Category Archives: #international

Canada Goose to open two international flagships

Continuing its global expansion, Canadian winter clothing specialist Canada Goose Holdings has announced it will open two flagship stores this autumn, in London and Chicago. The company has also announced the expansion of its e-commerce channel to seven new markets including Germany, Sweden, Netherlands, Ireland, Belgium, Luxembourg and Austria.

Marking the company’s first location in Europe, the Canada Goose London flagship store, the brand’s largest retail space to date, will be located on Regent Street. In Chicago, the brand will open its doors on Magnificent Mile on Michigan Avenue. Both stores will feature inspired Canadian design elements, including marble quarried in British Columbia, as well as the broadest assortment of seasonal collections and exclusive collaborations, and will provide an opportunity for consumers to engage and learn more about the company’s 60-year history.
‘Opening our first European store is not only a milestone for Canada Goose, but it’s turning a dream into reality. London and Chicago are world-renowned shopping destinations and I’m proud to bring our Canadian heritage, experience and unparalleled product to their historic streets,’ says Dani Reiss, president & CEO of Canada Goose.
In 2016, Canada Goose opened its first two flagship stores in Toronto and New York, showcasing the spirit of Canada Goose. The stores weave together the brand’s authentic heritage and commitment to craftsmanship with modern design in an Arctic-inspired environment.

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Geox unveils new store concept ‘X Store’

Footwear and apparel retailer Geox has unveiled its newest store concept in Milan, Italy which aims to bring together technology, design, sustainability, and well-being.
Known as the ‘X Store’ concept, the new design preserves and enhances existing architectural features in the building, such as glass windows, columns, ceilings and exposed brickwork and works them seamlessly into the new concept.

In line with Geox focus on sustainability the new store concept, which has been unveiled in Geox flagship stores in Rome, London, Toronto Kuala Lumpur, uses only green materials. In fact, all materials used in Geox X Store concept, ranging from the terracotta tiles to the natural wood, are compliant with Leed Certification, in line with the company’s commitment to the environment.
The new concept also features a range of digital touchpoints to offer consumers a multi-sensorial shopping experience. These range from integrated digital screens and interactive displays where customers can learn more about an item, to charging stations in the fitting rooms. X Store is said to offer further proof of how important technology is to the Veneto-based company.
“This is a brand-new approach to retail. As soon as customers cross the threshold of a Geox store, they breathe, see and absorb the values which inspire our corporate design philosophy and mission day by day, gaining insight into our immense motivation to constantly improve quality and performance,” said the company in a statement.

“Our ultimate goal is to achieve day-to-day excellence, not only in terms of what our customers wear but also in terms of real coherence between urban life and the ethics of sustainability.”

Coach to re-enter the Russian market

COACH left Russia in 2011, where it was only distributed via multibrand stores, is returning to the country with a new partnership. Coach has just signed an exclusive agreement with BNS Group, a distributor in the region for labels including Calvin Klein, Michael Kors and Topshop.
The agreement has a duration of five years, with the possibility of renewal. The opening of four Coach boutiques in Russia is forecast between 2018 and 2023.

Currently, Coach is sold in Russia via two multibrand stores through Tsum. The brand entered the Russian market in 2008, partnering with local usiness Jamilco. At the time, it planned to open 15 stores. Finally, it only opened a handful, which have been closed since 2011.

Over the past 2 years, Coach has seen its stores in esteemed shopping destinations multiply: in Paris in 2015; then on London’s Regent Street in November; its flagship opening in New York in December on 5th Avenue; followed by its very first Italian boutique in the upscale Milanese Via Montenapoleone. Coach now operates over 450 stores in North America, 520 in Asia and 40 in Europe.

Coach recorded revenue of $4.147 billion (3.946 billion euros) for its fiscal year 2015-6 ended last July, of which women’s handbag sales accounted for 53%.

Apple reveals its plans for a flagship retail store in Milan, where you walk through a fountain to enter

It was back in January that we first heard that Apple was planning a new flagship retail store in Milan, Italy, with an outdoor amphitheater – and the company has now confirmed those plans.
It will be a square full of ideas. We are incredibly happy to be in the center of Milan, a town that for centuries combines creativity and innovation. In the coming months we will work to give you a new Liberty Square: an open space for everyone to take a break, meet with friends, discover new interests.
The store will sit beneath the amphitheater, and you’ll enter it using a staircase that descends through the middle of a fountain …
The store is there but you do not see it. Thanks to an original architectural solution, it is hidden beneath the cozy outdoor amphitheater. It will be the perfect place to share your passions, discover new ones and deepen your skills.
You enter the store passing through two tall walls of water forming a great fountain, a tribute to traditional Italian squares.
The store will be named Apple Piazza Liberty and will be located at Piazza del Liberty, 1–20121 Milano. Apple is reportedly paying the city around €768k ($843k) to cover the cost of reconstructing the square after the store is completed, as well as an annual rent of €127k ($140k) for the use of the square. The opening date has not yet been announced.
This is the first store I’ve seen that really makes sense of the idea of Apple Store becoming a new place to meet friends. With usually crowded interiors and no tea or coffee, that aspect of the Today at Apple initiative seemed a bit of a stretch, but where the roof of your store is a piazza, the idea clearly works. Apple is also expanding both the scope and the profile of its workshop program.
Apple has been rather active on the retail store front of late, removing the iconic glass cube at NYC’s 5th Avenue store as part of a major development, preparing to open its first store in Singapore, revealing plans for a Carnegie Library store in DC and ensuring that older stores unsuitable for a complete makeover don’t get completely left out.
Check out a couple more photos below.

Coach could buy Jimmy Choo

Coach is being seen as the most likely buyer to win up-for-sale British luxury footwear brand Jimmy Choo as the American giant forges ahead with its plan to become a multibrand luxury player.

Jimmy Choo was put on the block last month after its majority own JAB Holdings decided to focus on its coffee shop and café interests leafing to its other British brand Belstaff and its Swiss luxury label Bally also being up for sale.
It is thought less likely that one of the big European luxury houses would target a Jimmy Choo buy with Coach’s rivals more likely to be wealthy private equity investors from Asia or the Middle East.
Buying Jimmy Choo would instantly strengthen Coach’s presence in the growing footwear sector and take it even into more upmarket territory than its existing premium-to-luxury Stuart Weitzman label.
Industry sources told the Sunday Telegraph they see $11bn market-cap Coach as having the resources to beat off competition for Coach, as well as the investment cash to expand it fast. The company also benefits from the Coach brand’s new president and CEO, Joshua Schulman, having been CEO of Jimmy Choo until 2012.
After buying Stuart Weitzman for almost $600m in early 2015, Coach continued its won turnaround and drove Weitzman’s sales upwards. It now seems determined to convert itself into a much bigger multibrand player and in recent months an audacious approach to buy Burberry was turned down by the UK firm. Coach is still among the big names linked to a potential Kate Spade buy, however.
Whether it eventually wins Spade, Kors or any other giant brand, with Jimmy Choo potentially having a £700m-plus prince tag, buying it would be an affordable way to give Coach a label with massive growth potential and an as-yet-under-exploited presence in the key Chinese market. It’s also a brand that’s growing fast in the men’s sector and has a thriving perfumes portfolio, two crucial growth areas.

Guess opens biggest UK store outside London at Liverpool One

Fashion brand Guess has opened its largest UK store outside London, with a 465 sq m (5,000 sq ft) store in the Liverpool ONE development.

The store, designed in-house, is arranged over two floors. It features a clean, white interior, high-tech lighting and contrasting materials, in line with the chain’s recently updated branding and layout plans.
Merchandise is presented to offer ‘total looks,’ with accessories displayed in the centre of the store to maximise visibility.
“We are delighted to have opened this store and started trading during the busy Bank Holiday weekend. It has been a great opportunity for us to introduce the new store concept and branding to Liverpool ONE’s stylish shoppers and we have received very positive feedback in addition to strong sales already,” says Guess CEO Victor Herrero.
“The brand has created a great store, bringing the best of London to Liverpool,” says Miles Dunnett of property group Grosvenor Europe.
 

(Pics)Apple’s Incredible New Retail Store in Dubai

Boasting unobstructed views of the world’s tallest skyscraper, the Burj Khalifa, via a 180-foot wide, artistically designed carbon fiber array of motorized windows, Apple’s latest upscale retail store will be opening tomorrow, April 27th, 2017, at the swanky Dubai Mall in the United Arab Emirates.
Designed in collaborating with Foster + Partners — the same design team behind Cupertino’s brand-new Apple Park headquarters — the Dubai Mall Apple Store features an ever-changing array of 37.5-foot tall windows, overlain with super-strong carbon fiber panels that are capable of meticulously shifting orientation based on the fluctuations of external temperature in Dubai.
“To mitigate Dubai’s climate, Foster + Parters designed eighteen 37.5-foot-high motorized ‘Solar Wings’ that respond to the ever-changing environmental conditions,” the company wrote in its official press release about the grand-opening. “When the sun is at its hottest they cool the store, and in the evenings they open to welcome everyone to the public terrace. Inspired by the the traditional Arabic Mashrabiya, each ‘Solar Wing’ is locally fabricated from 340 carbon fiber reinforced polymer rods, and at 180 feet wide, the 18 panels make up one of the world’s largest kinetic art installations.”
These magnificent carbon fiber windows will also provide visitors an unobstructed view of one of Dubai’s greatest attractions: the Sama Dubai — a spectacular water fountain show that takes place every evening, and is conveniently located right below the Apple Store terrace at Dubai Mall.
Appropriately, Apple in its press release has invited visitors of the new location to enjoy the beautiful fountain array, which can be seen taking place in the first of two YouTube videos below. Also be sure to check out the second YouTube video, which gives us a glimpse of the Dubai Mall Apple Store, itself, and the surrounding area.

The company was sure to emphasize in its press release that the grand-opening of the Dubai Mall Apple Store is a way to draw more attention to its recently announced workshop series — dubbed Today at Apple — which will essentially embody a series of free education courses, focusing on a variety of topics including art, design, photography, and software coding, among other concepts.
“At the heart of every Apple Store is the drive to educate and inspire,” the company said, while adding that “Today at Apple will launch at Apple Dubai Mall and in all 495 Apple stores next month with new sessions across photo and video, music, coding, art and design, and more, led by highly-trained team members.”
The Dubai Mall Apple Store will also host a variety of high-profile events, many boasting live music, conversations with film-makers and photographers, and additional live workshops hosted by some of the world’s leading talent on the subject at hand.

Juicy Couture set to pull out of the UK market

London – Although Juicy Couture has seen somewhat of a revival recently, it seems as if parent company’s Authentic Brands Group best efforts were not enough to keep the brand afloat in the UK. The fashion brand, best known for its bling velour tracksuits favoured by the likes of Paris Hilton over a decade ago, is set to pull out of the UK market.
At the moment the label currently counts two stores in the London – one on Regent Street and another in Westfield White City, in addition to an outlet in Bicester and a store in Bluewater. But a report from the Telegraph states Juicy Couture is set to close its UK stores and will only retain an online presence in the UK.
Juicy Couture also counts a number of concessions in Harrods, Selfridges and Topshop in the UK, but it remains unclear what Authentic Brands Group aims to do with its concessions. The move follows on from fellow US brand Banana Republic’s withdrawal from the UK amid increasing difficult trading conditions.
ABG acquired Juicy Couture four years ago for 195 million dollars. The licensing company is best known for its celebrity brands, such as Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe. FashionUnited has contacted Authentic Brands Group for additional commentary.

Nyx sits pretty with debut UK store (pics)

The beauty retailer, which L’Oreal acquired in 2014 for $500m (£403.6m) rolled out its first standalone store in the UK in the London shopping centre this month.

The 2,100 sq ft outlet carries 1800 SKUs and a statement from the retailer said its product range caters to “16-34 year old make-up enthusiasts.”
Founded in 1999 by Toni Ko, Nyx Professional Makeup aims to offer shoppers professional quality make-up at an affordable price point.
Since then, the retailer has established itself a cult beauty brand amongst millennial shoppers in the US, amassing 10.7m Instagram followers.
When L’Oreal snapped up Nyx Professional Makeup in 2014, US president and chief executive Frédéric Rozé said the retailer had done a “tremendous job of harnessing the power of social media, digital marketing and multichannel distribution”, which had made it stand out to the beauty giant.
The specialist retailer operates through an ecommerce website as well as a variety of concessions and a growing standalone bricks-and-mortar store estate.
Nyx Professional Makeup is part of L’Oreal’s slew of specialist health and beauty brands including Urban Decay, Kiehl’s and The Body Shop, which the cosmetics giant put up for sale earlier this year and has piqued the interest of potential bidders including Advent International and CJ Group.

Apple reportedly opening new flagship retail store in Mexico City

Not long after opening its first Mexico City retail location, Apple is planning a new flagship retail store in the city. Apple currently intends on the store being “flagship” in nature, with a design akin to that of Apple’s World Trade Center location in New York City…

The new details come via a report from AppleInsider, which cites a “person familiar with the matter.” Apple is said to be taking over large retail space in Antara Fashion Hall, which was most recently occupied by Crate & Barrel. The location is twice the size of Apple’s current Mexico City store in Centro Santa Fe mall’s high-end Via Santa Fe wing.
The design of the new Ciudad de Mexico store is said to be similar to that of the new World Trade Center store in New York City, which just opened last August. The store features high-end design traits such as a high ceilings, a 37-foot custom-built TV screen, and much more. Apple’s new Ciudad de Mexico store is also expected to be multi-level, meaning the Genius Bar and retail space might be split from one another, similar to other multi-level Apple Stores around the world.
The Antara Fashion Hall first opened its doors in 2006 and comes in at over half a million square feet. It features 3 floors of retail space, restaurants, and a movie theater. It’s located three blocks north of Avenida Presidente Masaryk, which is known for its high-end, luxury shopping amenities.
Specific details about when Apple plans to open its new flagship retail location remain unclear, but it’s likely a long way away at this point. The news of Apple’s newest Mexico City location comes as its first retail space in the city, opened last September, is experiencing unusually high sales and struggling to keep up with demand.
Today’s report also adds details such that Apple is mulling an expansion in Brazil. Company officials are reportedly in the process of determining whether or not Apple will open two additional stores in the country, including one new flagship location in Sao Paulo. As of now, Apple operates two retail locations in Brazil.

H&M to open largest UK store at Westfield Stratford

H&M is opening a new Westfield Stratford store on 21 April. The retailer is relocating from its current location and expanding its offering to become the largest store in the UK and IE portfolio and one of the largest H&Ms in the world.

Situated over three floors and covering 5,074 sq m of sales space, Westfield Stratford City will offer fashion-forward collections across ladieswear, menswear, Divided and kidswear. The store will also stock the brand’s homeware and beauty ranges. 
‘H&M is delighted to be expanding in Westfield Stratford. The new store will become our largest in the UK and IE, as well as a global flagship store. Westfield Stratford gives the brand an exciting opportunity to showcase our entire fashion offering to both new and existing customers,’ says Carlos Duarte, H&M’s country manager UK & IE.

Prada opens new boutique at Saks Fifth Avenue, New York

To celebrate the recent opening of the new Prada women’s ready-to-wear boutique in Saks Fifth Avenue, the prestigious department store has dedicated the six store windows on Fifth Avenue to the Prada Spring/Summer 2017 collection.

The unique setting features a sequence of three different scenarios, using rubberized elements in alternating color shades with soft forms that suggest a natural, abstract landscape.
At approximately 100 square metres, located on the third floor of the store, the new store reflects Prada’s aesthetic principles and strong brand identity.
The Prada Spring/Summer 2017 collections are displayed on different levels in front of the dynamic background for a relaxed, comfortable and dreamy atmosphere.

Reebok to open 500 FitHub stores in China by 2020

London – Reebok is set to expand its presence in China by opening 500 FitHub stores across the country by 2020, as part of its wider strategy to become the leading sportswear brand in the region.
The move sees the footwear and fitness label, held by Adidas Group, go head to head with US rival Nike which is currently viewed as the marker leader in the country. The expansion push sees Reebok team up with Belle International Holdings, one of China’s leading footwear retailers, who will assist the brand in rolling our its FitHub concept stores across the region. At the moment Reebok counts seven FitHub stores in China, with stores in key cities such as Beijing, Hangzhou and Qingdao as the sportswear label aims to open an additional 50 stores in the region this year.

Reebok’s FitHub concept store was designed to compliment the labels new positioning within the sportswear market and features in-store classes, events and fitness experts in store to offer customers tailored advice on products. As the sportswear and fitness market continues to rapidly expand in China, the region has become a key sector for international players like Adidas and Nike to expand in. “For a fitness brand, there is no better country to invest in right now than China,” said Chad Wittman, general manager of Reebok Greater China to China Daily.

“We’ve spent a lot of time and energy putting together a China strategy that meets the specific needs of Chinese consumers in terms of product, messaging and experiences.” In addition to offering Reebok’s global range of apparel, footwear and fitness equipment, the label is set to offer custom-made products targeted specifically at Chinese consumers. At the moment the brand is focusing on three main categories: running, training and classics. The former is set to become a key focus in China for the brand this year, as running has seen a surge in popularity in China over the past few years.

H&M sales rise in SA bad news for local retailers

The retailer’s sales increased 39% in rand terms from the nine stores it has in operation 

Swedish retailer H&M has continued on its winning streak in SA, dodging the malaise to which domestic retail players have succumbed.
In the first quarter of its 2017 financial year, H&M’s sales increased 39% in rand terms to about R356m from the nine stores it has in operation.
H&M SA opened its 10th store in Nelspruit last week. Its 11th store will be opened in Polokwane at the Mall of the North on April 8. Europe’s second-largest retailer is one of many global players who have moved to SA in a bid to increase market share and search for untapped markets in the hopes of bolstering performance.
Mergence equity analyst Peter Takaendesa said H&M was growing faster than bigger local retailers due to a combination of strong investment into new stores, effective marketing and “possibly better-positioned product offering”. H&M’s results have come at the expense of Woolworths, Truworths and Mr Price who released less than stellar trading updates and results earlier in 2017.
“We estimate that their [H&M] revenue market share in the South African market is only about 1% now and believe they will continue to gain market share off this low base as well as the factors identified above,” said Takaendesa.
The analyst said the accelerated levels of new store roll-outs were not only taking place in SA but also across some of their operating countries, so “this is a deliberate strategy driven at the group level”.

World Retail Congress opens in Dubai

The World Retail Congress (WRC) begins on Tuesday in Dubai amid weak consumer demand, caused by a strong dollar and job concerns. Brick-and-mortar retail has also suffered as ecommerce begins to grow in popularity across the region.
The 11th edition of the event, being held at the Madinat Jumeirah from April 4 to April 8 under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, will see over 1,500 delegates in attendance.

With opening remarks from Sultan Al Mansouri, the UAE’s Minister of Economy, and Majid Saif Al Ghurair, chairman of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry, attendees are expected to be addressed over the course of the four day event by industry leaders such as Jo Malone, founder of Jo Malone, Ravi Thakran, group president of LVMH for South & South East Asia and Middle East, and Robert Welanetz, CEO of Majid Al Futtaim Properties.

Developers in the UAE are currently hoping to capitalise on the growing number of visitors to the country in the run up to Expo 2020.
Dubai hopes to attract 20 million tourists that year, an increase of around five million in the next three years.

Retailers are currently focusing on delivering unique experiences to differentiate their product, whilst utilising insight into consumer behaviours and attitudes to stay agile and retain customers.

A government emphasis on the tourism sector, competitive deals, and tax-free salaries spurred a decade-long boom in the retail sector in Dubai.

However, in an Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) economic report released at the end of 2016, Monica Malek, Chief Economist at ADCB, said, “The rise in inflation over our forecast horizon should continue to contribute to the soft consumer-spending backdrop. Wider consumer sentiment is expected to remain weak due to job uncertainties.”

Hamad Bu Amim, president and CEO, Dubai Chamber, said in a statement: “After the tremendous success of the 10th World Retail Congress in Dubai, the chamber is very pleased to host the 11th edition here again. This year’s theme is very topical and reflects the changes in the retail sector, especially the growing trend of ecommerce. More so, Dubai’s retail market is forecasted to surpass $52 billion in sales by 2020 with average annual growth of more than 8 per cent.”

Agent Provocateur’s Australian stores close down under new ownership

Questions about the future of Agent Provocateur have been raised again after the retailer confirmed it would close down all of its Australian stores and concessions.

Three out of the four Agent Provocateur retail locations in Australia have already closed, with the last location in Westfield, Sydney, poised to shutter its doors.
According to reports in News Corp Australia media outlets, the last store is selling its remaining stock and would shut once it was sold, or by mid-May, as Agent Provocateur’s new owners aims to focus on the European market.
The now-closed locations include a store in Little Collins Street, Melbourne, and two concessions in department store chain David Jones.
The store closure affects a total of 20 employees in Australia, with 15 workers holding a full-time contract. 
However, Agent Provocateur will retain an online presence in Australia through its international website.
The news comes less than a month after the British lingerie retailer’s fall into administration and subsequent sale to Four Holdings Ltd – in which Sports Directs holds a 25 percent stake – in a pre-pack administration deal.
The deal saw Four Holdings acquire the brand’s UK division and Agent Provocateur global branding rights, but not its international portfolio, leaving 100 retail outlets at risk.
Agent Provocateur was offloaded by private equity firm 3i for around £27.5 million.
A pre-pack administration is when a business is placed into insolvency proceedings and its assets are immediately acquired by a new owner.
They are often criticised as businesses are able to shed its debts to creditors, and the details of Agent Provocateur’s debts have not been disclosed.
The retail chain’s co-founder, Joe Corré said the sale of the lingerie retailer to a firm backed by Ashley was “a disgrace to British business” and a “phenomenal stitch-up”.
He also said the “preposterous” transaction between private equity firm 3i and Four Holdings would “face a phenomenal swath of litigation actions”.
Since the sale, Sports Direct has clarified in a statement that it was not the new owner of Agent Provocateur, stressing its 25 percent stake in Four Holdings, which is also the parent company of fashion agency Four Marketing.

Apple shares latest vision for new Chicago River retail store 

Apple shares latest vision for new Chicago River retail store as roof and curved glass put in placeWe’ve known for a while now that Apple is planning a new flagship waterfront retail store along the Chicago River, and now Apple has shared a new render of what the location will look like after construction wraps up. We also get a look at progress at the site with a new video walkthrough this week.

Apple was granted approval for the project back in November 2015, and 9to5Mac reported that demolition of the previous site and new construction for the upcoming flagship Apple Store was underway last December.
Today the Chicago Tribune has the latest renderings from Apple of what the upcoming retail space is expected to look like when the project is complete. The photo at the top shows the street level view of the glass structure with a massive rooftop centered in an open public space.
Foster + Partners, the same firm behind the new Apple Park campus design, is also responsible for what the Tribune says is a $27 million project, although the store still has no target opening date.
New photos included in the report do show further progress since we last checked in including the curved glass edges in place and the roof being installed this week. The Tribune even says construction workers signed the final support beam used for the new Apple Store.

Mulberry launches new entity to operate its businesses in Asia

The move follows the signing of a new business agreement with Challice Limited.

Mulberry Asia will begin trading in Hong Kong from 3 April. In addition, a subsidiary in China and a branch office in Taiwan are expected to be operational this year once the business secures relevant business licences for the territories.

The Mulberry Group owns 60% of the share capital of Mulberry Asia while Challice holds the remaining 40%. Mulberry Asia will initially operate two stores in China, one in Hong Kong and one in Taiwan. It will also manage regional wholesale operations.
These are supported by the group’s Chinese language mulberry.com site and omnichannel platform throughout the region.
In addition to local marketing initiatives, Mulberry plans to invest around £3 million in additional support in North Asia over the next two years to build brand awareness in the region and capitalise on international tourist flows to the UK, Europe and North America. In the near term, the brand’s store network will be enhanced with a new store in Shanghai as well as relocation of its existing stores in Hong Kong and Beijing.
Thierry Andretta, Mulberry chief executive, said: “We are delighted to launch Mulberry Asia, which enables us to advance our international strategy of developing the brand’s retail and omnichannel model in a key luxury market. We see significant growth opportunity in the region and look forward to taking this major step forward in fulfilling Mulberry’s global potential.”

IKEA Announces Affordable Smart Lighting Product Range

Swedish home furniture store IKEA announced its own affordable smart lighting system today called Trådfri, which means “wireless” in Swedish. 
The Smart Lighting range of products includes Trådfri LED bulbs, a remote dimmer switch puck, a gateway kit, a motion sensor kit, and dimming lights. IKEA is also introducing a selection of LED light panels and doors that can be built into cabinets for the bedroom and kitchen. 
The Gateway starter kit will cost around $80 and includes two bulbs, a remote, and a gateway hub to connect everything to the app. The Trådfri bulbs have three white color temperature options (2200K, 2700K, and 4000K) that IKEA claims each last around 25,000 hours. 

“The Ikea vision is to bring affordable home furnishing solutions to the many people. We know from research that existing smart lighting technology is perceived to be too expensive and difficult to understand, so we have worked to remove those barriers to make smart lighting more accessible,” IKEA Home Furnishing expert Helen Longford said in a statement.

Like the Philips Hue series, IKEA’s first range of automated lighting products is based on the ZigBee Light Link standard that got released in a number European countries late last year and should see a larger rollout at the end of this month. 
IKEA gives a March 31 availability date for the lighting range in Sweden, with the range expected to arrive in the U.K in April, making them likely to roll out to other countries soon. The IKEA website makes no mention of compatibility with existing smart home platforms like Apple HomeKit, but support for other standards seems likely at some point down the line.

Confirmed: Emaar Malls submits $800m bid for Souq.com

Emaar said the acquisition would be in line with the strategy to align e-commerce with physical shopping
Emaar said the acquisition would be in line with the strategy to align e-commerce with physical shopping
Emaar Malls has submitted an $800 million bid to take over e-commerce giant Souq.com, the company has confirmed.
In a bourse statement, Emaar Malls confirmed that it lodged the offer with Souq.com’s shareholders “in line with the strategy to align e-commerce with physical shopping”.
The statement, signed by Ahmad Thani Al Matrooshi, said the bid has not been accepted as yet.
“If the bid is approved, the impact on Emaar Mall’s profit for the quarter in which the acquisition is completed and for the year 2017, will not be material,” the statement added.
Quoting sources familiar to the bid, Arabian Business reported at the weekend that Emaar Malls, a unit of Emaar Properties, had lodged the bid to take over Souq.com, which is thought to have included a $500 million convertible deposit.
Last week Amazon agreed in principle to a 100 percent takeover of Souq.com, in a deal believed be worth around $580m.
However, it is understood that Souq has an “exclusivity” clause as part of its negotiations with Amazon – meaning it would not be able to accept a counter offer while still in sale talks.
Sources suggest the Amazon deal is being driven by New York based Tiger Global Management which has a substantial stake in Souq.
However, other small shareholders in Souq are yet to commit to a sale that could see Souq undervalued by almost $220 million, in comparison to the offer from Emaar Malls.
Souq’s smaller shareholder include South Africa’s Naspers Ltd, Standard Chartered Private Equity, IFC (a member of the World Bank Group) and Baillie Gifford.
Souq.com raised $75 million from Cape Town-based Naspers in March 2014, in a deal it said at the time was the largest for an Internet-based business in the region. But it is not clear whether Naspers is now backing the Amazon deal.

Apple opens three new retail stores around the globe 

As expected, Apple today opened three new retail stores around the globe. The company opened a new location in Cologne, Germany, another one in Miami, Florida, and last but not least one in Nanjing Jinmao.
We’ve rounded up some images of the grand opening experiences at all three locations, so head below to check them out..

The new Cologne, Germany location at Schildergasse has been in the works for quite a while now, but it’s now open to the public. We shared photos of the construction process a few months ago, showing the store start to take shape. Original photos of Apple’s signature wooden tables from the store can be dated back all the way to April of 2015, though.
Images and video of the Schildergasse grand opening come courtesy of Macerkopf. The first visitors to the store this morning received a free Apple t-shirt. The new (RED) iPhone 7, 9.7-inch iPad, and iPhone cases + Apple Watch bands were also all available to purchase this morning.
As for the new Miami store, reports of its existence first began last year when it was rumored that the Apple Store would be the ‘largest retail store’ in a new Miami shopping center. A variety of customers shared images from the Miami opening on Twitter. Customers were lined up out front for hours in advance of the opening.
Lastly, Apple today also opened a new retail store in Nanjing Jinmao Place. There aren’t as many images of this opening, but it appears that it too opened in typical Apple celebratory style.

Busby to shut Nine West and Mango

Head of marketing Leane Adolph said on Wednesday all free-standing stores under both these brands would close by the end of March.

“The company regularly reviews the portfolio’s performance and relevance to market and decided to move the Mango business into the store-in-store concept within Edgars. Similarly, with Nine West, we will keep a wholesale presence [for handbags] in the SA market through Edgars,” she said.
The House of Busby owns the exclusive rights to both Mango and Nine West. The Nine West licence was acquired in 1999 and, until recently, had 13 stand-alone stores throughout the country. Nine West sells footwear, handbags, eyewear and accessories.
The Mango licence was acquired in 2006 and there were nine stand-alone stores in SA. Mango now has 35 store-in-stores in Edgars stores nationwide. Mango sells apparel and accessories. Adolph said that rumours of Busby coming under business rescue were untrue, adding it was not expected that there would be any job losses as a result of the decision to close shop for the brands as affected staff would be accommodated within the group’s structures.
The House of Busby was delisted from the JSE in May 2008, when management, together with Ethos Private Equity, acquired control. The Busby enterprise is valued at about R1.3bn. Busby also owns exclusive rights to many other well-known international brands in SA including Aldo, Forever New, Guess, Steve Madden and Call it Spring.
In the past year, it has acquired the master licences for two new brands, Women’secret and 3INA, which further diversified its portfolio from footwear, apparel and luggage to include intimate apparel and cosmetics.
Adolph said the group was confident that the rejigging of the portfolio would allow it to focus on the growth of the newly acquired brands and to optimise its existing portfolio, “re-emphasising the importance of great customer service and a commitment to delivering consistent, quality, international product at prices that reflect customer value”.
Independent analyst Syd Vianello said it was possible that the group’s pricing model had made Mango and Nine West uncompetitive in a market that was under stress and searching for lower price points.

Hermes opens new store in London on the corner of Cadogan Place & Sloane Street

Hermès has recently opened a new store in London on the corner of Cadogan Place and Sloane Street. The new store which covers 400 sqm 0n two floors houses every one of Hermès’ 16 métiers.

The interior, which took just under a year to design and build, was presented to the studio as a blank canvas. Upon visiting it for the fist time, Montel says one thing was immediately clear: ‘Here, the star of the shop is not the shop itself, it’s the garden,’ he says gesturing to the store’s leafy view of Cadogan Square Gardens where a bright yellow mimosa tree is currently in full bloom.
The new London store will showcase a range of exclusive products including the re-issued London Bag in four limited-edition colourways. The bag, first created in 1962 features a clasp reminiscent of the epaulettes on the London Police Officers uniforms. In addition, a Yamaha Virago motorbike, which was covered in Hermès leather, is on display for the first time in the UK as an example of le sur-mesure services available at the store.

Matalan expands its global footprint with new store openings in Malta

London – Fashion and homeware retailer Matalan has expanded its international footprint with the opening of two new stores in Malta.
The new stores, located in the centre of Sliema and Fgura, Malta, offer Matalan full range of products, including menswear, womenswear, childrenswear and accessories as well as homeware. The two new stores, which employ 60 members of staff, follow on from Matalan previous stores openings at The Strand in Sliema and Zabbar Road, Fgura. All of Matalan stores in Malta are operated by the retailer’s local franchise partner, the Camilleri Group.
Matalan expands its global footprint with new store openings in Malta

“We are thrilled to be opening our first stores in Malta, trading has been very strong in both of our new stores exceeding our expectations; we have been delighted by the local customers’ reactions to our product ranges and our competitive price position,” commented *Damian Hopkins, International Director at Matalan. *The new stores build on Matalan’s international portfolio, which counts 23 stores.
Matalan opened its first international franchise store in Dubai in 2010 and has developed a strong international presence throughout the Middle East region since then. At the moment Matalan is currently looking to expand in other Eastern Europe countries, following its debut store opening in Armenia in October 2016. Matalan currently operates 227 stores throughout the UK in addition to its e-commerce platform and 25 overseas franchise stores.

Target to open in Macy’s backyard in NYC

Target Corp. is bringing its small-format store to the heart of Manhattan.

The discounter plans to open its first location in midtown Manhattan, a 43,000-sq.-ft. store in Herald Square, just west of the 34th Street and Broadway intersection, and one block from Penn Station — and across the street from the Macy’s flagship.
The two-level store will have two entrances, one off of 34th Street, and the other off of 33rd Street, and will feature modern décor elements, including concrete floors, wood plank walls and ceilings, pendant and LED lighting and elevated merchandise assortment displays.  
Projected to open in October 2017, the Herald Square store will be one of 30 stores Target plans to open this year, and will be the company’s third location in Manhattan, joining the Harlem and Tribeca stores. 
Additionally, Target has previously announced future plans to open small-format stores in Manhattan, including sites in East Village (projected to open summer 2018) and Hell’s Kitchen (projected to open in 2019).
“The addition of the Herald Square store location is exciting for Target as we expand our footprint with small-format stores in Manhattan,” said Mark Schindele, senior VP, properties, Target. “Not only will we be able to serve the thousands of working professionals that travel through Herald Square each day, but we’ll have the opportunity to showcase Target’s exclusive brands and compelling offers for the many tourists from around the world who shop in this vibrant neighborhood in Manhattan.”
Target has signed a lease for the Herald Square location with Empire State Realty Trust. 
“Target’s new 34th Street location concludes ESRT’s plans for the successful redevelopment of storage space, office, and retail into 90,000 sq. ft. of retail,” said Thomas P. Durels, executive VP and director of leasing and operations for ESRT. “Target joins Sephora and Foot Locker at the best location on the 34th Street retail corridor, which spans from the Empire State Building to 7th Avenue.”

EBay to rollout out ‘guaranteed delivery’ service this summer

EBay Inc. EBAY, +0.33% said Monday it will roll out “Guaranteed Delivery” in the U.S. this summer, which will guarantee delivery in three days or less on 20 million items. The online auction company will also provider shoppers to search for items available for 1-day and 2-day delivery. The service will be provided at no additional cost, the company said. “While the majority of items on eBay already ship within 3 days or less, as well as for free, Guaranteed Delivery will give shoppers even faster delivery options and the confidence that their items will arrive on time,” said Senior Vice President of North America Hal Lawton. The stock, which was still inactive in premarket trade, has climbed 13.5% year to date, while shares of rival e-commerce giant Amazon.com Inc. AMZN, +0.55% has run up 13.6% and the S&P 500 SPX, -0.20% has gained 6.2%.

White Company set to enter US with New York store

There are plans to open more stores in malls across New York state, New Jersey and Connecticut.
The retailer reported “significant growth” in the second year of its US ecommerce business in its last full-year.
It unveiled surging profits against strong comparables despite a “difficult trading environment”.
Pre-tax profits, excluding exceptional items, were up 50% to £17.2m in its full-year to March 26.
Sales rose 12.6% to £184.3m in the 12 months, during which the retailer opened two new stores in Meadowhall, Sheffield, and Birmingham. It now has 56 stores across the UK.
Boss Will Kernan departed last month, following five years at The White Company, to join specialist sports retailer Wiggle, replacing Stefan Barden at the helm. 

UK Retail Sales for Amazon Approaching 10 Billion Dollars
March 19, 2017
The United Kingdom is the world’s sixth largest economy, with a retail market estimated at $358 billion for 2016. As one of the world’s oldest and most mature economies, the UK will not grow at a rapid pace, certainly not with Brexit waiting to become a huge spanner in the works of the UK’s future growth prospects.
Nevertheless, it is a multi-hundred-billion-dollar economy that will, at least, grow in low single digits over the next few years. The UK’s e-commerce market has been growing steadily over the years, and should continue to help the economy’s growth engine chug along over the next several years.
UK retail
Arguably the most famous retailer to invade England, Amazon recorded 6.3 billion pounds ($9.03 billion) in sales from Britain in 2015, an increase of 8 percent over the year before. Amazon’s international sales were $35.418 billion in 2015, which means UK retail has been contributing nearly a fourth of Amazon’s entire overseas sales.
UK retail

Source: Tesco 2016 Annual Report
On the ground, Tesco, the UK’s largest retailer, reported nearly $43 billion in sales from their home market in 2016, and the company is struggling to keep sales growing. With more than 6.3 billion pounds from the UK to its name, Amazon is slowly inching up in the UK market.
Amazon is a relative weakling compared to big box retailers like Wal-Mart and Tesco, especially when it comes to grocery retail. And that’s fortunate for the likes of Tesco and Sainsbury’s in the UK, and Wal-Mart, Costco, Target et al back in the U.S.
That makes Amazon’s success and ongoing progress in the UK retail segment even more significant.
UK retail
According to data from Kantar.com, Amazon is not even in the picture as far as the UK’s grocery retail segment is concerned. It is one of Amazon’s known achilles points, and it will take years for their grocery efforts to bear fruit, in a manner of speaking.
On the positive side (for Amazon), the bulk of their growth in the UK is coming from the non-grocery segment, which means they’re eating into that market – consumer electronics, books, digital products, smart devices and so on – much faster. Too fast for the comfort of companies like Tesco, in fact.
And Amazon is not about to stop pushing in the UK retail market. The more Amazon’s gross merchandise value grows in a particular region, the higher Amazon’s investment in fulfillment centers, logistics and other capital expenses in the region. As investments increase in lockstep with the size of Amazon’s business in that region, margins will slowly keep improving, as they’ve already shown in the United States.

Canada Goose to launch first UK store on London’s Regent Street

The high-end winter clothing retailer and brand, which trades in around 50 countries worldwide through hundreds of concessions and an ecommerce platform, will move into 244 Regent Street – the unit formerly occupied by Armani Exchange.
Sources close to the situation told Retail Week that the deal for Canada Goose to acquire the lease on the Crown Estate-owned unit was “a done deal”.
It is understood that Canada Goose plans to open its doors in the autumn, in time to capitalise on the busy Christmas trading period.
The shop will be Canada Goose’s third standalone store anywhere in the world, having opened its doors in Toronto and New York to much fanfare late last year.
Retail Week understands the business is pursuing a strategy to open a number of other flagships in key cities across the globe over the next few years as part of its rapid growth plans.
Canada Goose’s revenues have rocketed by more than 450% in the past five years alone.
Experience-focused
London’s shoppers can expect an experience-focused shopping trip when the store opens later this year.
When it revealed plans to open its first two stores in Canada and the US a year ago, Canada Goose said the shops would “deliver unparalleled service, putting experience at the forefront of every interaction”.
It invested in training to ensure its shop-floor staff became “not only product experts, but true brand ambassadors”.
Variety
Canada Goose also boasted that the stores would stock “a full assortment of every seasonal collection with the largest variety of colours and sizes anywhere in the world”.
Retail property consultancy Harper Dennis Hobbs, which advised Canada Goose on its search for a UK store, declined to comment.
Details of the premium parka-maker’s plans to launch a bricks-and-mortar presence in London emerged just a day after it floated on the New York Stock Exchange.
After setting its IPO at $12.78 (£10.35) per share, the price surged 26% to $16.08 (£13) on the first day of trading.
The successful stock market debut valued the company at $1.7bn (£1.37bn).
The business was founded in Toronto by Sam Tick 60 years ago, under the name Metro Sportswear, which initially specialised in woollen vests, raincoats and snowmobile suits.
In the 1970s, Tick’s son-in-law David Reiss – no relation to his namesake who founded British fashion retailer Reiss – joined the company and established the label Snow Goose, which later became Canada Goose, branching out into Arctic and mountain expedition coats.
The label made its on-screen film debut in 2004 when its jackets appeared in two Hollywood blockbusters, The Day After Tomorrow and National Treasure.
Private-equity group Bain Capital bought Canada Goose in 2013 and last year it opened its first two flagship stores, at Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto, in October, and Wooster Street in New York City, in November.

Zara Combats Retail Slump with Massive Stores 

Zara’s is trying an unusual strategy as brick-and-mortar retailers are desperate for more foot traffic – bigger stores.
Zara’s newest store in La Coruna, Spain, which opened in September, is five stories with more than 54,000 square feet and is serving as a model for other flagship stores. Meanwhile, the women’s clothing and accessories retailer, owned by Inditex SA, is shuttering smaller stores, although it hasn’t said how many, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The idea is that the larger stores will encourage customers to browse more, and therefore buy more. The move is one answer to retailers’ urgent question of how to stop plunging sales being lost to online shopping channels. Zara’s strategy to set itself apart also includes faster clothing production so that its products are cycled in and out of its stores faster than its competitors’ apparel. (See also: Retail Deathwatch Continues.)
So far this year, several retailers have already succumbed to dour retail trends. Retailers that have filed for bankruptcy in 2017 include Gordman Stores (GMAN​), HHGregg Inc., RadioShack, The Limited Stores and Wet Seal. (See also: Year of Retail Bankruptcies Looms.)
This past earnings season, a slew of retailers, especially mall-based and women’s apparel retailers, reported disappointing losses and sales declines. Most recently, Guess Inc. (GES) on Wednesday reported fourth-quarter revenue growth of 3 percent year over year, although that was driven by an 11 percent increase in Europe and a 27 percent increase in Asia. In the U.S., revenue declined 6.5 percent. (See also: Guess Drops to a Multi-Year Low on Downgrade.)
“In the Americas retail, where the retail environment remains challenging, we are focused on profitability improvements,” Guess CEO Victor Herrero said in a statement. “We will continue to negotiate rent reductions whenever possible and plan to close 60 stores in fiscal 2018. And finally, we will remain focused on implementing supply chain initiatives that should drive profit improvement in fiscal 2018.”
Zara’s is aiming to avoid Guess-type losses with its plan for larger flagship stores and rapid inventory turnover.

Banana Republic appoints new chief executive

Banana Republic appoints new chief executive
FASHION
16 March 2017 | by The Retail Bulletin
Breitbard will report to Art Peck, president and chief executive of Gap, who will continue to directly oversee Banana Republic until Breitbard joins the company in early May.
Click here

Peck said: “Mark brings significant retail leadership experience to Gap Inc., along with deep knowledge of the company and our customer. We know what Banana Republic is capable of, and Mark’s ability to drive transformation and innovation will help revitalize the brand and position it to achieve its long-term potential.”
Breitbard’s was chief executive of The Gymboree Corporation from 2013 until early 2017. From 2010 to 2013, he held leadership positions across Gap North America where he was instrumental in delivering the product-led resurgence of Gap’s North America business.
He also served as chief merchandising and creative officer of Old Navy from 2009 to early 2010. Other previous positions include leadership roles at Levi Strauss and Abercrombie & Fitch.

Nike’s new store in New York City is loaded with tech

Sean Madden, senior director of service and experiences for Nike’s direct-to-consumer division, says the tech inside the store isn’t meant to be the main attraction. Instead, he says these features are designed to make the shopping experience more personal. With the hoop, for example, the Kinect sensors are there to capture movements from your body and display those on a massive screen in front of you. That being said, the idea is obviously that you’ll use that area to try on shoes you’re interested in.

I went inside the store, which happens to be near Engadget’s NYC office. Here’s what else I came across during my tour.


Aldo names founder’s son as new CEO

Footwear retailer Aldo has appointed David Bensadoun as its new chief executive, to replace current boss Patrick Frisk.
Bensadoun first joined the Montreal-based retailer – which has several stores in the UK – in 1995 as a project manager before working his way up to president of the Aldo Group in North America.
He is also the eldest son of founder Aldo Bensadoun, and he is slated to start his new role on April 3.
The news comes amid other senior management changes at the global retail chain, including the appointment of Norman Jaskolka as deputy chairman of Aldo Group.
Frisk was thanked by the new management team for his work at Aldo.
“Frisk has been instrumental in helping the Aldo Group reach new heights as we continue to build our business and culture around the world,” Aldo Bensadoun said.

Forever 21 Opens 4th Store in Mumbai

Feb 28: Forever 21, a leading fast fashion brand from Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd (ABFRL), part of the Aditya Birla group, is further strengthening its foothold in Mumbai with the launch of its 4th store, taking the total count to 15 stores in India.
Forever 21 is a California-based fast fashion brand that entered the Indian market in 2010. In July 2016, ABFRL acquired the exclusive online and offline rights to Forever 21’s India network from Diana Retail Pvt Ltd.
“Having established a strong affinity with fashionable Indians in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Pune and Hyderabad, Forever 21 creates a new fashion destination for the uber-stylish Mumbaikars with its 4th store at Phoenix Market City. Bringing global trends and runway fashion closer to the fashionistas, Forever 21 promises to provide a fashion journey with the latest looks and Spring Summer 17 collection,” said a company statement on Tuesday.
Complementing Forever 21 apparel and accessories, the new store will feature the retailer’s other brands, including 21MEN-a line of fresh, fast fashion for men of all ages, Love & Beauty-a cosmetics line and Forever 21’s lingerie and shoe line.
Abhinav Zutshi, India Business Head, Forever 21, said, “we are proud to say that Forever 21 is the most loved fashion brand by Mumbaikars and our 4th store launch is a testimony to the love and support we get from our consumers. Forever 21 brings the latest global runway trends to India and we aspire to make them accessible for fashion conscious millennials.”
Based in Mumbai, Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd manufactures and retails clothing, footwear, and leather products. ABFRL was formed after the consolidation of the branded apparel businesses of Aditya Birla Group comprising Aditya Birla Nuvo Ltd’s (ABNL) Madura Fashion division and ABNL’s subsidiaries Pantaloons Fashion and Retail Ltd (PFRL) and Madura Garments Lifestyle Retail Company Ltd (MGLRCL) in May 201 Post the consolidation, PFRL was renamed as Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd.
ABFRL shares were trading at Rs 159.65, up 1.40% from the previous closing of Rs 157.45, on BSE at 11.43 am today.

Starbucks to Close Two Remaining Evolution Fresh Juice Stores

Starbucks is closing its two remaining Evolution Fresh juice stores.
Seattle Met first reported that the two Seattle-located stores will close this spring — a move that officially removes the coffee-chain from the fresh juice bar market, notes Consumerist. However, the company is still slated to sell the juices at its coffee storefronts.

Starbucks (sbux, -0.28%) bought the Evolution Fresh in 2011 for a reported $30 million. Before, the juice company was a wholesaler, selling its products to high-end grocery stores like Whole Foods (wfm, +1.32%). Its first stand-alone stores were opened near Bellevue, Wa., according to Consumerist.

The decision to close the final two stores comes after Starbucks debuted four new juice flavors in March of last year, two of which were a part of its “Protein Power” line.

AO boss steps down

AO CEO and founder, John Roberts, will be replaced by COO, Steve Caunce.

AO World has announced its CEO and founder, John Roberts, is stepping down after nearly 17 years.

Roberts created the online electricals retailer in 2000 and will now move to a new executive role.

Effective immediately, COO, Steve Caunce, will step up to become CEO.

Roberts has always been a big believer of technology innovation, which saw the business quickly launch same- and next-day delivery options as well as develop a significant social media following, thanks to its team of over 100 IT professionals and substantial marketing team.

Last year, AO began trading in the Netherlands earlier this month by leveraging its German infrastructure.

Guess focuses on international markets
American clothing brand Guess has decided to venture off into expansion on an international level. Chief executive officer Victor Herrero just confirmed plans to broaden the company’s reach in both Europe and Asia.
The company has done well in both North America and South America, expanding in the past couple of years. Guess hasn’t done as well in Europe and Asia in terms of performance in its third quarter, as reported by WWD. The quarter, which ended October 29, resulted in a total of 9.1 million dollars in net earnings, which is 3.3 million dollars less than previously. However, the company’s revenue rose three percent, totalling 536.3 million dollars. Due to these results, Herrero has confirmed that Guess is expecting to increase its sales in Europe and Asia in the future. According to the publication, projected sales for Europe and Asia would grow, while its sales in America may decline.
Currently, the company has done well in the Americas, as the brand originated in Los Angeles. Known for its iconic, quality jeans, Guess has grown as a staple, iconic brand in America. After recently launching a 35th Anniversary collection, the brand has been able to continue creating unique, high-caliber products. Moving forward,it seems that Guess has plans of increasing sales in all areas on a more global scale, focusing more on international countries.

Woolworths sees green shoots in Australia

Woolworths says it is beginning to see some “green shoots” in its Australian operations, with significant changes in store for David Jones and Country Road Group. 

However, the retailer warned that despite this encouraging trend, trading conditions in that market would remain difficult for the rest of the year.
CEO Ian Moir said Country Road Group had gone through “a really tough three years”.
“We’ve spent a lot of time in the business. It’s really beginning to make a difference.
“We are starting to see green shoots and that’s not in just Country Road itself, but also within Witchery. Those two businesses are the biggest and were also the problem children and they are beginning to behave,” said Moir.
The Country Road Group houses Country Road, Trenery, Trenery and Mimco.
In the 26 weeks ended December 25, David Jones’ sales grew 4% and comparable sales 0.5% in Australian dollars. Country Road Group sales were 0.9% lower than the prior period due to high levels of promotional activity, Woolworths said.
Anchor Capital investment analyst Liam Hechter said Country Road’s results were largely expected and were likely to have been more seasonal than structural.
“Management made the point that the performance in the second quarter was stronger than the first, so the disappointing operational performance could possibly be short-lived, although we would have to give the numbers and prospects a thorough interrogation over the coming months before forming a strong conviction on that view,” Hechter said.
Management had executed well on some of the guided changes at David Jones, while the big source of synergies — the cross-selling of private label products in David Jones stores — seemed to have disappointed.
“Not enough has passed to make a definitive call on whether the cross-sell of private label will deliver the expected synergies. When Woolworths bought David Jones, investors expected the guided synergies to be delivered in a linear fashion. While this was always unlikely to be the case, we remain cautiously optimistic that management are on the right track in delivering on the guided synergies although it is likely going to take longer than initially anticipated,” he said.
Moir said the second half of the year would be similar to the first. “In Australia, consumer confidence is a bit muted. Australians are by nature a bit of a miserable bunch, but their confidence has been dampened by economic events.”

Wendy’s plans to add 1,000 units by 2020

To get bigger, The Wendy’s Co. is getting smaller.

The Dublin, Ohio-based burger chain wants to add another 1,000 locations by 2020, executives told investors on Thursday. One strategy the company plans to use to encourage that growth is a new, more flexible design that will enable Wendy’s to go into smaller spaces.
Traditionally, the quick-service chain needed at least an acre of real estate to build its traditional, standalone units. But its new “smart design” can go into much smaller spaces, said Abigail Pringle, Wendy’s chief development officer.
“The new designs enable the company to build on half an acre or even a quarter of an acre if needed,” Pringle said. 
Wendy’s currently has just more than 6,500 locations worldwide. It wants to grow to 7,500 units by 2020. The locations would be both in North America, where the brand has commitments from operators to build at least 500 locations, and internationally — where Wendy’s wants to grow from 439 locations now to 850 units. 
Traditional sites are more difficult to open because real estate is more challenged today than it was a decade ago. One-acre sites in high-traffic areas don’t exactly grow on trees. And when they come along, they can be expensive.
The new design, executives said, is $300,000 cheaper than a traditional site. 
That’s not the only strategy the company is using to expand add locations. Wendy’s is also adapting to urban areas. 
“We are looking far beyond suburban markets,” Pringle said. 
And the company is also looking at co-developing with convenience stores and other real estate opportunities, such as inline sites and strip-center end caps. And the company wants to convert vacated buildings — and not just restaurants. 
One conversion opportunity, Pringle said, is banks.
“The real estate marketing is changing,” she said. “Banks are going less with bricks and mortar. And they already have a drive-thru.” 
Wendy’s discussed its long-term strategy with investors on the same day it preannounced earnings for the fourth quarter ended Jan. 1. The company said same-store sales increased 0.8 percent in the quarter and 1.6 percent for the full year in North America.
Revenue in the quarter fell 33 percent, to $309.9 million, in the quarter, from $464.4 million, due to lost sales from the sale of restaurants to franchisees. Net income also fell, to $28.9 million, or 11 cents per share, from $85.9 million, or 31 cents per share. 
Executives at the presentation said they want to increase profitability in addition to adding new locations. Some profitability will come from reductions in general and administrative spending. Wendy’s said it wants to cut another $35 million from G&A spending by 2020.
“We’re committed to accelerating savings,” Penegor said, although he noted that the company is currently developing plans to cut those costs.
Wendy’s said Thursday that it added 58 new restaurants worldwide in 2016. 
“That was the highest global total since 2005,” Penegor said. 
To get operators to build new locations, Wendy’s isn’t just using a smaller design. It’s also offering incentives. 
In past years, Wendy’s would give operators building new units a 2-percent royalty abatement for the new unit for three years. Now the company will reduce costs by 5.5 percent in the first year the location is open, including a 2-percent royalty discount and a 3.5-percent ad fund discount 
The abatement is reduced to 4 percent in the second year, including 1 percent on royalty payments and 3 percent on ad fund payments.
“This is about driving net new incremental growth,” Pringle said, noting that the company is leveraging its ad fund payments to drive growth. “After year two, there’s more money into the ad budget that was not there before.”
Wendy’s has also used its refranchising deals, and even franchisee-to-franchisee sales, to convince operators to add locations.
The chain has sold more than 1,000 locations to franchisees since 2013, following the sale of 537 locations in the third phase of that effort. Wendy’s has reduced its company-owned unit count from 1,427 locations in 2012, or 22 percent of the system, to 330 units now, or 5 percent.
The company has sold many of these locations to operators willing to build new locations.
“We wanted to focus on growth,” Wendy’s CEO Todd Penegor said. “We’re bringing in strong operators with strong balance sheets and with commitments to grow the system.” 
Wendy’s also has a “buy-and-flip” strategy, in which it directs the transfer of franchisee-owned locations to preapproved operators willing to remodel locations and build new units.
“We are the ones playing matchmaker,” Pringle said. “We’re evaluating existing franchisees interested in leading the system. We want to work with them to find the right buyers.” 
As part of these strategies, Wendy’s now has fewer, larger franchisees. In 2012, the company had 440 franchise companies. Today it has 375. The average size of a franchisee has increased from 11 locations to 15 units. 
“Some larger franchise operators have used the opportunity to consolidate the market,” Penegor said. “They wanted to control pricing, advertising, they wanted to control development and they didn’t want to encroach on someone else. We have a healthier franchise community.”

Stefanel plots UK franchise stores

Italian womenswear brand Stefanel is looking to open up to 15 franchise stores across the UK and Ireland.
Love Brands, the brand’s distributor in the UK and Ireland, has teamed up with franchise consultant Peter Danby to recruit potential franchisees. They will work alongside John Lane from London-based retail property advisors Tienda to select locations.
The brand is looking at market towns including Canterbury, Windsor, Tunbridge Wells, Cambridge, York, Harrogate, Dublin and Bath.
Hugo Deane, director of Love Brands, said: “We want aspirational areas that will suit the mid to premium offer. We believe there are 10 to 15 store opportunities across the UK and Ireland but we’ll have to see how it goes. We plan on opening three or four stores within the next 12 months.”
In the UK, the brand has eight House of Fraser concessions and stores on Regent Street and Covent Garden in London.
It launched wholesale in the UK for spring 17 and has secured 25 doors. Wholesale launched in Ireland for autumn 17 with agent Nuala Henshaw.
Stefanel has 400 retail and franchise stores worldwide.

Zara China closes giant flagship store in Chengdu

Zara China has shuttered its giant three-story, 3000 sqm Chengdu flagship store in what a retail commentator describes a “fine-tuning” of its retail network.
The store, at Lesen Shopping Center, No.31, Zongfu Road, was previously occupied by luxury brands Louis Vuitton and Dior. It opened at the end of 2011 as Zara China’s single largest store and closed last weekend.
Pascal Martin, partner with OC&C Strategy Consultants in Hong Kong, said the flagship was “probably a lower performing site”.
“Zara recently opened another front nearby, in a trendier part of the city, which seems to be doing well. This move is probably just part of Zara’s ongoing normal fine-tuning of its store network strategy in China.”
Martin said Zara has already built a strong brand in China and is thus now less dependent on large and expensive brick-and-mortar flagship stores to maintain their brand.
“Also, Zara has built a powerful eCommerce capability in China. Therefore they can continue to be successful with fewer retail outlets than competitors H&M and Uniqlo.
“The resulting lower fixed costs should serve them well during the continued retail slowdown and market saturation. We may see them selectively further reduce the size of their 190-store network or relocate some outlets to stronger locations,” he said.
Zara China opened its first store in Hong Kong in 2004, before expanding onto the mainland two years later. It now has more than 190 stores in the country.

There are finally enough H&M stores in the world, H&M says

H&M stores have been spreading across the world like a fast-growing mold. For at least a decade, the fast-fashion retailer has increased stores by 10% to 15% annually, sometimes squeezing them in at a preposterous density: In New York in 2015, the chain opened a 63,000-square-foot behemoth that was literally across the street from another H&M (and just down the street from still another).
But the company says it’s finally time to ease off. Sales are slowing, and those physical stores no longer serve as the profit machines that turned the chain’s chairman into Sweden’s richest person.
In reporting its 2016 earnings, which saw sales rise 6% for the year, the company yesterday said it is replacing its brick-and-mortar expansion target with a new sales target of 10% to 15% annual growth. This new bullseye includes in-store and—importantly—online sales. Like pretty much every other retailer, H&M acknowledges that more dollars are moving to e-commerce, and that it already has plenty of stores selling its ultra-cheap clothes.
The world’s largest H&M (for now) at Herald Square

The world’s largest H&M at Herald Square, seen from an H&M across the street. (Marc Bain)

While physical stores are far from dead, their value is changing as the retail landscape shifts. Increasingly they have to offer customers experiences to be worthwhile, because if all shoppers want is a place to buy things, they can do that on the internet. Zara, which is H&M’s big fast-fashion rival, said last year that it would pull back on store expansion to focus more on its online sales.
And H&M’s physical stores aren’t bringing in the profits they used to. A report by analysts at Morgan Stanley last year pointed out that the profit H&M stores bring in isn’t keeping pace with their rapid proliferation. The analysts worried H&M was reaching a “mathematical tipping point,” which could cause profits to fall sharply by 2020.
Clothing retailers with less healthy businesses have been shuttering their physical stores like crazy: See Macy’s and other department stores that analysts think need to shut hundreds of locations to restore their sales-per-square-foot productivity.
H&M, which operates more than 4,300 stores worldwide, has evidently gotten the message that populating the earth with more stores isn’t going to keep adding more profit. Still, it’s not slamming the brakes on entirely: In the year ahead, the company plans to open around 430 new stores, entering new markets in Kazakhstan, Colombia, Iceland, Vietnam, and Georgia, among others. That’s about the same number of stores it opened in 2016, and represents roughly 10% growth of its current portfolio—in line with its former target.
But the indication is that sort of brick-and-mortar expansion won’t continue for much longer. H&M also plans to enter six new markets online in 2017, focusing on Asia. Shoppers in 35 of the 64 markets H&M serves could already browse and purchase clothes online by the end of 2016.
H&M is fighting many of the same challenges as other fashion retailers, including a shift in consumer spending to experiences and away from stuff. More stores, it has finally acknowledged, aren’t the solution.

Joules enjoys strong sales uplift

In the six months to 27 November, retail revenue was up 15.8% as ecommerce sales rose by 30.3% and store sales grew by 11.2%.

The company also saw an uplift in wholesale revenue which climbed by 17.1%. International revenue increased by 39.3% and now represents 10.6% of group revenue.
Meanwhile, underlying pre-tax profit rose by 19.9% to £7.5 million.
Colin Porter, Joules chief executive, said: “Joules has continued to perform well during the first half of the financial year with strong growth delivered across the brand’s distribution channels and target markets. This significant progress reflects the quality and design of our products and the growing demand for the Joules brand, both in the UK and internationally.”
The company said group trading over the Christmas period and in the second half of the year to date has been strong and in line with expectations.

H&M posts 7 percent rise in FY16 sales, plans foray into five new markets

H&M posts 7 percent rise in FY16 sales, plans foray into five new markets

For the full-year as well as fourth quarter ending November 30, 2016 H&M group’s sales including VAT increased by 7 percent in local currencies. The company has said in a statement that it aims to achieve a sales growth target of 10-15 percent per year and will continue its offline and online expansion in the existing and new markets.
Commenting on the company’s annual performance, Karl-Johan Persson, CEO of H&M said, “2016 was an eventful year which included many positive things but also challenges for us as well as for the industry. For fashion retail in general, 2016 was at the same time a challenging year in which various external factors – including geopolitical events – had a negative impact on retail trade in many markets. This was particularly visible in France, Germany, Switzerland and Italy as well as in the US and in China. Since these markets represent a large share of our sales, this consequently had a great impact on our overall sales development.”
Full year and fourth quarter highlights
Converted into SEK, sales for the year, including VAT increased by 6 percent to 222,865 million Swedish krona (25,229 million dollars), while sales excluding VAT amounted to 192,267 million Swedish krona (21,765 million dollars). Gross profit increased to 106,177 million Swedish krona (12,018 million dollars) against 103,167 million Swedish krona (11,678 million dollars), corresponding to a gross margin of 55.2 percent.
Profit after financial items amounted to 24,039 million Swedish krona (2,721 million dollars) compared to 27,242 million Swedish krona (3,083 million dollars) last year. The group’s profit after tax amounted to 18,636 million Swedish krona (2,109 million dollars) against 20,898 million Swedish krona (2,365 million dollars), corresponding to11.26 Swedish krona (1.27 dollars) per share. The company said, profits during the year were negatively affected by increased mark-downs but also by higher purchasing costs from the strengthened US dollar.
The company reported continued strong online development for all brands both as regards sales and profitability and witnessed strong sales growth for COS, & Other Stories, Monki, Weekday and H&M Home during the year.
For the fourth quarter, H&M group’s sales including VAT increased by 7 percent in local currencies. Converted into SEK, sales including VAT increased by 8 percent to 61,098 million Swedish krona (6,922 million dollars). Gross profit increased to 30,027 million Swedish krona (3,398 million dollars), corresponding to a gross margin of 57 percent. Profit after financial items increased to 7,409 million Swedish krona (838 million dollars). The group’s profit after tax increased to 5,914 million Swedish krona (669 million dollars), corresponding to 3.57 Swedish krona (0.40 dollar) per share.
H&M ventures into new markets
H&M carried out a strong expansion during the year with a total net addition of 427 new stores and 11 new H&M online markets. At the end of the financial year H&M had 35 online markets and the number of stores amounted to 4,351 in 64 markets.
During the fourth quarter, the company ventured into new markets – Cyprus and New Zealand, as well as rolled out H&M online platforms in Canada and South Korea.
The Board of Directors proposes a dividend of 9.75 Swedish krona (1.10 dollars) per share for the 2015/2016 financial year.
Aims to grow sales by 10-15 percent per year
The group has announced a new growth target and aims to increase the sales by 10 – 15 percent in local currencies per year with continued high profitability.
The H&M group’s sales including VAT in December 2016 increased by 6 percent in local currencies compared to the same month the previous year. Converted into SEK the increase was 10 percent. The H&M group’s sales including VAT in the period January 1 to January 29, 2017 increased by 11 percent in local currencies compared to the same period the previous year.
The H&M group plans to open approximately 430 new stores net in the 2016/2017 financial year. Kazakhstan, Colombia, Iceland, Vietnam and Georgia are planned to become new H&M markets. In addition, H&M plans to continue its online roll-out into six new markets: Turkey, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore and Malaysia. The company also plans to launch one or two new brands in 2017.
In brief
FY16 sales rise 222,865 mn SEK
Q4 sales up 61,098 mn SEK

K-Way to open first UK shop in spring

French raincoat retailer K-Way is poised to open its first-ever standalone store in the UK with a flagship in central London.
The brand already trades in the UK via online, but the store – slated to open in May – will be K-Way’s first foray into bricks-and-mortar retail in the country.
The iconic rainproof brand will take up a 1300sq ft shop in Henrietta Street, Covent Garden and will launch with the spring/summer 2017 range of predominantly menswear, alongside some women’s and children’s wear.
K-Way is the latest to join the likes of Oliver Sweeney and Fred Perry on Henrietta Street, which Capital & Counties Properties – better known as Capco – has repositioned to include a mix of casual retail and upmarket dining.
K-Way was established in 1965 in Paris, by Leon Claude Duhamel.

Tod´s opens new store in Singapore at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

Italian luxury leather brand Tod’s opened its second store in Singapore at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands. It is the first store with the new concept in Asia, preceded only by a boutique in London.
To mark the opening, the store features exclusive maroon editions of the Double T bag, Double T Gomminos and a men’s messenger bag, all marked discreetly with the location tag “Marina Bay Sands Singapore”.
There is also a range of accessories including alphabet charms allowing for personalisation.

Teen retailer Wet Seal is suddenly closing all of its stores

Struggling teen retailer Wet Seal is closing all 171 of its stores. 

In a letter dated January 20 that was obtained by The Wall Street Journal, the apparel retailer notified employees working in the company’s Irvine, California headquarters that the office was permanently shutting down and laying off all of its workers.
According to the Journal, Versa Capital, which acquired the brand for $7.5 million in cash in April 2015, couldn’t raise the necessary funding or find a buyer to keep the brand alive. 
Wet Seal closed 338 of its then-511 stores in January 2015, shortly before the company filed for bankruptcy protection. Then, Wall Street analysts said that falling foot traffic at shopping malls played a major role in Wet Seal’s death spiral.
The teen retailer isn’t the only brand facing store closures as shoppers ditch malls. 
Earlier in January, The Limited, another apparel brand primarily based in malls, shut down all 250 of its stores and laid off 4,000 workers. Mall staples Sears and Macy’s have also announced mass closures this year, with Sears planning to close 150 namesake stores and Kmart stores in 2017 and Macy’s planning to shutter another 100 stores. 

Limited Stores reportedly preparing for bankruptcy

Struggling specialty apparel retailer Limited Stores is preparing to file for bankruptcy in the coming weeks and will most likely liquidate its business, Bloomberg reports.
Last month, the retailer hired Guggenheim Partners to explore a sale and said it was entertaining bids, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The company has some $100 million in debt, sources told Debtwire. Private equity firm Sun Capital owns the struggling chain, but private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management is its largest lender, sources told the New York Post last month; that sets up a potential clash of interests as the retailer’s fate unfolds. 

News of The Limited Stores’ continued efforts to prepare for restructuring, a sale or ultimately liquidation comes at a time when executives are missing from its CEO and CFO posts. John Buell, elevated from his CFO role to become interim CEO when CEO Diane Ellis left to become president of women’s apparel brand Chico’s in October, also left the company last week. Buell abandoned ship to become the senior vice president and CFO of fashion and home decor brand Altar’d State
At the time, Limited Stores said without a CEO or a CFO its “existing executive team is working collaboratively on management of the company’s operations, and senior financial team personnel are continuing to oversee finances.”
The company also recently notified the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services that it may lay off as many as all 248 employees, including its entire headquarters staff, and close down that Columbus, OH-area office as it struggles with plummeting sales. 
The retailer is a shadow of its heyday as a successful speciality mall retailer. Former parent L Brands (owner of Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works) sold a 75% stake in The Limited to private equity firm Sun Capital in 2007; three years later, Sun acquired the remaining 25% stake. But some malls, themselves suffering from falling foot traffic as e-commerce sales rise, aren’t always especially helpful to stores like The Limited, which has 243 stores across the country. 
Limited Stores has hired RAS Management Advisors to advise on strategic and financial alternatives, including a potential restructuring, sources familiar with the matter told Debtwire, and the company has also hired Kirkland & Ellis as its legal adviser, according to Bloomberg. The Limited, Guggenheim Partners and RAS Management didn’t respond to requests for comment.
John Buell, named interim CEO of struggling women’s apparel retailer The Limited in October, has left the company to become the senior vice president and CFO of fashion and home decor brand Altar’d State, the Columbus Dispatch reports.
Buell, a 13-year veteran of The Limited, was elevated from his CFO position to the top spot after CEO Diane Ellis left to become president of women’s apparel brand Chico’s. His departure likely signals the end of The Limited, according to Lee Peterson of retail consultancy WD Partners (a Limited veteran himself): “The party’s over,” he told the Dispatch. “[Buell’s exit was] so quick — what does that tell you? But you can’t blame him. After the layoff announcements, I’m sure a lot of people at the headquarters are thinking about doing the same thing — and I’m sure people in the stores have their resumes out there, too.” 
Limited Stores said in a statement that, without a CEO or a CFO, its “existing executive team is working collaboratively on management of the company’s operations, and senior financial team personnel are continuing to oversee finances.”
Earlier this month The Limited said it might shutter its headquarters and close all stores permanently amid plummeting sales and crushing debt. The company had previously hired Guggenheim Partners as financial adviser to explore a possible sale or restructuring, with rival retailers or private equity firms as potential suitors.

The New Albany-based retailer, which has 243 stores across the country, was formerly owned by L Brands (owner of Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works), which sold a 75% stake in The Limited to private equity firm Sun Capital in 2007. Sun acquired the remaining stake three years later.
While Sun Capital touts The Limited as a place to buy “upscale” women’s clothing, the retailer is operating as a shadow of its former self, beset by falling mall traffic and styles that can also be found at rivals like Loft and at department stores. The Limited’s appeal may be further muddled​ by its recent “Backroom” off-price effort.
As online sales of apparel continue to rise, pressure on malls to revive or shutter is increasing, vexing specialty retailers like The Limited that are so dependent on their customer appeal. The U.S. currently has about 1,100 enclosed malls, but Jan Rogers Kniffen, CEO of J. Rogers Kniffen Worldwide Enterprises, said earlier this year that number should be closer to 700. 

TAG Heuer opens new store in Australia on the Gold Coast

TAG Heuer has opened a new boutique on Australia’s iconic Gold Coast at the newly transformed Pacific Fair Mall. The new store which covers 153 sqm and showcases new retail design concept of the brand – a new look and feel for the iconic luxury brand that was first unveiled in Sydney with the relaunch of the iconic Sydney Flagship boutique on the corner of Pitt & Market St.

Amazon Go store lets shoppers pick up goods and walk out

Grocery store in Seattle has no checkouts, with purchases automatically billed to customers’ accounts

Amazon has opened a corner store where customers can pick up their groceries and just walk out without having to queue up and pay at the checkout.
The company said shoppers at its Amazon Go store will have the cost of their purchases automatically billed to their Amazon Prime account. Sensors will track customers as they go about the store and record items they pick up.
Amazon employees can already shop at the first store near the company’s headquarters in Seattle, which will be open to the public early next year. Leaked internal documents suggest Amazon could open 2,000 of the stores across the country.
The internet retailer, which has grown into a $359bn (£282bn) company in the 22 years since its founding, claimed the new service was “the world’s most advanced shopping technology”.
“With our Just Walk Out Shopping experience, simply use the Amazon Go app to enter the store, take the products you want, and go! No lines, no checkout. (No, seriously.)”
The Amazon Go store, which is 1,800 sq ft and sells most food staples, follows the Seattle-based company’s launch of a physical bookshop in its home town last year. Bookshops are also slated to open in San Diego, New York, Portland and Chicago.
The company, which has been offering its Fresh service in some densely populated parts of the US since 2007, has been expanding the grocery delivery service rapidly, recently adding new cities across the US. It is now available in Seattle, New York, Washington, Boston, northern New Jersey, Philadelphia, Connecticut, Baltimore and large parts of California.
In June it launched outside of the US for the first time, offering grocery delivery to homes in parts of north and east London.
The British service is offered to Amazon Prime members in 69 postcodes for an additional £6.99 ($8.50) a month.
Amazon posted annual sales of $107bn last year, more than double the amount it generated just four years earlier. Its net income totalled $596m.