade Center Hub

I’m walking into the belly of the beast.
Actually, it’s just the latest Apple store in New York’s World Trade Center Transportation Hub, which opened its doors to shoppers on Tuesday. But the entrance to get to the store appears otherworldly, I look up and follow the dividers as they extend into the white steel ribs of the ceiling, part of the marquee structure known as the “Oculus.” For a moment, it seems like I’m being swallowed whole by a whale.
Apple’s latest brick-and-mortar location incorporates many of the same aesthetic pillars that Apple design leader Jony Ive brought to the company’s other recently constructed stores. The WTC location’s opening comes just two and a half weeks after Apple’s first store in Brooklyn and 15 years after the original World Trade Center shopping mall was hit by the September 11, 2001, attacks. As companies like Microsoft trend towards a white, minimalist design, Apple has embraced organic elements and warm hues.

The interior’s oak wood tables and light brown tones coloring the paneled walls and stools mirror its Brooklyn and San Francisco counterparts. The two-story store exhibits three of Apple’s newest design elements: the Forum, a workshop area complete with a 6K video wall, Creative Pros, a group of specialists on Apple Music and photography, and the Avenues, long storefront-esque walls filled with products that change seasonally.
Though the Oculus location did not boast a full-on “grove,” San Francisco’s replacement of the genius bar — a tree-lined area teeming with genius helpers — it had a small living wall filled with live plants.

The store rests on hallowed ground. The seven new World Trade Center buildings replace the ones destroyed by the 9/11 attacks. The structures span sixteen acres in lower Manhattan and the Apple location joins other retailers such as Cole Haan, Italian grocer Eataly and cosmetic retailer Kiehl’s in the over half a million square feet of shopping and dining spots run by retail developer Westfield.
The Oculus houses two stories of shops with the Apple store situated in the middle of the retail area, flanked by a train terminal and clothing company John Varvatos.
The transportation hub connects the PATH commuter train system, 11 subways and the Battery Park City ferry terminal. Designer Santiago Caltrava initially predicted the project would cost $2.2 billion and take five years to construct. It has now been over ten years since construction began and has cost more than $4 billion of public money.

The World Trade Center “Oculus” houses retailers like Apple, Cole Haan and Swatch. And it looks a bit like a glorious whale carcass.

BHS’ flagship Oxford Street store closes doors on 88 years of shopping history

Shutters are brought down as BHS’ flagship Oxford Street store closes doors on 88 years of shopping history
The shutters of BHS’s flagship branch in central London have come down for the final time – with no stores to be left by next weekend.
The Oxford Street outlet is one of 58 closing over the next eight days as administrators call time on 88 years of British retail history.
On their last-ever shift, workers spoke of their fears as the chain’s collapse has affected 11,000 jobs and 22,000 pensions.
The shutters of BHS’s flagship branch in central London have come down for the final time – with no stores to be left by next weekend 
Retail billionaire Sir Philip Green has borne the brunt of the public fallout, having been branded the ‘the unacceptable face of capitalism’ by furious MPs

Retail billionaire Sir Philip Green has borne the brunt of the public fallout, having been branded the ‘the unacceptable face of capitalism’ by furious MPs
Maira Estupinan, 39, said: ‘I’m very sad, for myself and everyone losing their jobs. I have worked with so many lovely people here, a lovely manager, and I’m so upset to leave.’
Inside, the 100,000 sq ft shop – which cost BHS about £2 million in rent per year – was littered with scores of red and yellow ‘everything must go’ style signs advertising as much as 80 per cent off.
Hundreds of last-minute customers picked over the remaining stock in the store, which has been BHS’ flagship for about 40 years.
Duff & Phelps and FRP Advisory have already overseen 105 closures over the past weeks, with the last of BHS’s total 163 stores scheduled to close on August 20.
News of the store’s failure in April sparked a lengthy parliamentary inquiry and has left its high-profile former owners potentially facing a criminal investigation.
Retail billionaire Sir Philip Green has borne the brunt of the public fallout, having been branded the ‘the unacceptable face of capitalism’ by furious MPs. 
The Oxford Street outlet is one of 58 closing over the next eight days as administrators call time on 88 years of British retail history

The Oxford Street outlet is one of 58 closing over the next eight days as administrators call time on 88 years of British retail history
Sir Philip owned BHS for 15 years before selling it to serial bankrupt Dominic Chappell for £1 in 2015.
Sir Philip has come under fire for taking more than £400 million in dividends from the chain, leaving it with a £571 million pension deficit and for selling it to a man with no retail experience.
Veteran Labour MP Frank Field has asked the Serious Fraud Office to launch a formal investigation into the pair to ascertain if any criminal wrongdoing occurred during the sale of the chain and throughout their respective ownerships.
He said: ‘The central concern that emerged from our inquiry was the rushed sale of a struggling high street institution to manifestly unsuitable buyers.
‘There is no way someone with Sir Philip Green’s experience believed they were anything but.’
Inside, the 100,000 sq ft shop was littered with scores of red and yellow ‘everything must go’ style signs advertising as much as 80 per cent off

Inside, the 100,000 sq ft shop was littered with scores of red and yellow ‘everything must go’ style signs advertising as much as 80 per cent off
Surai Zacarias, 36, who has worked at BHS since 2012, said: ‘I have to look for another job, of course, it’s been such a long day. It’s been very badly managed by those in charge, I wish this to happen to no one else – not at any company.
‘It is not easy to come in to work and the next thing you have no job.’
Brendon Cabey, 34, from Islington, north London, has worked at BHS for 12 years. He said that if he saw Sir Philip he would ‘say nothing at all to him. He has made this company go down the drain. I would not talk to him’.
He said he is ‘trying not to think’ about his pension.
Nikki Rav, 25, has worked in the store since she was 17.
She said of Sir Philip: ‘Just leave it to Karma. It will come round to him.’ 
Iain Wright MP: Sir Philip Green to blame for BHS demise

Starbucks to open at Menlyn Maine

“We are completely humbled by the support we have received since opening our first store in April. This new development gives us an opportunity to bring our iconic coffee to an iconic city with a rich food and coffee culture. We are honoured and excited to bring the Starbucks experience to ‘Jacaranda City’,” says Carlo Gonzaga, CEO of Taste Holdings.

The 250sqm store at Menlyn Maine in Pretoria will offer the full Starbucks experience including 100% Arabica coffee, a fresh, delicious food selection and free, high-speed Wi-Fi. The new store will also offer a Reserve Bar that will serve some of the world’s rarest single-origin, small-lot coffees and prepared through a variety of unique brewing methods, including siphon, pour-over, and the Clover™ brewing system. 
“Starbucks is known as the ‘third place’, a place away from home and work where people connect, share and create. Every aspect of this store has been created to be the ultimate ‘third place’ in Pretoria,” adds Gonzaga. As with all Starbucks stores, individuality is important and the store design is inspired by Pretoria’s community and surroundings. As with the first two stores, local artisans will contribute to the design, and décor for the store.
Store partners have been recruited from the surrounding communities through Taste’s Changing Lanes programme, which focuses on giving opportunities to currently unemployed youth.
“We selected Menlyn Maine not just because of its location but because it offers consumers something new,” concludes Gonzaga. Menlyn Maine is set to become Africa’s biggest green city with over 30 000sqm of space and is due to open late September.

Costa Coffee UAE digitises its menu boards

Costa Coffee’s franchise partner in the Middle East has invested in digital menu screens as it looks to improve the customer experience in the company’s Dubai stores.
Over 50 Costa Coffee shops in Dubai are in the process of being refreshed with digital signage installations, as the global chain looks to update the experience it offers customers in its stores.
These stores are operated as a franchise by Emirates Leisure Retail, which has led the project after being given approval by the company’s global brand management team in London.
Emirates Leisure Retail selected Mood Media – the company that manages Costa’s in-store music – to provide the menu boards. Digital signage media player company, BrightSign, is hosting the technology, while the equipment itself is supplied by local distributor, Digital Communications.

Digital menu boards are being introduced as each store goes through a refurbishment, and around half of the installations have been completed to date. Mood Media is now in talks to extend the digital boards to other Costa Coffee stores in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) territories.
Shemaine Jones, head of marketing at Emirates Leisure Retail, said: “We are always looking for ways to improve the customer experience.
“We spent six months evaluating digital menu board formats and content offline to create a formula that fully reflects our brand values and the store context. Only then did we move ahead with a pilot.”
The central screen features video content provided by Costa Coffee and/or created by Mood GCC locally in Dubai, while the screens to either side offer up-to-date menus and pricing, as well as moving images.

Axiom launches new concept store in Abu Dhabi

Axiom telecom, the UAE’s largest mobility retailer, has brought its ‘experiential shopping’ to Abu Dhabi with the first-of-its-kind retail concept in the emirate.
The launch of axiom’s innovative shopping concept in Abu Dhabi Mall marks the retailer’s third store renovation in the UAE after Dubai Festival City and The Dubai Mall. It is also the sixth axiom revamp in the region, with three recent store launches in Saudi Arabia.
Shopper expectations in the UAE capital are evolving from being product-based to experience-based, according to axim CEO Fahad Al Bannai.
“Abu Dhabi shoppers largely comprise young Millennials who are looking for a non-traditional retail experience, one characterised by the ability to experience products before making a purchase,” he said.
“In today’s fast-paced lifestyle and competitive market environment, customer convenience and service excellence are key to the success of any business. Through our deep understanding of the local and regional market, we are able to offer a one-stop-shop approach that caters to customers’ diverse requirements,” says Al Bannai. “Shoppers are now able to walk into our store, experience the latest gadgets, personalise their chosen device, activate it, and sign up for reliable aftercare services all under one roof. So customers leave not only with a personalised product they can begin using immediately, but also peace of mind, knowing that they truly got value for their purchase.”
Among the many exciting new services shoppers will discover at axiom is ‘XCustoms’, a first-of-its-kind in-store customisation zone that allows customers to personalise their smartphone.
From gold plating, engraving, and colorful skins, to UV printing, clear protection, and Swarovski crystals, XCustoms allows gadget owners to express their individuality – whether it is supporting a favourite band or team, or showcasing a unique sense of style. Nearly all services are completed in-store, allowing customers to make a statement with their personalised device in as little as 15 minutes, the company said.

Waitrose opens UK’s first cashless store

Waitrose have opened their flagship cashless store in Sky Central, the TV network’s head office building.
The 1400 sq ft store, which was first announced in March this year, will cater to over 3500 staff although it is the second smallest Waitrose store in the UK.
This is the first cashless store to open in the UK, meaning customers can only pay with their smartphones or credit cards at one of five self-service checkouts.
The John Lewis-owned grocer has pioneered the way many supermarkets and general retailers are predicted to go, replacing physical cash transactions with a purely digital format.
Following interviews to determine the most needed items within the heavily-staffed Osterly Sky campus, the store will stock food to go sandwiches, wraps and sushi, evening meals, celebration cakes, fresh flowers, fresh bread and croissants as well as cupboard staples.

New rent record set for Oxford Street


The record for the highest-ever retail rent on Oxford Street has been broken in a new deal with Polish cosmetics retailer Inglot, Property Week can reveal.

Starbucks to open its first ever drive-through coffee shop in Northern Ireland

Have you ever wished you could get a Starbucks coffee without the hassle of getting out of your car?

Well soon you will be able to as Connswater has signed a deal with coffee house chain Starbucks that will see the company open its first ever drive-through store in Northern Ireland.

The 3,300 sq. ft. store in the east Belfast retail park will open before the end of this year, with construction expected to begin in early October, subject to planning permission.

The news comes as Connswater owner Killultagh Estates confirmed that it intends to invest £200,000 in a transformational landscaping project which will result in significant improvements being made to the connectivity from the Retail Park to the Shopping Centre in conjunction with the Belfast City Council’s Greenway Project.

The landscaping project, which is also subject to planning approval, is due to be completed by January 2017. Its completion will coincide with the opening of grocery retailer Lidl’s multi-million pound expansion at its store in Connswater, which is also scheduled to open in late January.
Laura McCarthy, asset manager for Killultagh, said: “The decision by Starbucks to choose Connswater as its first location in Northern Ireland for a drive-through store demonstrates the confidence that retailers have in the scheme and its strategic location in east Belfast. We are also looking forward to the opening of Lidl’s new 23,000 sq. ft. expanded store early in the New Year.
“With such positive activity taking place we believe that now is the right time to invest in the wider project and to connect our Centre to the work that Belfast City Council is doing as part of the Connswater Community Greenway, with a new urban walk way and pedestrian crossing. We are always striving to improve the shopping experience for our customers and this project will play an important role in that.”

3 coolest department stores in Asia

As the retail industry shifts towards an increasingly digital realm, it might seem like department stores are going out of style.
But, there’s only so much virtual trying-on of things — clothes, shoes, lipstick, you name it — before you want to touch, feel and try the products in real life.
That’s why there will always be a place for department stores, which, besides being a physical store, offer an immersive and curated shopping experience in person.
Based on CNN’s list of the world’s best department stores, here are the top picks from Asia:
Isetan, Shinjuku, Tokyo


Isetan Shinjuku TokyoIsetan’s nine-storey flagship store generates the most sales of any department store in Japan. What’s more, it’s connected by two bridges to Isetan Men’s 10-storey department store next door, which has a golf school on its roof.
Eslite Spectrum Songyan Store, Taipei


Eslite Sonyan Taiwan StoreEslite Spectrum sells a variety of lifestyle products, from books to specialty foods and handicrafts in Taiwan. Eslite Spectrum in Songyan is a former tobacco factory turned creative park featuring Taiwanese designers and creative lifestyle products from hundreds of brands.
Nihonbashi Mitsukoshi Main Store, Tokyo


Nihonbashi Mitsukoshi Main Store, Tokyo RobotThis might be Japan’s oldest department store chain, but where else can you interact with a kimono-clad robot? Meet Aiko Chihira, a Toshiba-developed robot that’s in charge of the information desk at Mitsukoshi department store in Nihonbashi, Tokyo. Tip: this century-old store has a renowned gentleman’s department.

Tesco opens finest pop-up wine bar in Soho

Tesco has opened a finest pop-up wine bar in London’s Soho this month. Located at 147 Wardour Street in an art gallery that is closed for the summer, the wine bar opened on 2 August and will run until 13 August.

A selection of discovery wine flights will be on offer to help visitors discover varieties they might not know. Members of the Tesco wine team and other experts will be on hand to advise visitors and answer any questions for the duration of the pop-up. 
For those wanting a more in-depth encounter with the wines, two 30 minute Masterclasses take place daily in the Tasting Room, taking guests through four specially selected finest wines. 

Hackett opens new store in London at One New Change

Menswear brand Hackett London is set to launch a new store within London’s One New Change shopping centre in St Paul’s this 4 August.

According to One New Change, the store will carry the brand’s Mayfair and formal collections, as well as a curated selection of casual wear and accessories. The store will also offer the full Hackett experience including onsite tailoring services such as bespoke, personal tailoring and made to measure.
The One New Change location will add to further Hackett stores in London on Jeremyn Street, Sloane Street and Regent Street.
The space will showcase a handpicked selection of artwork by the late Brian Blow, a British artist renowned for his graphic prints and abstract sculptures. Other design elements will include ‘top-hat’ lamps above the cash desks, parquet flooring and a Georgian archway, said One New Change

Salvatore Ferragamo opens largest store in Canada, in Ontario

Salvatore Ferragamo has recently opened its largest store in Canada at Square One in Mississauga, Ontario. The new store which covers 4,425 square feet features bags, accessories and footwear for men and women, as well as ready-to-wear collections for both men and women. The store is divided into a series of rooms, providing a luxurious and intimate in-store experience.

The new Ferragamo store in Ontario joins the other two stores of the brand in Canada, in Toronto (Yorkdale Shopping Centre) and Vancouver (Robson St.)

Crocs stock plunges 18% after weak earnings report

Shares of Crocs Inc. CROX, -23.27% plunged 18% in premarket trade Wednesday after the company reported a far worse-than-expected decline in sales and a disappointing outlook. The company reported net income of $15.5 million, or 13 cents a share, slightly higher than $13.4 million, or 11 cents a share, in the year-earlier period, as the company reduced expenses. Analysts polled by FactSet had been anticipating earnings of 15 cents a share. Revenue fell 6% to $324 million from $345 million a year ago, below the consensus estimate of $348 million. Its outlook for the current quarter also missed expectations and implied further sales declines, which it blamed on a “more cautious retail environment” and slower turnaround in China. The shoe company is guiding toward revenue in the range of $245 million to $255 million, compared with $274 million a year ago, below analysts’ expectations of $289 million. As of Tuesday’s close, shares of Crocs had been down 27% in the past 12 months, versus a 3% improvement for the S&P 500 SPX, +0.31%

Office Depot closing 300 more stores; to expand ‘store of future’ pilot

Just three months after its proposed acquisition by Staples ran into regulatory roadblocks, Office Depot unveiled its plans for the future as a standalone retailer.
In its second quarter financial filing, the chain announced it would close an additional 300 stores during the next three years, a move that is anticipated to help cut annual costs by some $250 million by the end of 2018. Office Depot is also planning to cut costs by reducing procurement and general and administrative costs.
The retailer said it intends to build on the early success of its “store of the future” format by expanding the pilot program to a total of 24 stores by the end of 2016, with 100 stores targeted for 2017. The format features a smaller 15,000 sq. ft. footprint and is designed to provide customers with an enhanced shopping experience including a curated assortment of products and expanded services.
Office Depot said it expects that many of the elements in its new format will be incorporated across the retail portfolio in the coming years, “which will create a more consistent and efficient retail operating model with enhanced sales per square foot.”
For the quarter ended June 25, Office Depot revenue 6.5% to $3.22 billion, roughly in line with analysts’ estimates. 
The retailer reported net income of $210 million for the second quarter, largely due to the $250 million breakup fee it had received from Staples, compared with a loss of $58 million.
Office Depot also said it had initiated a quarterly dividend of 2.5 cents per share and would increase its stock buyback plan to $250 million from $100 million.
Office Depot, which has already closed 400 stores, ended the period with 1,513 stores in North America.

Dyson opens first UK store on Oxford Street

 

Dyson has opened its first store in the UK, a showcase for its vacuum cleaners, fans and newly-launched hairdryer on Oxford Street in central London.
The two-floor “Dyson demo”, which will open to the public on Wednesday morning, will have no visible tills, but central exhibits allowing shoppers to try out the engineering group’s creations as well as displays showing how they work.
Dyson has traditionally sold its products online and through third-party retailers such as Currys, but the physical store on Europe’s biggest shopping street is an emerging front for the company.
The company already has outlets in Paris, Tokyo, Moscow and Jakarta, and its chief executive Max Conze said it was looking at New York, San Francisco and other areas. Other technology companies, in particular Apple, have built major retail networks in recent years, which have become a substantial source of income.

“We think it’s important that people can experience our technology, can see and understand the inside of our technology,” Mr Conze said. “Our products have to be so good that if you try it you intuitively understand it.”
Rather than cashiers, the store will employ specialist assistants, and checkout terminals are hidden in drawers, with the space dedicated to allowing visitors to try out Dyson’s products.
It includes different types of floor for experimenting with the company’s vacuum cleaners, and an upstairs salon for testing its £299 hairdryer.
Dyson’s own technology is also used in the store. The company claims that its air-purifiers will make it the cleanest store in London – despite Oxford Street’s status as the most polluted in the UK – while it has installed lights designed by Sir James Dyson’s son Jake, whose company was bought by Dyson last year.

Bentley’s Dubai showroom to be its largest worldwide

British luxury car company Bentley will open its biggest showroom worldwide in Dubai on Wednesday with Al Habtoor Motors, its agent in the United Arab Emirates.

The six-storey showroom costs more than 120 million dirhmas ( $32.67 million), the Arabic-language UAE daily Al Bayan quoted Karl Hamer, managing director of Al Habtoor Motors, as saying.
 He said the project is part of Al Habtoor Motor’s 1 billion-dirham spending plan over seven years that aims to increase market share and sales in the UAE.
The 7,000-square metre showroom, located on Sheikh Zayed Road, will have three floors dedicated to more than 40 new and used cars along with a cafe and a lounge for VIP clients. The remaining floors will provide parking facilities for visitors.