Monthly Archives: September 2016

Cotton On Group’s youth brand Supré opens in SA this October

Supré, an Australian fast fashion chain aimed at the youth market, and owned by the Cotton On Group, has announced that the opening of three stores in South Africa by November, including Cavendish Square, Centurion Mall and Menlyn Park.

This forms part of the brand’s global expansion plans to open 15 new locations across two continents by the end of the financial year.
Cotton On Group’s youth brand Supré opens in SA this October

Supré’s focus is to embody, share and celebrate, at every touch point, what it means to be part of a positive, inspiring and supportive network of girls, that we call the girl gang,” said GM Elle Roseby.
“We know that friendships are absolutely critical to our customer – that’s why you’ll see a real celebration of girls and their friendships at every touch point within the brand. At Supré, we believe in the power of girls.”
For over three decades, Supré has delivered trend-led product, and with the brand’s proven success and strong customer engagement in Australia and New Zealand, Supré is excited about the impact it can have in this market.
“We cannot wait to bring Supré to South Africa and look forward to sharing our range with local girls. We know our global girl, philosophy, product and content will resonate in South Africa.
“We have invested significantly in our trend and design team, working out of our global head office in Australia to deliver the best in apparel and accessories. Together, our head office and Johannesburg teams will be delivering the latest fashion to our South African customers, at an accessible price point,” said Roseby.
Central to the brand is its philanthropic arm, the Supré Foundation, and its vision to ensure all girls have the opportunity to fulfill their potential.

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Forever 21 to open second HK store in Mong Kok

US fast-fashion retailer Forever 21 will open its second store in Hong Kong this year, capitalising on the shift in consumer demand from luxury to non-luxury products.

“Due to the demand of our consumers, we have continued our expansion throughout Hong Kong and mainland China. Hong Kong also has a vibrant history of international business and we saw a lot of potential for growth, which is why we wanted to bring a second Forever 21 store to this space,” the fashion retailer said in an email reply to Retail in Asia.
The new store will be located at Pakpolee Commercial Centre on Mong Kok’s Sai Yeung Choi Street, trading over 18,804 square feet, people familiar with the matter told Retail in Asia.
“Mong Kok offers a premier shopping experience and we believe it is a good fit for our second store in Hong Kong. We are very selective in choosing a location for any store. We make it a top priority when selecting a new location to ensure that it is accessible to customers and that it can house and properly represent our merchandise, staying true to our brand,” noted Forever 21.
The fashion chain will pay a monthly rent of HKD2.5 million (USD321,000) to lease the three-story retail space with a ground-floor entrance, according to the source. The first floor and the ground floor were currently taken by cosmetic retailer Sa Sa with a monthly rent of HKD1.25 million. The second and third floors were leased to California Fitness for about HKD1 million per month. The fitness center moved out three years ago.
The new store is estimated to open in late summer or early fall this year according to Forever 21.
With a monthly rent of HKD2.5 million for its new store, Forever 21 made the largest retail leasing transaction in the fourth quarter of 2015 in key shopping destinations of Hong Kong, according to data compiled by Retail in Asia. It demonstrates the retailer’s confidence in the market’s potential for cheap chic fashion which also supports CBRE’s prediction that mid-range brands are set to expand in Hong Kong when luxury retailers are struggling with declining sales and leaving core retail locations.
CBRE believes that Hong Kong will transform from a luxury goods oriented retail market to a mid-range market. “Mid-market retailers will benefit from the change in spending patterns and remain the main demand driver for retail space. Some of them will use this window of opportunity to re-establish themselves in prime locations and/ or expand their retail networks,” the real estate adviser said in its latest report Hong Kong Retail MarketView Q4 2015.
With Forever 21 opening another store in Hong Kong, more mid-market retailers are expected to ride on the wave and expand their store networks in the city.
Founded in 1984, Forever 21 now operates more than 730 stores in 48 countries. The brand debuted in Asia in 2008 by launching the first store in Seoul, followed by its second in Japan the next year.
In 2012, the US retailer entered Hong Kong by unveiling a six-floor flagship store in the in the Capitol Centre of Causeway Bay. It paid a monthly rent of HKD11 million for the 51,188-square-foot space.
The fashion retailer currently has 16 stores in Greater China which include 12 stores in mainland China, 1 in Hong Kong, 1 in Macau and 2 in Taiwan.
Aside from Hong Kong, Forever 21 also plans to expand its retail footprint into other markets in Asia although it didn’t disclose the details. “In 2016, we plan on expanding our store presence in Japan, Indonesia, China, and the Philippines,” the fashion retailer told Retail in Asia.

Pandora names new UK managing director

The announcement of Winther’s appointment follows the news broken by Retail Jeweller in July of this year that Peter Andersen, president of Pandora UK, is set to depart the business.
Andersen’s departure date has now been confirmed for October 31 of this year while Winther’s start date will be January 1, 2017.
In the interim David Allen, president of Pandora EMEA, will be the main point of contact for the UK business and will be working with the current UK management team.
Winther brings to the role more than 25 years of retail experience and is said to have a proven track record of strong collaboration with Pandora’s retail partners in Australia and New Zealand as well as an existing understanding of the business.

Before he starts on January 1, Winther will be visiting the UK to meet with the existing team and Pandora’s network of retail partners in preparation for his new role.

House of Fraser profits plunge 46% in first half of 2016

House of Fraser profits dived nearly 50% in the first half of the year as the department store said it faced a “very challenging retail environment” in the light of unseasonable weather and Brexit uncertainty.

Underlying profits fell 46% from £9.2m 12 months ago to £5m in the six months to the end of July – excluding interest payments, tax, write downs on the value of property, and a one-off fall in income of nearly £4m related to a new credit card agreement.
Profits were hit by the increased cost of delivering goods ordered online and a decline in sales of House of Fraser’s own brands.
Total sales remained steady at £573.5m as the group’s established department stores experienced a 2.5% slump. Underlying sales, including a 17.8% rise in online sales, lifted 0.9%.
Nigel Oddy, chief executive of the group, which was bought by Chinese conglomerate Sanpower in April 2014, said House of Fraser had experienced an “extremely volatile trading environment”.
The profit slump comes after fellow department stores John Lewis and Next both revealed a fall in first-half profits as they were hit by the need to discount to clear summer stock.
Oddy said: “We would never use the weather as an excuse but we had record temperatures in September when we were selling autumn product and cold temperatures in June when we were trying to sell summer. When we have a warm day [in the autumn], sales drop off a cliff. Far more than ever before shoppers are buying now to wear now.”
He said that shoppers had also been affected by uncertainty around the EU referendum since January this year, and consumer confidence continued to be affected by concern about what Brexit might mean for household finances.
“All of that goes into the pot and make a very volatile market and low consumer confidence,” Oddy said.
House of Fraser is trying to tempt more shoppers into stores by introducing new brands and concessions. It plans to install five Hamleys toy areas by the end of November and has also brought in All Saints, Monsoon and Mulberry.
The department store’s poor performance was in sharp contrast to online specialist Boohoo.com which revealed a better than expected 40% rise in sales and 129% rise in pre-tax profits in the six months to 31 August.
The clothing site said it had attracted 28% more shoppers and increased the amount each shopper bought as it expanded in Europe and the US and extended its ranges in menswear, lingerie and plus-size womenswear.

Serious Fraud Office steps up BHS investigation

The Serious Fraud Office has stepped up its inquiries into the collapse of BHS and the conduct of the department store chain’s former owner Dominic Chappell.

The Guardian understands that the SFO has contacted individuals involved in running BHS before it fell into administration in April, and the administrators themselves, and asked for a series of documents. The SFO is thought to be particularly interested in the dealings of Chappell and his consortium, Retail Acquisitions, during the 13 months it owned the retailer.
The move raises the possibility of the agency launching a formal investigation into the collapse of BHS and Chappell. The SFO always explores whether there is reasonable grounds to suspect that fraud has taken place before publicly announcing it is launching a full investigation.
The demise of BHS led to 11,000 job losses and left a £571m pension deficit. Its failure is already under investigation by the Insolvency Service and the Pensions Regulator, but the SFO’s interest raises the stake considerably because it has the power to bring criminal charges.
Chappell controversially bought BHS for £1 from Sir Philip Green in March 2013. The company collapsed just 13 months later, but Retail Acquisitions received at least £17m from the retailer.
A parliamentary investigation into events at BHS accused Chappell of having “had his fingers in the till” and helping to oversee the “systematic plunder” of the business. The MPs labelled Chappell and the other directors of Retail Acquisitions as “incompetent and self-serving”.
Chappell owes more than £500,000 to the taxman on the profits he made from owning BHS. Chappell has put the business that owes the tax, Swiss Rock Limited, into liquidation, meaning he could walk away without paying the bill.
Swiss Rock is Chappell’s personal business and was paid at least £1.6m by BHS. It owes £365,000 in VAT and £196,306 in corporation tax, according to documents drawn up by Chappell and David Rubin & Partners, the liquidator.
The SFO confirmed that it was reviewing documents relating to BHS but was yet to open a formal investigation.
A SFO spokesperson said: “The SFO confirms it is reviewing material in its possession. If the director considers there are reasonable grounds to suspect serious or complex fraud which meets his criteria, he will open a criminal investigation.”
Chappell declined to comment. He has previously said he “earned” the money paid out from BHS, that his “conscience is very clear” and his team “did the right thing, right the way through”.
Green remains in talks with the pensions regulator about a deal to bail out the BHS pension scheme. The billionaire tycoon, his family and other BHS investors collected more than £580m from the company during the 15 years he ran it.

Green told MPs in June that he would “sort” the pension deficit. However, he is yet to secure an agreement, despite pressure from MPs such as Frank Field, who has said Green should be stripped of his knighthood if he does not pump money into the pension scheme.
Field chaired the parliamentary investigation into BHS alongside Iain Wright. The report concluded that the collapse of the company represented the “unacceptable face of capitalism”.
The last of BHS’s 164 shops closed in August. However, the Middle Eastern group that bought the BHS brand and international business out of administration will relaunch it on Friday as a website. BHS.com will sell a range of lighting and furniture, with plans to eventually sell kitchen and dining products and clothing.
David Anderson, the managing director of BHS International, said the website would sell about 75% of the most popular online items before the original company fell into administration.
He said: “A huge amount of work has gone into rebuilding and launching BHS back into the UK as an online retailer. With a loyal British customer base of well over one million people and the fact that we have secured contracts with so many leading suppliers who are providing products that were among the most popular with our shoppers, we are in the best possible position for launch.”

Tod’s opens new store in Almaty, Kazakhstan

Tod’s has recently opened a new store in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Located on the second floor of the Esentai Mall, the new Tod’s store features the complete range of collections for women, men and children.

Typo to open first UK store in December

Australian stationery retailer Typo is set to open its first UK shop in London in December, according to reports.
According to Retail Week, the retailer – which also sells travel accessories, crafts, lighting, cushions, gadgets and gift cards – will occupy a 2000 sq ft store in Westfield Stratford City.
It is also reported that Typo is exploring further expansion opportunities in the capital with three additional stores.
The move follows recent launches by rival Australian stationery and gift chains into the UK.

In 2014, Smiggle opened its first UK store and is already expecting to have more than 90 stores trading by Christmas. Just this week, its parent company posted impressive full-year financial results, which it said was boosted by its international growth.
Meanhwile last year, kikki.K opened the first of three stores in London.
Typo is owned by Cotton On, which currently operates around 1200 stores in 12 countries, including the US, South Africa, Germany, France, Greece, Singapore and Hong Kong, and of course Australia. 

BHS relaunches in the UK as online retailer
BHS went into administration in April last year after failing to get customers into its stores. Now, after successfully securing a buyer for its online properties, the department store is set to reopen next week as an online retailer.
As part of the relaunch, BHS has scrapped its once wide range of product verticals and is honing in on lighting and home furnishings, which made up over 50 per cent of BHS’s online revenue before it shut up shop earlier this year, according to the brand.
BHS.com will open for business in the UK on Thursday (29 September), and over the coming weeks will add new ranges to its offering including kitchen and dining ware, and clothing items. The new-look website will have a smaller range of products than it did before, but a greater focus on items that are ‘best-sellers’.
The redesigned website makes it easier for customers to navigate order and checkout, and has been optimised for an omnichannel experience for the first time, following in the footsteps of its rival John Lewis. It was BHS’ unwillingness to adapt to a digital world that helped push the brand it into unmanageable debt in the first place.
In June 2016, weeks after BHS went into administration after failing to secure a buyer to take on its £571m pensions deficit, BHS International (UK) Limited, which was formed by the Al Mana Group, acquired BHS.com, the International franchise business, and the BHS brand.
The Al Mana Group operates in a number of sectors including retail, automotive, real estate, media and technology. It represents a range of high profile brands including: Zara, Mango, Armani Exchange, United Colors of Benetton and Reebok.
At the time of BHS going into administration, its international and online businesses were profitable and growing, the brand claims. As a result, the Al Mana Group has retained many of the key people running this side of the business including David Anderson, managing director of BHS International, Sara Bradley, buying director, and Dave West, head of creative.
The new BHS, which will be headquartered in London, has 84 employees – the vast majority of who worked for the retailer before it went into administration. David Anderson will be overseeing the launch of the UK online business, with a view to recruiting an executive at a later date to run this operation.
He said: “We are thrilled to be relaunching this iconic brand back into the UK. It had a loyal customer base with around 1.2 million British shoppers who bought from us online, and for our relaunch we have managed to secure many of the products they liked the most.
“In addition to this, we have developed a new specially designed online platform for our UK business so we are not inheriting any legacy systems, and we were able to recruit the majority of people who worked on the profitable online and international operations of BHS before it went into administration.
“So although we are starting again in the UK, we have a number of advantages over a typical start-up. We are nimble and efficient, but with a great brand, strong customer base and a proven and dedicated team.”
It’s a deal that is reminiscent of music store HMV’s similar battle with dwindling customers to its brick-and-mortar stores, going into administration in January 2013. In April of the same year the brand was rescued from disappearing from the high street completely through a Hilco acquisition worth £50m that included 141 stores and 2,500 jobs.

Apple celebrates grand opening of first retail store in Mexico

Apple today officially opened its first retail store in Mexico. The store is located in Vía Santa Fe and marks the “first time customers in Mexico City can experience all of Apple’s products and services in one place.” Apple shared images from the grand opening experience this evening in a news release…

Apple noted in its release that “crowds of customers” lined up overnight to experience the grand opening, with the first customers arriving at 7PM on Friday night.
Earlier his month, we shared images of Apple’s first retail store in Mexico, noting of a colorful barricade protecting the store that said “Hello Mexico, we have much to celebrate.” The store is located in the Centro Santa Fe shopping mall.
Apple wrote the following regarding the grand opening of its first retail location in Mexico:
Crowds of customers began lining up overnight for the grand opening of Apple Vía Santa Fe, the first Apple Store in Mexico. Saturday’s grand opening marks the first time customers in Mexico City can experience all of Apple’s products and services in one place.
Tim Cook also celebrated the grand opening of the retail store in a tweet reading, “Thank you for having us, Mexico!”
Apple is also preparing to open a new retail store in Cologne, Germany, thought it’s unclear when this location will officially open. The Cologne store is located in the high traffic shopping district Schildergasse.

STARBUCKS OPENS ITS THIRD SOUTH AFRICAN STORE IN MENLYN MAINE IN THE CITY OF TSHWANE

Starbucks opens its third South African store in Menlyn Maine in the city of Tshwane 

Starbucks opens its third South African store in Menlyn Maine in the city of Tshwane

Johannesburg, South Africa, 2016-Sep-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — In partnership with Taste Holdings, Starbucks has opened its third South African store in Menlyn Maine in the city of Tshwane. Once the mall is complete in 2017, Menlyn Maine will be the biggest green development in South Africa, and the new epicenter of the city. Beginning today (September 21, 2016), Tshwane residents have their own place to enjoy Starbucks 100% arabica coffee, fresh food offerings and free high-speed Wi-Fi in a beautiful new store.
“We are honored to open our doors in a city with such a rich culture and appreciation for food. Just like in our first two Starbucks stores, we hope our customers will consider this new store as a ‘third place’ between home and work, where people connect, share and create. It is a place where ideas are born and memories are created – it’s about so much more than a cup of coffee,” said Carlo Gonzaga, CEO of Taste Holdings.
The store’s design was inspired by the cityscape of Tshwane. Strong geometric lines of the buildings and the city’s warm tones had an influence on the store’s aesthetic. The natural, scored concrete walls celebrate the hard work and craft of the city. The highlight of the store is a hand-painted mural by Seven Veil Studios that pays homage to the very first Starbucks store in Seattle’s Pike Place Market, while celebrating South Africa through the local flora.
“Every aspect of this store has been created to be the ultimate ‘third place.’ We hope that this store will become a part of the city and our history,” said Gonzaga.
Starbucks Reserve™ Bar offers special small-batch single origin coffees served by skilled baristas through a variety of brewing methods, including Siphon, Pour-Over, and the Clover™ brewing system. Customers can enjoy Reserve coffees from Colombia San Fermin, Colombia Los Rosales, and Cape Verde Figo Island.
“With our first two South African stores open and doing well in Johannesburg, I am delighted to see a new store open in Pretoria,” said Martin Brok, president, Starbucks Europe, Middle East and Africa. “Our whole business is excited about being part of these South Africa neighborhoods and I’m proud that this store will extend the Changing Lanes program even further. We’ll now be able to offer great career opportunities to local young people in Pretoria, including training in world class customer service and barista mastery.”
The store team of 30 partners has been recruited from the surrounding communities through Taste’s Changing Lanes program, which focuses on giving opportunities to currently unemployed youth.
About Taste Holdings

Taste Holdings is a South African-based management group and a leading licensor of global brands in the Southern Africa region. It owns and licenses a portfolio of franchised and owned category specialists, Quick Service Restaurants (QSR) and retail brands currently represented in five countries in Southern Africa. Its food division has a 30-year master license agreement for Domino’s Pizza in Southern Africa. It also owns, operates and franchises Zebro’s Chicken, The Fish & Chip Co., Maxi’s Restaurants, Scooters Pizza and St Elmo’s Woodfired Pizza. Its luxury goods division is underpinned by three owned retail brands – NWJ, Arthur Kaplan and World’s Finest Watches. NWJ is the third largest national jewelry chain by store numbers in the region. Arthur Kaplan and World’s Finest Watches are, together, the leading retailers of luxury Swiss watch brands in the region. Taste is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) under the symbol “TAS.” http://www.tasteholdings.co.za.
About Starbucks

Since 1971, Starbucks Coffee Company has been committed to ethically sourcing and roasting high-quality arabica coffee. Today, with more than 24,000 stores around the globe, Starbucks is the premier roaster and retailer of specialty coffee in the world. Through our unwavering commitment to excellence and our guiding principles, we bring the unique Starbucks Experience to life for every customer through every cup. To share in the experience, please visit our stores or online at news.starbucks.com and Starbucks.com.

Liverpool FC set to open first MidEast shop in Abu Dhabi

Premier League football giant Liverpool is set to open an official shop in Abu Dhabi store, with a free in-store event to be hosted by club ambassador and former striker Robbie Fowler.
The event will take place on Thursday September 29 and fans will be able to take part in a Q&A, meet and greet and signing session with Robbie, Liverpool said in a statement.
The LFC Abu Dhabi store is opening in conjunction with partner Pioneer Group and offers fans across the region access to the full range of New Balance replica kit as well as authentic Reds merchandise, apparel and fashion accessories, the statement added.
The Abu Dhabi store is the ninth official global LFC retail standalone store, and the first to be opened in the Middle East.
The club is currently looking to expand its retail operations across the Middle East with a focus to expand into Dubai.
Mike Cox, LFC director of merchandising, said: “We’re really excited to be opening the first of our planned Middle East stores in Abu Dhabi, where Liverpool FC has such a strong and passionate following. We are delighted to be able to work with Pioneer Group to offer our fans in the region access to authentic LFC merchandise across a range of product categories.”
Samir Syed, retail manager at Pioneer Group, added: “The launch of Liverpool FC’s Abu Dhabi store is a milestone event for football lovers in the UAE, and Pioneer Group is privileged to work with an iconic club to bring high-quality merchandise and further build on its popularity among the soccer fans in the country and region.”

45 Smoothie King outlets planned in Middle East

Smoothie King, which made its foray into the Middle East recently with its first outlet in Dubai, UAE, plans to open 45 stores in the region in the next five years.

The new outlet is located on the ground floor of BurJuman, one of the oldest shopping malls in the UAE.
The outlet has been launched by Al Ghurair Retail, part of Al Ghurair, following an area development agreement signed with the international smoothie brand.
Smoothie King is claimed to be the industry’s first and original nutritional fruit and function-based brand offering fresh blended smoothies.
Laurent Cabioch, general manager at Al Ghurair Retail, said: “With the demand for healthy food and beverage options on the rise in the UAE and across the region, our foray into this sector through this partnership with Smoothie King couldn’t have been timed better. People are increasingly becoming more health conscious and are proactively seeking out healthier and active lifestyle options. We definitely see potential for growth and expansion.”
“With a product offering that is fully customizable and includes a wide variety of nutritional smoothies, Smoothie King’s value proposition has been unmatched for nearly half a century. With our focus shifting to international markets growth, expansion in the Middle East is an important step forward in our ambitious growth plans of opening more than 1,000 new franchises worldwide by the end of 2017. The UAE is the perfect launch pad for a brand such as ours as we draw up plans with Al Ghurair Retail to expand Smoothie King’s presence in the country and launch across the GCC in the coming years”, said Smoothie King’s owner and CEO, Wan Kim.
Real estate professionals from Smoothie King worked closely with Al Ghurair Retail to choose the ideal location for the brand’s inaugural outlet in Dubai’s vibrant neighbourhood of Bur Dubai.
“With the fast paced life that people lead in the UAE, the demand for healthy F&B options on-the-go has increased tremendously and Smoothie King’s product offering is tailor-made to meet their needs. As the innovator and originator of the nutritional smoothie franchise, Smoothie King is the ideal partner for us as we mark our entry into the UAE and region’s F&B sector”, added Cabioch. – TradeArabia News Service

Zara owner reports unrivaled growth and expansion

The owner of Zara has released its half year results after reporting a sales increase of 11 per cent.

Inditex, which owns the high street fashion retailer posted sales of £8.9 billion during the period. 
This is a rise of eight per cent in net profits of £1 billion.
Now the world’s biggest clothing retail company, Inditex owns retailers Massimo Dutti and Bershka alongside Zara. 
It opened 83 new stores in the first half, elevating its total number to 7096.
It also opened a Zara outlet in Vietnam in the third quarter, meaning the fashion giant now has a presence in 92 countries. 
Furthermore, in the past 12 months Inditex has created 10,000 jobs across its empire.
“Both our online and bricks-and-mortar stores are seamlessly connected, driven by platforms such as mobile payment, and other technological initiatives that we will continue to develop,” chairman and chief executive Pablo Isla said. 

Wishing our readers a blessed Eid Mubarak 

R1 billion Thavhani Mall to open next year (South Africa) 

The R1 billion Thavhani Mall in Thohoyandou, Limpopo will open its doors next year.The R1 billion Thavhani Mall in Thohoyandou, Limpopo will open its doors next year.
The rapidly growing Thohoyandou town in Limpopo province is set for a major boost when the R1 billion Thavhani Mall opens its doors on 24 August next year.
The on-going shopping mall developments and others that are still in the planning phase in South Africa, is increasingly driving concerns about an oversaturated retail property market despite consumer spending being in the doldrums.
However, still, some property punters believe the market can take it.
Local businessman, Khosi Ramovha of Thavhani Property Investments, first envisaged a regional mall in the area seven years ago. He brought on board pre-eminent South African shopping centre developers and investors, Flanagan & Gerard Property Development and Investment, to help realise this vision.
Thavhani mall will be the largest shopping centre in Thohoyandou as well as the greater Thulamela Municipality.

The 50,000m2 regional shopping centre is owned and developed by Thavhani Property Investments. The mall is the anchor and catalyst of the mixed-use urban precinct development, Thavhani City, which is being developed on a 27ha site in Thohoyandou.
Thavhani City is a shared vision between Thavhani Property Investments and the Thulamela Local Municipality. It will also include the Thavhani Office Park, a motor-city and private healthcare facilities. The precinct currently includes a library, community centre, information centre, and the 40,000-capacity Thohoyandou Stadium.
Last year, JSE-listed real estate investment trust Vukile Property Fund secured a one-third stake in the mall. The stake will transfer to Vukile upon completion of the mall.

Ramovha says: “The centre is stimulating the local economy. In addition, it will enhance the lifestyle and urban fabric of region. The mall is already creating jobs while it is under construction and, upon opening next year, will introduce hundreds of new full-time jobs. And, importantly, sourcing labour from the local community has been prioritised.”
The Mall is at the heart of the growing regional economic hub of Thohoyandou, making it easy to access. It has excellent proximity to its existing CBD and major regional roads. The mall is located on the R524, which links Louis Trichardt to Punda Maria and is adjacent to the primary crossroad with the major north road to Sibasa and south to Giyani.

Paul Gerard, Managing Director of Flanagan & Gerard Property Development and Investment, a shareholder in Thavhani Property Investments, says: “We are excited that, by this time next year, the mall will be ready to make history by opening its doors to the community and its neighbours, offering them the biggest selection of shopping and leisure retail in the region.”

The mall will boast over 134 shops, a number of restaurants, and service outlets. it will also introduce many new retail brands to the region, including HiFi Corp, Spur, Panarottis, Pep Home, Green Cross, Jam Clothing, Torga Optical, Donna Claire, Queenspark, Mr Price Home and Bogart Man. 
It will be anchored by Woolworths, Edgars, Pick ‘n Pay and Superspar.
The tenant list that has secured their footprint in the double-level mall include Truworths, Foschini, Markham, Spitz, Mr Price, Pep, Ackermans, Jet, Standard Bank, Nedbank, Capitec, Shoe City, Miladys, Legit, Clicks, Link, Roots, Studio 88, Exact, Cross Trainer, John Craig, Totalsports and Sportscene.
Thohoyandou is a town in the Limpopo Province. It is the administrative centre of Vhembe District Municipality and Thulamela Local Municipality. It is also known for being the former capital of the bantustan of Venda.

Debenhams to open first Australian store in Melbourne in 2017

Australian retailers would have another big competitor in 2017 with the opening of a Debenhams in Melbourne. The UK retailer would open a smaller format department store in Australia at St Collins Lane, a new luxury shopping mall.
The British retail empire with 243 stores in 28 nations would offer in Australia its exclusive selection of designer fashion labels, but is expected to intensify the $18.6-billion department store sector Down Under. Myer, an Australian retailer, is expected to be most affected by the entry of Debenhams in the country, reports News.com.au.
Nathan Cloutman, senior industry analyst of research firm IBISWorld, explains the threat to Myer would be because the two retailers have the same target of male and female shoppers in the age group 35 to 55 and belonging to the high- to mid-price range. In contrast, David Jones caters to the higher end of the market.
Ahead of Debenhams, other high and middle-end retailers have entered the Australian market, such as Zara, H&M and Uniqlo. For local retailers with higher operating costs, it would be a struggle an international specialty retailers and the emergence of online competitors eat their share of the market, says Cloutman.
In the case of Myer, it would be vulnerable since it is in the midst of turning around its finances, notes Scott Phillips, research analyst of Motley Fool. “Debenhams may put more pressure on the underperforming retailers,” he says.
Debenhams, which entered into an agreement with Harris Scarfe, owner of Pepkor South East Asia, plans to open up to 10 outlets in Australia, reports Sydney Morning Herald. Graham Dean, managing director of Pepkor’s department stores division, says Debenhams would bring affordable, designer fashion which it would make very accessible for the average, Australian fashion lover.

H&M UK profits plunge in ‘challenging retail environment’

Sales rose 5.9% to £1bn over the year to November 30, 2015, however the fast-fashion giant’s net margin fell from 4.7% to 3.6%. Gross margin dipped from 50.6% to 48.4%.

Duarte said: “The directors believe the business performed well considering the challenging retail environment in 2015.”
The UK is H&M’s third-largest market and represents 7.6% of its global sales.
Despite the tough market, H&M hit the expansion trail in the UK last year. It opened 18 stores, including one Cos outlet and one for & Other Stories, while closing seven shops, taking its total to 265.
H&M expects to open a further 17 stores in 2016 with & Other Stories a key focus for expansion. It plans to grow the accessories brand from two to six stores over the year.
H&M is eyeing a move to open standalone menswear stores in the UK, Duarte told Retail Week this week.
He said London was “almost a paradise for men’s fashion” and said it was “working on” a move to bring menswear stores to the UK.
Designer collaboration
Despite the challenging year, H&M’s designer collaborations are still resonating with UK shoppers. Duarte said its 2015 collaboration with Kim Kardashian’s favourite designer Balmain was “extremely successful”.
The retailer is set to launch its latest tie-up with LVMH-owned Kenzo in November.

Meydan Mall One to have world’s biggest dancing fountain

Meydan Group has revealed more details about its plans to build the Meydan One Mall in Dubai, which will feature the largest dancing water fountain in the world, measuring 400m in width and 100m in height.

The centre point of the much anticipated Meydan One mega development, launched in August 2015 by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the Meydan One Mall will cover more than 30,000 sq m of indoor and outdoor space, with 529 shops including two major department stores and an 11,200 sq m hypermarket.
Unveiling the new Meydan One Mall branding, logo and visual identity at Cityscape Global this week, the Meydan Group showed a sample model of the mall’s retractable roof, which will be opened in the cooler, winter months to create an alfresco shopping and dining atmosphere.
A 25,000 sq m indoor multi-purpose sports facility will be located within the Meydan One Mall, providing regulation size sports fields and courts to cater to football, basketball, volleyball, squash, racquetball, paddle ball, table tennis, badminton, indoor cricket, mixed martial arts, boxing, jogging, softball, baseball batting cage and a golf driving range, while skiing and snowboarding will be facilitated on the world’s longest ski slope, measured at 1km.
Outdoor sports options will include football pitches, mountain biking, walking and running trails, a skateboard park and a BMX park.
The mall will also feature more than 90 food and beverage outlets, a 20-screen cinema with a food court hosting an additional 20 outlets, as well as a 400m Central Canyon flanked by a collection of flagship luxury stores. It will be serviced by car parking facilities with more than 12,000 spaces.
Meydan chairman Saeed Humaid Al Tayer said: “Dubai is a city well known for creating and breaking world records, in setting new benchmarks in quality and once in a lifetime experiences. In our vision for Meydan One we have worked hard to create all the wonders of a retail and leisure experience into one space, making this the number one destination for the UAE and indeed, the Middle East.”
Meydan’s vision began with the completion of the Grandstand in 2010 and was underlined by the Group’s role in the development of Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum City, specifically District One, a collection of premium villas within the heart of new Dubai.
The company said the construction of Meydan One will complete its commitment to helping “create the future of Dubai”.

John Lewis opens two new distribution centres

As part of its five-year £500m investment plan, John Lewis confirmed that the new centres at Magna Park has created 500 new jobs, as the retailer aims to meet its growing online sales and delivery demands.
Following the expansion, John Lewis now claims to have one of the largest distribution centres in Europe, with Magna Park now exceeding around 2.4million sq ft.
The extension of the facility includes a training centre for distribution staff, as well as specific training in category areas such as flat-packed furniture.
To combat a significant growth in demand for deliveries of 47% from 4% over the past decade, John Lewis said that the ‘advanced’ facilities would put the business in a ‘strong’ position moving forward.
Dino Rocos, operations director at John Lewis said: “These new state-of-the-art-facilities are the latest piece in the John Lewis distribution jigsaw. Our customers expect John Lewis customer experience, not just in our shops, but at every stage of their purchase. This service led distribution centre will ensure our Partners deliver the John Lewis magic direct to our customers’ homes.
“Not only will this also help customers receive their orders quicker and in fewer parcels, but fewer driving miles and less packaging will help reduce our operational emissions and waste.
“Our distribution operations are at the heart of our business and these advanced facilities enable us to adapt to the ever evolving retail market. Customers want quick and convenient deliveries and fast replenishment of our shops, this investment puts us in a strong position for the years to come.

Rihanna launches new fashion collection for Puma

Since landing a gig as Puma’s creative director in 2014, Rihanna has taken the sportswear giant to a whole other level. Not only has Puma received a boost in media coverage, but its sales have also skyrocketed within the last year and half, thanks in large part to RiRi’s campaigns as well as her insanely popular footwear designs.
The hype surrounding the partnership became even greater when Rihanna hit New York Fashion Week last season to unveil her Fenty x Puma ready-to-wear collection. And now, nearly seven months after its debut, the range of ‘90s-inspired athleisure-wear is finally available to purchase.
Here’s everything you need to know about the collection:
Monochromatic colour schemes
The Fenty x Puma Fall/Winter 2016 collection consists of unconventional sportswear presented in monochromatic colour schemes. Black and white dominate the range, which includes everything from oversized crew neck tees and kimono track jackets to laced sweatpants and terry cotton chokers.
Affordable prices
Though the pieces are undeniably affordable, they will cost you much more than the typical Puma gear. As of now, the least expensive item is the terry cotton choker for $30. The priciest is a pair of black leather boots with chain detailing for $350.
Where to buy
The collection dropped Tuesday exclusively at Puma.com, Bergdorf Goodman, and Foot Locker fitness boutique, which hosted pop-up shops in NYC and Los Angeles.
According to Footwear News, Foot Locker hid 2,500 keys in NYC and L.A. Individuals who locate the keys are able to take them to the pop-up shops, where they can use them to unlock prizes, such as Six:02 gift cards, Fenty x Puma pieces, and concert tickets.
The collection will hit Puma stores and select retailers, including Bloomingdale’s, worldwide on Wednesday.

Landmark Group partners to open numerous stores in Reem Mall

A new agreement between Landmark Group and the Reem Mall will bring concepts from the region’s leading retail and hospitality conglomerate to the shopping center. 
Reem Mall is recognized as one of the supreme destinations on Reem Island for shopping and socializing.
“Reem Mall is set to transform the retail landscape in Abu Dhabi, and this significant new agreement with Landmark Group brings some of the world’s most popular brands to one convenient location,” Shane Eldstrom, chief operating officer for Reem Mall, said.
The mall, which is two million square feet, will open 23 new stores in the UAE capital in 2018. Within the newly signed agreement, Landmark Group will bring Centrepoint, Home Centre, Max, Iconic, Sports One and Shoexpress. The Groups’ highly recognized franchise brands such as New Look, Reiss, Adidas Kids, Ecco, Koton, Yours London, Lipsy, Steve Madden, Carpisa, Nose, Pablosky, Aerosoles, Kurt Geiger, Stride Rite, Puket, Blocco 31, Kazar and Loriblu will add to the retail options within the shopping mall.
With the numerous store offering, Landmark Group will occupy roughly 200,000 square feet of the entire mall.
“Landmark Group shares our passion and commitment to the highest quality standards in retail and customer care, which makes them the perfect partner to help bring Abu Dhabi’s most anticipated mall to life,” Eldstrom said. “We look forward to continuing our successful collaboration into 2017 and beyond.” 
Not only will the center offer 85 food and beverage outlets for the perfect mix of education and entertainment, but Reem Mall will also host numerous entertainment options for guests of all ages, including the world’s largest indoor snow-play park.
“Abu Dhabi’s impressive mall development offers great potential for retail growth. Its vibrant shopping, arts and entertainment culture is a great attraction for both residents and tourists, and as the offering grows, it increases opportunity for the retail industry,” Manu Jeswani, director of Landmark Group, said. “Landmark Group is strategically expanding its presence in Abu Dhabi and our partnership with Reem Mall will enable us to bring our offering even closer to our customers. We look forward to working with the mall team on the launch of this great new project.”
Reem Mall was developed by NREC and UPAC . Construction began in 2015 and the 450 store facility is expected to open in 2018. The retail and leisure center is located in one on the most social and up and coming communities in Abu Dhabi.

M&S To Axe 500 Head Office Jobs As Chief Battles Sales Slide

Marks & Spencer (M&S) will axe 500 jobs at its head office next week as its new chief executive attempts to halt a protracted slump in sales which has left the company facing renewed questions about its strategy.
Sky News has learnt that M&S is to cull roughly 15% of the roles at its headquarters in Paddington, London – with more than half of the cuts affecting contractors.
Sources said that the cuts, which will follow a statutory period of consultation with employees, are likely to be announced next Thursday.
M&S’s announcement – which will affect head office rather than shop floor staff – may threaten to further strain relations with employees after a public row over pay and conditions.
The high street chain said on Friday that it had completed a consultation, and was offering a multi-year pay guarantee that would make staff “amongst the highest paid in UK retail and [the recipients of] one of the best benefits packages.”
But critics continued to say that the offer could cost some long-serving shop staff thousands of pounds because M&S was scrapping premiums for working on Sundays and at anti-social hours.
Sacha Berendji, M&S’s retail director, said: “We’ve listened to our colleagues, acted on their feedback and are pleased that we’ve reached an outcome that gives enhanced support for our colleagues as well as making necessary changes to our business. 
“The changes will reward our people in a fair and consistent way, simplify and modernise our business and help us attract and retain the best talent so we can continue to provide great service for our customers.”
News of the impending job cuts will come as Steve Rowe, who replaced Marc Bolland as M&S’s chief executive earlier this year, faces pressure to demonstrate to shareholders how he can transform the fortunes of the UK’s best-known retailing brand.
Mr Rowe, who joined the company as a Saturday boy in its Croydon store in the 1980s, is expected to provide a comprehensive blueprint for improving M&S’s fortunes in November.
Analysts expect him to shrink its store estate as intense competition from online rivals continues to hit M&S’s market share in its clothing business.
The Sunday Telegraph reported last week that he was also planning to retrench from parts of its international business, including a prominent store on the Champs-Elysees in Paris.
In July, Mr Rowe announced the sharpest like-for-like decline in its clothing business for more than a decade, with sales down nearly 9% in the 13 weeks to 2 July.
The company’s embarrassment over the fall was compounded by its admission that group sales had dropped 0.4% hours after saying that they had risen 1.3%.
“These are not the numbers I wanted to see – not by any stretch,” Mr Rowe said at the time. 
In a statement to Sky News, an M&S spokeswoman said: “We said at our full-year results in May that organisation was an area of the business that needed further consideration and that we would update on this in the autumn. 
“We would never comment on rumour and speculation and have nothing further to add.”
Shares in M&S have fallen nearly a third in the last year, and the company now has a market value of £5.63bn.

Marks & Spencer announces improved pay offer following campaign

 A group gathers outside Marks and Spencer’s flagship store in Oxford Street, London, to hand in a petition calling on the high street giant to scrap proposed pay cuts to offset the cost of the National Living Wage1
A group gathers outside Marks and Spencer’s flagship store in Oxford Street, London, to hand in a petition calling on the high street giant to scrap proposed pay cuts to offset the cost of the National Living Wage
High Street giant Marks & Spencer has announced a 14.7% pay rise for staff under an improved offer following a campaign against the company.
The retailer said customer assistants will receive £8.50 an hour – £9.65 in London – from next April, well above the Living Wage of £7.20 and the voluntary rate of £8.25, and £9.40 in the capital.
But premium payments for Sunday working will stop, and there will be one standard payment for Bank Holidays.
Labour MP Siobhain McDonagh, who handed in a 90,000-name petition to the company yesterday, criticised the announcement, saying staff will earn no more money in three years’ time than they do today.
Campaigners had warned that thousands of staff would lose more than £1,000 a year under planned changes to pay.
M&S said it had listened to views and suggestions and had made a number of changes to its original proposals.
Retail director Sacha Berendji said: “We’ve listened to our colleagues, acted on their feedback and are pleased that we’ve reached an outcome that gives enhanced support for our colleagues as well as making necessary changes to our business.
“From April 2017 our people will be amongst the highest paid in UK retail and receive one of the best benefits packages. The changes will reward our people in a fair and consistent way, simplify and modernise our business and help us attract and retain the best talent so we can continue to provide great service for our customers.”
John Dorrington, chairman of the firm’s Business Involvement Group, said: “On behalf of the Group, our elected employee representative body, we are satisfied that we have concluded a period of robust collective consultation where all views from across M&S have been strongly represented.
“In our view the business has listened carefully to all views and suggestions and as a result has made a number of key changes to the original proposals.”
Ms McDonagh said: “While we are obviously glad that the new offer is better with regard to pay compensation packages, it still falls short of the offer that long-standing and loyal staff from Britain’s premier retailer really deserve.
“What M&S is telling them is that even if they work longer hours to make up the difference, they will earn no more money in three years’ time than they do today. How is that fair? M&S is saying that no employee will be worse off as a result of these changes.
“Who thinks their gas bills, electricity bills and their rent, and travel fares will be the same in 2019/2020 as they are today? Inflation means that these employees will be relatively significantly worse off, and that’s not even considering their pensions.
“It would be a betrayal to loyal staff, many with more than two or three decades professional experience, to say that this is a very good offer for them.”

M&S to be lobbied by MPs and fair pay activists at flagship store

Marks & Spencer is to be lobbied by MPs and fair pay campaigners after a petition against planned pay cuts gathered almost 90,000 signatures.

Siobhain McDonagh MP, who raised the issue in parliament in June, will lead a delegation to present the Change.org petition at the retailer’s Marble Arch store in London on Thursday. Friends and family of M&S employees who are facing pay cuts will be supported by her fellow Labour MPs John Spellar, Carolyn Harris, Karen Buck and Nia Griffith as well as Change.org campaigners and student activists.
Long-serving shop staff say they face pay cuts that could potentially cost thousands of pounds after M&S removed premiums for working Sundays and antisocial hours, trimmed back bank holiday payments and changed pensions payments.
The retailer said it was making the changes to help pay for a 15% increase in basic pay for its 69,000 workers from next April to £8.50 an hour.
McDonagh said: “The company is clearly aware of the reputational damage that it has faced as a result of the changes it plans. Loyal, longstanding staff have lost their morale after their years of loyal service, while M&S customers are seriously disappointed by a company that they had always seen as well-respected bastions of moral values on the high street.”
In parliament McDonagh called on the government to close loopholes which made it possible for companies to make changes to staff benefits in order to offset the impact of the introduction of the legally binding “national living wage” of £7.20 an hour in April.
A number of companies, including B&Q, Tesco and Morrisons have raised basic pay only to cut perks and premium payments for weekend, holiday or late working.
The Labour MP for Mitcham and Morden said some M&S staff would lose up to £2,000 a year as a result of the changes. “This is not just any pay cut. This is a big fat M&S pay cut,” she said.
M&S has said the planned rise in basic pay would give its staff one of the highest hourly rates in UK retail alongside one of the best benefits packages. A one-off compensation payment will be made to staff to ensure they are not financially affected for the first two years of the change.
The retailer has launched a consultation with in-house staff representatives before the changes. But unions have called on the company to open talks as staff have been told new contract terms will be imposed if they do not voluntarily sign up.

Mr Price Falls Most Since January as Company Warns on Profit

Mr Price Group Ltd. plunged the most in more than seven months after the South African clothing and household-goods retailer said first-half earnings would probably decline after its most challenging winter in more than a decade.The shares dropped 16 percent to 184.47 rand at the close in Johannesburg, the biggest decline since Jan. 15. Almost 6.4 million shares traded, or 4.8 times the three-month daily average.

“Unseasonally warm weather at the start of winter and higher prices from the weaker rand inhibited sales,” the Durban-based company said in a statement on Wednesday. “There has also been a fundamental shift in consumer spending in South Africa, with higher unemployment and low economic growth significantly dampening consumer confidence and spending.”

It’s unlikely that earnings for the six months through September will exceed the previous year, the company said. The clothing business was particularly hard hit after competitors placed heavy discounts on winter garments and Mr Price probably moved too slowly to mark down its own goods, it added. Woolworths Holdings Ltd., a South African food and clothing retailer that targets higher-income customers than Mr Price, said last week clothing sales had suffered from what Chief Executive Officer Ian Moir called a “horrible, non-existent winter.”
Shares in other South African clothing retailers fell alongside Mr Price. The Foschini Group Ltd. slumped 7.8 percent to 130.71 rand, the steepest drop since June 27. Truworths International Ltd. declined 3.9 percent to 76.15 rand, the lowest closing price since January, 2015.

Mr Price sales for the first 18 weeks of the financial year rose 2.3 percent, including a 30 percent increase in what the company categorizes as other income, mainly from financial services and cellular operations, the company said. Retail sales rose 1 percent.

“The numbers were very, very bad,” Alec Abraham, senior equity analyst at Sasfin Securities, said by phone from Johannesburg. “As far as I can tell their volumes were hit quite significantly.”

Mr Price last year reported net income of 1.08 billion rand ($73.7 million) in the six months through Sept. 26, with sales increasing 9 percent, compared with 15 percent the previous year. The company attributed the slower growth at the time to muted consumer spending and “some poor fashion choices.”

“While the length and depth of the current downturn is at present unclear, the company has successfully negotiated previous negative cycles,” Mr Price said on Wednesday. “The group is responding to the changing economic and competitive environment by focusing on delivering merchandise at exceptional value.”