Category Archives: #luxury

In Pictures: Harvey Nichols 2017 Christmas Windows

Premium department store Harvey Nichols has unveiled its Christmas windows for 2017, its largest visual scheme of the year.

For this year’s festive season, the luxury retailer looked for inspiration from the Autumn/Winter 2017 fashion weeks and pre-spring collections, selecting the most vibrant colours to catch customer’s eyes. During the dark winter season, Harvey Nichols opted to design window displays which ‘delight customers’.and help spread ‘a positive message’ during the holiday season by using a vivid colour palette, innovative lighting techniques and an upbeat sentiment.

Harvey Nichols unveils its Christmas Windows for 2017

The result is a series of celebratory window schemes in a rainbow of hues, bold textures and graphic patterns filed with star shapes and Christmas motifs. Harvey Nichols incorporates unique lighting techniques for the first time, such as rotating mirror balls, LED lights and holographic backgrounds. Potential gift ideas are also included in the window display within giant Christmas baubles in a playful, fun manner.

“Themes of joy and positivity ran through the AW17 and SS18 shows, evoking a determination not to dwell on the uncertain times of the current climate,” commented Janet Wardley, Head of Visual Display. “This inspired us to create a high energy scheme that uses dazzling colours, lights and shapes to entertain our customers – some of the vinyls are so bright that the team had to wear sunglasses during the install!”

Harvey Nichols Christmas Windows can now be seen at Harvey Nichols stores across the UK and Ireland.

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Galeries Lafayette to open stores in Istanbul, Kuwait

Galeries Lafayette plans to open a second store in Istanbul and its first in Kuwait City in 2019, tapping into high-spending shoppers in the Middle East.

“These two projects give further substance to our goals of consolidating our positions in the Middle East where we will have a network of eight stores,” Nicolas Houze, chief executive of the family-owned group said in a statement on Monday. “(It will) bring us closer to our objective of having around 20 stores in international markets within five years.”

The 7,500 square metre Kuwait City store is located in the Assima Mall, a high-profile shopping centre close to the city’s central business district and will be operated under a franchise with Ali Bin Ali, a family-owned retail and luxury goods group.

The second store in Istanbul is spread over 6,000 square metres in the Vadistanbul shopping centre and is operated under a franchise with DEMSA group, a Turkish retail specialist.

The Galeries Lafayette group, known for its flagship Boulevard Haussmann store in Paris, also has stores in Berlin, Jakarta, Dubai, Beirut and Beijing.

It opened a first store in Istanbul in May 2017 and is preparing to open a store in Doha, Qatar in 2018.

In a report on the global luxury goods industry this year, Deloitte listed the Middle East as a major growth market, with high-spending in Qatar and Abu Dhabi particularly driving sales for major brands.

Galeries Lafayette opens new Paris store

Galeries Lafayette has unveiled a new flagship store at the heart of the new extension to the Carré Sénart shopping centre in Paris. The opening marks the first significant addition to the Galeries Lafayette network of 56 stores in France in the past few years, and the new store concept is intended to be experience-led, fully omni-channel and firmly anchored in its local environment on the edge of the Forest of Sénart.

Spread over two floors, the store is based on standards of hospitality and services that provide a harmonious blend of physical and digital innovation, with comfortable relaxation areas, intuitive signage and sleek, modern furnishings. Remaining loyal to its strategic positioning, Galeries Lafayette offers a selection of prestigious brands spanning fashion, beauty, accessories, shoes and leather goods, in many cases some as the exclusive retailer within the shopping centre.

The 6,000 sq m store enables shoppers to enjoy a stroll through a natural setting, where products are displayed in spaces such as cabins, hunting lodges or kiosks. It features a monumental glazed facade and a light well at the heart of the store. French artist Julien Colombier has created a major artwork on either side of the facade, influenced by both plants and the urban environment, recreating the edge of a forest.

The artwork opens up into the store, where a grove of life-sized trees catches the attention of visitors, and is another nod to the forest-inspired interior of the store beyond.

In the woodland-inspired and modern space, the codes of the forest are found in product racks and displays, showcasing the retailer’s collections. The store is bathed in natural light, thanks to the glazed facade and particially transparent ceiling. Galeries Lafayette Carré Sénart has been designed to reinvent the department store experience by offering customers open plan spaces and different departments marked out by woodland-inspired furniture, created directly by sustainable funiture designer, Agence Forêt.

The store has been designed around both the physical and digital experience. On the first floor, a 150 sq m space is dedicated entirely to services, including e-reservations and Click & Collect. Following a number of pilot projects, the Digital Showroom is now available at Carré Sénart. This makes it possible to offer a very wide range of up to 100 products in a small, physical space. Usually used for leather goods, the 40 sq m area displays a selection of four luggage brands made available to customers thanks to a digital counter. Customers can see and try the demonstration produt and then, by placing it on the dedicated counter, benefit from a wide range of options (size, colour etc) and buy it online. Orders are collected using the store’s Click & Collect service within 24 hours, or delivered to the customer’s home.

The Carré Sénart store is also running a pilot project in omni-channel training of sales advisors. Staff are armed with mobile tablets to help customers throughout the entire shopping experience, including managing stock levels in store, providing a constant link with the website and giving proactive advice when trying items. Mobile payment points are also available throughout the store.

Hugo Boss launches first digital showroom

Hugo Boss has launched its first digital showroom in Berlin, Germany, marking a shift in the company’s strategy.

The German fashion brand presented its Hugo pre-fall collection for 2018 at a pop-up space in Berlin to showcase its digital showroom last week. Via a 65 inch touchscreen, which resembles a table, viewers were able to browse through the entire collection, go through numerous colour and combination options and directly order pieces from the collection.

Specially developed for Hugo Boss, the dedicated application was developed in a short period of time using the ‘scrum method’ – a technique which uses a form of agile project management to enable the rapid visualization of solutions for complex issues within a flexible framework.

The launch of the digital showroom signals a change in Hugo Boss order system – from now on the German fashion brand will no longer prepare complete collections of physical samples for its order phase. The collection, including the entire range of available colours and combinations options, will be offered to customers exclusively in digital form.

Hugo Boss aims to roll out its digital showroom to its global market in 2018 following its launch in Berlin.

First BENTLEY standalone boutique opens in Dubai

The Al Habtoor Group is proud to bring together two world-class brands under one roof, Bentley, and St. Regis Dubai Polo, the world’s first ever equestrian resort located at the Al Habtoor Polo Resort and Club.

The brainchild of Mr. Mohammed Al Habtoor, Vice-Chairman and CEO of Al Habtoor Group, the idea of building the luxury boutique was born over a year ago and after consultations with Bentley UK, the boutique opened on 27th October, making it a powerful addition to the whole Al Habtoor Polo Resort and Club. Bentley has long been associated with Polo in the UAE. Over the years it has been sponsoring many high-profile polo events, including The Dubai Open, which is played at The Al Habtoor Polo Resort & Club.

Christopher Bailey to leave Burberry by the end of 2018

London – The man who has been credited with transforming Burberry into the UK’s leading luxury fashion house is set to leave his role. President and Chief Creative Officer at Burberry, Christopher Bailey, is set to leave the company by the end of 2018, marking the end of his 17-year tenure.

The heritage fashion house announced Bailey’s impending departure on Tuesday morning, as Burberry is set to begin the next decade of its journey under the supervision of its new leader, Chief Executive Officer Marco Gobbetti. Bailey, who is set to pursue new, unnamed creative projects, will remain on board as President and Chief Creative Officer until March 31, 2018, after which he will step down from the company board. He will, however, remain with the company in a transitional advisory role, offering his “full support” to CEO Gobbetti and the rest of the team until he finally exits the fashion house.

“The decision to leave was not an easy one”

Christopher Bailey, President and Chief Creative Officer at Burberry

“It has been the great privilege of my working life to be at Burberry, working alongside and learning from such an extraordinary group of people over the last 17 years,” said Bailey in a statement. “Burberry encapsulates so much of what is great about Britain. As an organization, it is creative, innovative and outward looking. It celebrates diversity and challenges received wisdoms. It is over 160 years old, but it has a young spirit. It is part of the establishment, but it is always changing, and always learning. It has been a truly inspiring place to work and the decision to leave was not an easy one.”

“I do truly believe, however, that Burberry’s best days are still ahead of her and that the company will go from strength to strength with the strategy we have developed and the exceptional talent we have in place led by Marco. I would like to thank all my colleagues as well as Sir John Peace and the Board for all their support and faith in me over the years. I am excited to pursue new creative projects but remain fully committed to the future success of this magnificent brand and to ensuring a smooth transition.”

Christopher Bailey to exit joint role as President and Chief Creative Officer at Burberry

Since joining the team at Burberry back in 2001 as design director, Bailey has become one of the main driving forces behind the luxury fashion house’s transformation. Within the span of 17 years, Burberry has grown from a small-licensed outerwear business into one of the industry’s leading global luxury brands, best known for its trench coats and innovative marketing campaigns. Together with Angela Ahrendts, former CEO at Burberry, Bailey established the Burberry Foundation, a dedicated initiative to help young people achieve their goals. Later in October 2013, he was named as Ahrendts successor, ahead of her departure to Apple in May 2014. He remained in his current role as Chief Creative Officer and became the company’s first CEO and creative head.

In his joint role, Bailey is said to have continued to push the boundaries of creation and innovation at Burberry, leading the way for the brand’s ongoing elevation and turning the luxury fashion house into the industry’s digital leader and overseeing the reinvention of the company’s design and internal structure. He was the mastermind behind Burberry’s key flagship store on Regent Street and built a highly talented and experience creative team to continue the brand’s story. However, in July 2016, the company announced that Marco Gobbetti, CEO of Céline, would be the next CEO of Burberry, taking over the reins from Bailey in 2017, who transitioned into the role of President while remaining in his role as Chief Creative Officer.

p> Bailey worked together with the Board to create a new leadership structure before he was succeeded by Gobbetti this July. Since this summer, Gobbetti and Bailey are said to have worked together to develop a strategy for the next chapter of Burberry’s growth, sharing a strong ambition to drive the success of the Burberry brand while strengthening the leadership team. Gobbetti understands and supports Bailey’s decision to leave his joint role at Burberry, and will now begin the process of finding a successor for his role. “Burberry has undergone an incredible transformation since 2001 and Christopher has been instrumental to the Company’s success in that period,” said Gobbetti.

“We have a clear vision for the next chapter to accelerate the growth and success of the Burberry brand”

Marco Gobbetti, Chief Executive Officer, Burberry

“While I am sad not to have the opportunity to partner with him for longer, the legacy he leaves and the exceptional talent we have at Burberry gives me enormous confidence in our future. We have a clear vision for the next chapter to accelerate the growth and success of the Burberry brand and I am excited about the opportunity ahead for our teams, our partners, and our shareholders.” Sir John Peace, Chairman at Burberry thanked Bailey for his part in transforming Burberry, adding that he leaves the company in “the very best of hands. with a strong team and culture in place, led by Marco as CEO.”

“I have total confidence that Marco’s vision and leadership, with the excellent management team in place, will keep Burberry on the forefront creatively, digitally and financially, creating further value for shareholders in the next exciting stage of our evolution,” added Peace. Full details concerning all payments made to Bailey concerning his role as director will be revealed in the Directors’ Remuneration Report in the company’s annual report for the year ended March 31, 2018, added Burberry. In the past company shareholders have voted against the luxury fashion houses remuneration report concerning pay deals for Bailey. However, Bailey has decided to surrender various awards held by him under the company’s share plan as he is set to step down from the board and exit the company by the end of 2018.

Following the announcement concerning Bailey’s exit, company shares were down 1.46 percent at 10:00 am, making the company’s stock the worst performer on a rising FTSE 100 index. Bailey’s exit comes after a period of rapid expansion, during which the company has struggled with stagnate saled over the recent years. Bailey is set to leave big shoes to fill however, notes Charlotte Pearce, Retail Analyst at Globaldata. “Since becoming Creative Director in 2004, Bailey has contributed to total revenue growth of 2 billion pounds and has helped to regenerate the brand, turning it back into the aspirational, iconic label that it once was,” commented Pearce.

“With just over a year until Bailey leaves, there is plenty of time for Marco Gobbetti, who took over as CEO in July, to find the right candidate to fill Bailey’s shoes. It is crucial that Burberry finds someone with respect for the brand’s British heritage but is able to further evolve the label creatively and bring it into a new era.”

Photo 1 Credit: Daniel Leal-Olivas / AFP

Photo 2 Credit: On the set of Mr.Burberry, Christopher Bailey with Oscar-winning director Steve McQueen, Burberry Facebook

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Kappahl has announced the appointment of Peter Andersson as the company’s new CFO, effective April 2018. The company said in a statement that Andersson brings many years as CFO of AB Lindex, where he currently is director of expansion.

“I am very pleased with the recruitment of Peter. His extensive expertise and experience from retail will be a great asset to Kappahl”, said Danny Feltmann, Kappahl’s President and CEO in a media release.

From April 2018, Andersson will lead and develop the financial work of the Kappahl Group. The company added that Andersson has many years of international experience from the retail business from strategic and operational perspective as well as qualified work in financial and risk management. He has previously worked for ICA Handlarna AB.

Kappahl was founded in Gothenburg in 1953 and is a leading fashion chain in the Nordic region with 370 Kappahl and Newbie stores, including an online platform, in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Poland and Great Britain. The company’s sales for 2016/2017 totalled 4.9 billion Swedish krona (0.5 billion dollars).

Hermès opens world-first ‘Through The Walls’ retail concept in Singapore

Hermès has opened ‘Through The Walls’, an immersive exhibition of the French luxury label’s home universe created especially for Singapore.

Showing at Hermès’ Liat Towers flagship store on Orchard Road, the world-first Hermès home exhibition will run from 7 to 29 October 2017.

In a bid to showcase its new collections for the home, under the artistic direction of Charlotte Macaux Perelman and Alexis Fabry, Hermès has tapped Parisian architecture firm RDAI to conceptualize the sleek space in Singapore.

The new outfit reflects the new line’s “functionality and beauty, rigour and fantasy,” an extension that hopes to resonate with Asian clients.

As such, the Hermès Singapore flagship has undertaken a striking reinvention, allowing customers to become fixated on furniture, and actually touch and feel the homewares.

“Through the Walls is an installation that sees spaces metamorphosed: architecture within architecture, a home within a home; the store becomes a place to live,” explained the Paris house, in a press release.

As well as retailing the interiors pieces – which include exquisitely crafted tableware, handcrafted wooden furniture pieces, and wrought leather accessories, and bespoke items such as a scarf cabinet, wallpaper and lighting – Through The Walls will also offer interactive workshops organised and available to the public.

Marking the new collection and pop-up, Hermès has also released a short film on its website. Entitled “Poetics Mechanics,” it features the brand’s objects in a personified manner, highlighting the form, material and function of each piece.

This new homeware focus comes on the back of the Hermes’ store revamp in 2016. Reopened in May 2017, clients are now privy to a much bigger space, with a devotion to furniture and home accessories.

The sudden focus on home lines has been sweeping luxury retail in recent weeks.

This month, Gucci announced and launched its first-ever homewares collection, while New York jewellery Tiffany & Co. will unveil its first home collections under its new artistic director, this November.

Alfred Dunhill unveils new retail concept in Beijing

Luxury men’s fashion and accessories brand Alfred Dunhill has opened a new store in Beijing.

Nestled on Jianguo Road in the Chaoyang District, the latest China branch is located on Level 2 of Beijing’s SKP Shopping Centre. It features Dunhill’s famous retail Home design concept: elegant, sophisticated and masculine, with design accents that mimic Dunhill’s flagship store in London.

Taking the store count in Beijing to four (including two outlet stores), the new flagship offers the complete range of Dunhill products for men, including ready-to-wear, bespoke suiting, leather goods, and accessories, in which it started out producing first as a saddler back in England in 1893.

Nowadays, Dunhill is a division of Richemont, the Swiss-based, South African-owned group that is the third largest luxury conglomerate in the world. Dunhill, which owns a global chain of some 70 boutiques, is today located across every continent in most major cities.

In bid to bolster its global sales reach, Dunhill in early 2017 recruited Mark Weston as its new creative director, poaching him from Burberry.

After the showing of his Spring 2018 collection in London in June, Weston spoke to reporters about the “international” direction that he wished to take the quintessentially British brand.

“What I want for Dunhill is to be relevant. To make great clothing, for our times. To be British, but with an international outlook,” Weston said, after his June menswear show in London.

The new Dunhill store opening follows a string of store closures in China by the British luxury brand last year. According to the latest report by the investment research and management company Bernstein, Dunhill — along with fellow Briton Burberry — reported the most store closures in China between July 2016 and July 2017.

For the twelve month period China witnessed 62 net closures of luxury brand stores, the largest number observed by the research firm compared to other significant markets.

Gucci opens new Gucci Kids store in Dubai at Dubai Mall

Italian luxury house of Gucci has recently opened a new children’s clothing store in Dubai at the Dubai Mall. The store features Gucci Creative Director Alessandro Michele’s signature style. The store stocks the complete range of products for kids of the brand.

Harvey Nichols to open new store in Doha

Harvey Nichols to open new store in Doha

Luxury retailer Harvey Nichols has confirmed plans to a new store in Doha. The department store group said it has signed a licence agreement with Saleh Al Hamad Al Mana Group to open an outlet in Doha Festival City.

The 7,432 square-metre store is scheduled to open early 2018 and will sell an “exclusive edit” of fashion, homeware and beauty brands. It is the first high-end, international department store to be confirmed as a tenant by Doha Festival City. Upon completion, Doha Festival City Mall will be Qatar’s largest shopping mall with a gross leasable area of some 250,000 square metres.

It will house 550 outlets including 85 restaurants and cafes, the country’s first-of-its-kind Entertainment Zone, which will include VOX Cinemas and a snow park and will feature around 8,000 parking spaces. Phase one of the mall was completed last March and included the construction of Qatar’s first IKEA store.

Doha Festival City

Max Mara opens redesigned flagship store in New York

Max Mara opens redesigned flagship store in New York at Madison Avenue

The opening event of the Max Mara flagship in New York unveiled not only the stunning reimagined space, but saw the release of a special edition mini Whitney Bag. While the bag boasts vibrant, jewel-tone colors and a luxe velvet material, the newly conceptualized store boasts approximately 5,000 square feet in the Victorian-style building located on Madison Avenue and 68th Street.

The refurbished space, designed by Duccio Grassi Architects, highlights the spirit of the Max Mara brand through a manifestation of its Italian heritage and contemporary energy.

Burberry to open new flagship store in Knightsbridge, London

The ew store is part of the first phase of The Knightsbridge Estate K1 development (1, Sloane Street) and will see Burberry relocating its local flagship from nearby Brompton Road where it currently trades from twin men’s and women’s shops. The new move to a site not far from Harvey Nichols will give it the chance to consolidate all men’s and women’s product into one flagship location on four floors and covering an area of over 15,000 sq ft.

The fashion brand and the property company have worked together before with Chelsfield having been responsible for the label’s Bond Street flagship back in 2005.

Despite a raft of openings in recent years, Burberry is carefully targeting its investment at present and only recently scrapped plans to revive the Temple Works mill in Leeds as well as delaying a decision about building a new factory on a neighbouring site. It is also reported to be looking at its London offices with a view to cutting costs.

But the brand is clearly still investing where it can see major returns. It has invested heavily refining its product offer, adding new star bags that appear to be making a major impact on its balance sheet. And it has licensed its beauty ops to specialist Coty, as well as opening a China-specific website.

The new Knightsbridge store is part of this very focused strategy with the area being a key beneficiary of the booming luxury tourist trade in London.

Burberry new store London at 1 Sloane Street

Michael Kors eyes 100 more China stores on new retail strategy

Michael Kors plans to open around 100 new stores in China in next three years, as the US brand continues to plan for mass global retail closures, forming part of its recently revealed “Runway 2020” restructuring program to turn dwindling sales around.

Michael Kors’ initial restructuring announcement came in early June, after the brand posted a double-digit same-store sales percentage decline in the fourth quarter ending April. It was here that Michael Kors said it would shutter 125 stores worldwide.
“We think that the [accessories market] is down slightly in North America. We think it’s flattish in Europe. We think it’s up slightly in Asia,” John D. Idol, Michael Kors’ chairman and chief executive officer, told WWD in a recent interview.
The New York-based luxury leathergoods and accessories added that its main growth drivers moving forward will be its retail presence in Asia and its surging men’s category — each of which have the potential to become $1 billion segments of the brand.
Growth in Asia is the main, most achievable goal, according to Idol, with plans for 100 stores to be added in China alone and more elsewhere in the region over the next few years. There are 111 Michael Kors stores in Asia in operation now.

In addition, some 100 global stores will be renovated to sell better a new Michael Kors luxury collection, and reposition the high-end factor of Michael Kors to a bored clientele. Speciality salons for shoes are another area of planned growth for the brand.
The company also wishes to minimise wholesale, aiming for a revived Michael Kors brand that is 30 per cent wholesale and 70 per cent retail.
With the aforementioned retail and product changes in put in place, Michael Kors said it expected revenue of $4.25 billion for fiscal year 2018 and also forecasts a high single-digit drop in same-store sales.
For the fourth quarter ended April 1, total sales fell 11.2 per cent to $1.06 billion. Analysts had expected $1.05 billion.

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%.

Sheikh Mohammed launches Dubai’s new $1.7bn mega-project

Dubai Ruler Sheikh Mohammed has announced the launch of Marsa Al Arab, Dubai Holding’s latest tourist destination development in the emirate.
The $1.7 billion (AED 6.3bn) mega-project, spread across 4 million sq. ft, will be developed on new two islands on both sides of Burj Al Arab Jumeirah. Marsa (Arabic for marina) Al Arab is expected to be completed by 2020.
One island will be dedicated to entertainment and family tourism, while the other comprises an exclusive luxury resort. The two islands will add 2.2 kilometres of beach frontage, as well as three new hotels and a number of new tourist attractions.
The family resort island will see Jumeirah Group introduce new leisure concepts and services as well as a new family-oriented hotel. To boost guest experience, Wild Wadi Waterpark will be moved from its current road-side location closer to the beach, and will be more than double its existing size when fully completed.
Dubai Holding will also develop ‘Marine Park’, a first-of-its-kind marine life edutainment centre in the Middle East, with a live theatre of a 1,000 seat capacity that will attract world-class shows to showcase various elements of marine life.

Marsa Al Arab will also include a private marina and a yacht club, as well as diverse food and beverage offerings, as well as a helipad.
Complementing Madinat Jumeirah, the development will include a mixed-use convention centre capable of hosting large international conferences and festivals. The convention centre will be supported by a new hotel, offering a selection of services for businessmen and corporates.
The project will also include a large retail space stretching across 20,000 sq. m, which will replace the current Wild Wadi Water Park area.

The shopping centre will consist of international high-end brands, as well as a selection of restaurants and coffee shops to meet the needs of its luxurious shoppers. Marsa Al Arab will also offer 300 sea-front residential apartments in the heart of the development.
Together, the enhanced Wild Wadi and Marine Park will sprawl over an area of 2.5 million sq. ft.
The new family destination will house a dedicated theatre with a capacity of 1,700 seats, which will become home to the world-renowned show Cirque du Soleil for the first time in the Middle East.
Dubai Holding will develop 140 luxury villas on the ‘exclusive private island’, which will include a marina for its residents. Located on the left of Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, the luxury villas will be operated by Jumeirah Group. The island will also host a boutique hotel equipped with world-class facilities that reflect ‘Marsa Al Arab’s status as an attractive destination for elite travellers.
Overall, Dubai Holding will add 2,400 hotel rooms to Jumeirah Group’s portfolio, bringing its total offering to 8,428 rooms. There will be 400 new F&B outlets throughout the destination.
The existing hotels in the vicinity will be transformed into a unified tourist destination.
The development will offer pedestrian pathways, a jogging track, large swimming pool and a cycling course, allowing its residents to practice a diverse selection of physical activities.
Location of the two islands – on the left is the luxury island, located behind Jumeirah Al Qasr and Madinat Jumeirah. On the right, the island located behind Jumeirah Beach Hotel and Jumeirah Beach.
Jumeirah Group will offer 10,000 additional parking spaces to accommodate the anticipated influx of visitors, as well as work closely with various government entities and other relevant companies to provide a rapid transport network to interconnect the resorts and entertainment destinations, facilitating fast and easy movement throughout Marsa Al Arab.
The project will break ground in June 2017 and will completed by late 2020.

In addition, Dubai Holding will launch the Dubai Pearl Museum to showcase a historical collection of rare and ancient pearls from the region and worldwide. The Dubai Pearl Museum aims to shed light on the lives of the divers as well as the tools they used to find the precious jewels, reflecting the UAE’s heritage, culture and national pride.
“The launch of this new and ambitious project is in line with the directives of the visionary leadership to provide the finest and rewarding tourist experiences for visitors to Dubai, as well as enhance Dubai’s position as a global tourist destination,” said Abdulla Al Habbai, Chairman, Dubai Holding.
“We are proud of the vital role that Dubai Holding plays in this sector through supporting innovation and contributing to the economic diversification of Dubai.”

Coach appoints president and CEO of Coach brand

Due to take up the newly created role in June, Schulman will be responsible for all aspects of the brand globally and will report to Coach chief executive Victor Luis. The new leadership structure follows Coach’s acquisition of Stuart Weitzman in 2015.

Schulman will be joining Coach from Neiman Marcus Group where he is president of Bergdorf Goodman and NMG International. He joined Neiman Marcus Group in 2012 and assumed additional responsibility for NMG International with the acquisition of MyTheresa.com in 2014.
Prior to that, Schulman was chief executive of Jimmy Choo and also held senior executive roles at Gap, Yves Saint Laurent and Gucci.
Luis Said: “I’ve known Josh for many years and had always hoped to attract him to Coach. He lives and breathes our industry and brings a unique blend of brand building and broad retail experience to the company, making him the ideal person for this newly created role. I couldn’t be more excited to have Josh lead the Coach brand.”
The company has also announced that Andre Cohen, currently president, of North America and global marketing for the Coach brand, will be leaving the company at the end of June to return to Asia with his family. Having worked with Coach since 2008, Cohen was instrumental in Coach’s development in Asia and has been spearheading the execution of the brand’s transformation strategy in the North American market over the last two years.
Luis added “Andre has been a great partner to me and a strong leader of our businesses in Asia and North America. I deeply appreciate his friendship and contributions over the last nine years but naturally I respect his family’s decision to return home to Singapore.”  

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.

Sweaty Betty to open flagship on Carnaby Street

Fitness brand Sweaty Betty has announced plans to open its first European flagship at 1 Carnaby Street in London. The prominent 204 sq m store is located at the south entrance to Carnaby Street and is the result of the brand upscaling from its existing store on Beak Street where it has been a resident since 2002.

The shop is arranged over ground and basement floors allowing the brand to expand and offer its full clothing, accessories and equipment collections, as well as housing a studio space for exclusive wellness events, giving a wider customer experience.   
Sweaty Betty joins other recent additions including Urban Decay, G.H. Bass and Estee Edit who have all chosen Carnaby for their first global or UK flagship store. 

Coach to open at Bullring in Birmingham UK

New York fashion house Coach has chosen the Bullring to open its first standalone store in Birmingham. This store will be the second outside of London for Coach, with the first opening its doors at Victoria Quarter, part of Victoria Gate in Leeds. The 280 sq m space will be located on the upper east level of the mall and will offer the retailer’s full range of bags, footwear, outerwear and accessories.

‘This latest signing reflects the strength of Bullring’s leading retail mix, attracting high-end, aspirational brands to the city. We’re delighted to welcome Coach’s first standalone store in the city, which significantly strengthens the already dynamic retail line-up at the centre,’ says Iain Mitchell, UK commercial director at Hammerson. 
Andrew Stanleick, president of Coach Europe, adds: ‘We are delighted to be opening our first standalone store in Birmingham. Bullring has a reputation as the region’s premier retail destination, and so it is a perfect fit for Coach. Following a successful launch in Leeds’ Victoria Quarter last week we are looking forward to bringing Coach’s modern luxury concept and collections to Birmingham.’ 

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.”

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.

Paul Smith sales fall as wholesale suffers

Sales fell 6.7% to £178.6m for the year to 30 June 2016, while operating profit before exceptional items dropped 63% year on year to £4m, accounts filed at Companies House show.
The exceptional items include restructuring costs from the firm’s reorganisation of design teams, products and collections. Paul Smith consolidated seven lines into two last year: Paul Smith and the more contemporary collection PS by Paul Smith.
Operating profit after exceptional items was up 20% on the previous year to £11m and profit for the year was £7.9m compared to £6.1m in 2015. The firm paid out £4.4m in dividends, up from £3.7m in 2015.
“Retail sales are expected to overtake wholesale as our biggest channel for the first time in the coming year,” said director Ashley Long, pointing to a move towards strategically placed stores and key wholesale accounts, which support a comprehensive omnichannel service.
Wholesale remained its largest channel in the year but, due to weak demand in core markets of the UK, France, Russia and parts of Asia, sales fell 13% year on year.
Retail sales increased by 2.2%, and fell 2% on a like-for-like basis, reflecting a mixed performance across its core markets and the closure of the Fifth Avenue store in New York in January 2016.
During the year, the firm opened new stores in Glasgow and Dover Street Market in London. It has since relocated on Rue St Honore in Paris and opened in Birmingham and Sydney.
Online sales increased by 11% during the year, representing 16% of sales – up from 13% in 2015.
“While the wholesale market is in a period of rapid change, we do anticipate sales stabilising in the future,” said Long.
“Geographically we saw many challenges in the year. In Europe our traditional independent wholesale customer base continued to shrink. In Asia, outside of Japan, we saw a general slowdown in the ready to wear markets. In the Middle East our partners experienced low customer confidence brought about by the unsettled political situation. However, the US, Australia and South Africa all saw positive growth in the year.”
The firm said it continued to reduce overheads and had sought to become more agile in response to the market conditions and uncertainties following the Brexit vote and other external factors.
But Long added: “We expect the current challenging trading conditions to continue for the foreseeable future.”
The company said its new collections have been well received, with like-for-like retail sales up 1% on last year and overall retail sales up 7% since the year end.  
Paul Smith launched his first collection for men in 1970 and for women in 1994.

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.

The renowned Le BHV Marais’ first flagship store is set to open in Dubai

The internationally renowned Parisians’ favourite department store ‘Le BHV Marais is set to open its first flagship store in the United Arab Emirates on the 13th of March 2017 in the buzzing City Walk, Dubai as part of its international expansion in franchising with MEDS.

An exclusive media visit to discover Le BHV Marais was hosted today by Mr. Pascal Abchee, General Manager, MEDS and attended by Home dcor, gastronomy, style and fashion experts.
Established in 1856 in Paris, Le BHV Marais is a subsidiary department store from the Galeries Lafayette group and celebrates this year its 160 years anniversary.
‘Le BHV Marais first Emirati branch reflects the strong partnership between Galeries Lafayette Group’ and MEDS and is a confirmation on the trust in our company and the fast growing UAE retail market ‘ said Mr. Abchee.
Spread over two floors totalling 6,000 sqm, the store was designed by the renowned architect Kristina Zanic who ensured preserving its Parisian flagship store atmosphere and identity by using wood and stone finishing.
Shopping sprees become an exciting journey within the different departments of fashion, beauty, home and gourmet.
On the ground floor, the beauty department is a haven with over 30 of the world’s top names. The same floor houses the trendiest bags, jewellery nd timepieces to be matched with the latest fashion collections for women, men and kids by emerging talented designers and renowned brands.
The first floor is dedicated to exquisite home accessories from French cookery to living rooms and bedroom designs, cutlery, table decorations and home appliances.
The gastronomy segment is a foodies’ destination, where kitchen variety is abundant with a large choice of high standard restaurants.
Led by the famous Executive Chef Russell Impiazzi, the famous Galeries Lafayette Le Gourmet satisfies its loyal fans and food lovers at its second branch at Le BHV Marais. Mastering a multitude of international cuisines, ranging from Italian to Indian, in addition to delicious pastries and a unique retail section, Le Gourmet is the perfect place to indulge your cravings.
Le Gourmet also introduces ‘Le Grill a new concept specialized in rotisserie and grill created to tantalize meat lovers’ taste buds.
Le BHV Marais’s Dubai branch mirrors the steady growth of the UAE retail industry which now accounts for 11% of the country’s GDP. Dubai’s dominantly young and vibrant market demands sophistication, which Le BHV Marais caters to with accessible and high-end brands targeting a customer base ranging mainly between 25 and 45 years old.

Saks Fifth Avenue is coming to India
Contributor2 days ago

Saks-building – retail in asia

Saks Fifth avenue is set to enter India with two new stores following a yet-to-sealed distribution deal between the American department store and Aditya Birla Fashion Retail Ltd.
The first Saks Fifth Avenue store looks to open in Aerocity near the Delhi airport followed by a second in Mumbai’s Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), sources told Livemint, but not until late 2017 or early 2018.
“Aditya Birla Group is in a late stage of discussions” to lease 100,000 square foot of space in Worldmark 2, where the first Saks outlet in India will open, a sourced also revealed to the Economic Times.
Saks Fifth Avenue corporate personnel have visited India twice in the past three months, ahead of a return trip planed for March, said the sources. Both firms have reached an understanding and are in the process of finalising their plans, a person told local media. It is also believed CBRE is acting as a real-estate consultant, according to sources.
SEE ALSO: New CEO of FlipKart in India to compete Amazon
Both Saks and Aditya Birla were unavailable to comment.
The partnership between Aditya Birla Fashion and Saks Fifth Avenue is expected to take form as a long-term licensing agreement. The department store sells cosmetics, apparel and accessories from luxury brands. It is also expected to introduce brands like Ralph Lauren that are not present in India, said sources.
Owned by Hudson’s Bay Co., Saks Fifth Avenue has about 60 stores worldwide. The parent form has been looking to expand its fold – which includes Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor in the United States, as well as Galeria Kaufhof in Europe — to reduce the impact of consumer spending in North America.
In early January, Hudson cut its full-year revenue forecast for the second time, citing a challenging retail environment in the United States and Europe.
According to Reuters, Hudson’s Bay made a takeover approach for retail chain Macy’s in February, in a deal that would push the Canadian department store operator deeper into the U.S. market.
Aditya Birla Fashion Retail operates the Madura Fashion division. It distributed brands including Van Heusen, Louis Phillipe, Peter England and Allen Solly. In 2012, it acquired Pantaloons department retail chain, India’s largest fashion and apparel retailer, with a revenue of over Rs6,060 crore in 2016.

London ranks top for luxury store openings in 2016

London remains the global choice for luxury retailers as it tops the list of store openings in 2016, according to the Saville Global Luxury Retail report.
London saw 41 new luxury openings during the year, of which 15 were a brand’s debut store in London. This compared to 36 in Paris and 31 in both New York and Dubai.
In fourth place, Hong Kong attracted 25 new store openings while in Milan there were 24.
London has consistently been the most visited city in the world by international tourists and acts as useful stepping stone for European brands prior to expanding into the US.
Marie Hickey, commercial research director at Savills, explaiined “A significant proportion of luxury goods are now purchased outside a shopper’s home market, particularly those of Chinese consumers, reinforcing the importance of destination cities. This was apparent in 2016, when all of the key established global retail destinations saw more than 20 luxury brand store openings.”
Anthony Selwyn, head of Central London retail at Savills, said: “The role of a specific destination in brand building and enhancing the customer experience remains key, and the heritage of London and Paris saw these cities rank first and second for new luxury openings last year. With international travel expected to double by 2030, appetite among luxury retailers to expand in key markets will remain strong, though we expect to see several of the emerging luxury markets gain more market share.”

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.

Ralph Lauren names new executives to new position

 Ralph Lauren names new executives to new positions , 2 weeks after CEO steps down
Ralph Lauren Corp. RL, -0.77% named on Thursday Jonathan Bottomley to the newly created position of chief marketing officer, effective April 3. The fashion apparel and accessories company said Bottomley, who was most recently Chief Strategy Officer at Vice Media, will lead the global marketing team and be responsible for Ralph Lauren’s brand voice. The company also named Tom Mendenhall to the newly created role of brand president, Men’s Polo, Purple Label and Double RL, effective March 29. Mendenhall was most recently chief operating officer at Tom Ford International. All men’s brand functions will report into Mendenhall, including design and merchandising. The moves follow Stefan Larsson stepping down as chief executive officer on Feb. 3 after just 15 months in the position, after Larsson and Chief Creative Officer Ralph Lauren couldn’t agree about how to evolve the creative and consumer-facing parts of the business. The stock, which tacked on 0.3% in morning trade, has tumbled 29% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 SPX, -0.30% has gained 7.7%.

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.

FURLA opens new store in London in Knightsbridge

Furla has recently opened a new store in London at 71 Brompton Road. This follows the success of its standalone Regent Street store, and continues to strengthen the brand’s presence in the UK.

Located in the heart of the high-end shopping district of Knightsbridge, the new store is set across two floors, occupying 280 sq m. It houses the brand’s women’s bag and leather accessory offering, with its men’s collection on the lower ground floor alongside two areas dedicated entirely to footwear.
To mark the opening, Furla has launched a new custom version of its star Metropolis bag with a print featuring a London Bridge motif, which is exclusive to the store. Each bag is a limited-edition model, accompanied by an “Exclusive for Brompton Road London” tag.
Furla will also offer the option to match the bag with a bright blue fur pompon, adding an extra personalised touch.

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.

Prada to close 25 stores in 2016

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

John Lewis plans £9m beauty hall expansion

John Lewis plans £9m beauty hall expansion

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

Hackett opens new store in London at One New Change

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

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

Salvatore Ferragamo opens largest store in Canada, in Ontario

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

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

Prada opens new store at Gold Coast, Pacific Fair, Australia

Prada has recently opened a new store on the Gold Coast in Australia at Pacific Fair. The store covers 310 square metre and features apparel, leather goods, accessories and footwear for men and women. The store comprises a succession of rooms, each featuring a different atmosphere.

Max Mara Group launches two new brands

Max Mara Group has added to its portfolio by launching two new brands with a contemporary, accessible positioning: Tresophie and AIIM will be available with the Spring 2017 season and will be initially distributed via physical and online multi-brand stores, then via their own e-stores from the end of 2017.

Through Tresophie, the Italian group intends to carve out a niche in the sophisticated, contemporary dress segment. The collection will consist chiefly of dresses of different cuts and styles, catering to all the requirements of contemporary women: from gowns to evening dresses to those for important appointments. Besides dresses, the label will also feature tops, skirts, jumpsuits and ten or so jackets and boleros, all with special occasions in mind.
Distribution-wise, the 52-item collection will be available at the end of January 2017 in physical and online multi-brand stores in Italy, France, the UK and Russia. The average price of Tresophie clothes will be €280. From the end of 2017, the brand will operate its own e-shop.
AIIM is the acronym of ‘Art is inside me’. The brand will focus on knitwear, offering a complete range of cardigans, sweaters, dresses, trousers and skirts. The collection will initially consist of about fifty items inspired by the work of Art Nouveau artist Alfons Mucha. Specifically, it will feature 3D-effect jacquard fabrics, items blending knitwear and lace jersey, as well as dresses in plumetis tulle jersey and pointillist-style jackets.
The Max Mara group indicated that art will be the creative starting point for this collection, in order to create a fascinating, unique mood.
AIIM will be available at the end of January 2017 in France, Spain, the UK, Italy and Russia, distributed via physical and online multi-brand stores. It will be positioned in the contemporary fashion segment, with an average retail price of €160. At the end of 2017, also AIIM will operate its own e-shop.
The Max Mara group already owns several brands, including Max Mara, Max Mara Weekend, Marina Rinaldi, Marella and Pennyblack.

Is Ralph Lauren moving away from luxury?

Ralph Lauren has always been associated with luxury and privilege and it’s polo player logo has been synonymous with dressing elites around the world.

Since the American-based fashion giant announced earlier this month it was to close a significant amount of stores and let go of 1,000 employees there have been plenty of questions as to the brand’s new strategy and direction.
Bottom line sales, specifically a drop in profits, have led Ralph Lauren to restructure its portfolio of labels and bring the company back on course. According to MediaRadar, a multi media sales intelligence tracker, the answer as to the company’s direction can be found in the initiatives of its CEO, Stefan Larsson.
Industry insiders speculate that Larsson’s history at discount retailers Old Navy and H&M are key to understanding its latest moves. MediaRadar analyzed Ralph Lauren’s advertising before and after Larsson’s start data shows two key course changes that shed some light on their new strategic direction:
High end advertising dropped from 55 to 26 percent
First there is a significant move away from luxury. While total marketing investment level didn’t change over one year, there has been a decided move away from supporting their luxury lines. In the first five months of 2015, fully 55 percent of marketing was for Purple Label and Ralph Lauren Collection, the company’s most expensive, most luxurious lines. Just one year later however, that allocation has been slashed to 26 percent. Instead, the lower-priced Polo and eponymous Ralph Lauren lines are the focus. Together they now represent 64 percent of all ads.
The second indication of new strategy is tightening product categories. In the five months from January to May, 2015, Ralph Lauren marketed 29 specific product lines. One year later this list was nearly halved to 14. The brands continuing with the most emphasis are Ralph Lauren, Polo, Lauren, and Denim & Supply. Smaller lines like Chaps and RLX didn’t get marketing support at all.
This data shows a key pivot from the company as the epitome of luxury designer wear to a focus on affordable fashion. For Larsson, this is a turnkey positioning solution, since he helped revitalize H&M and Old Navy to the powerhouse brands they are today.

Cosmetics maker Revlon to buy Elizabeth Arden in $870 million deal

Cosmetics maker Revlon Inc (REV.N) has agreed to buy Elizabeth Arden Inc (RDEN.O) in an $870 million deal to strengthen its skincare and fragrance business and expand in high-growth markets including the Asia-Pacific region.

Elizabeth Arden’s shares rose nearly 50 percent to $13.96 in extended trading on Thursday, close to the cash offer price of $14 per share. Shares of Revlon, controlled by billionaire Ron Perelman, rose slightly to $31.30.
The deal, which comes less than six months after Perelman said he would seek strategic alternatives for Revlon, will help the companies better compete with deep-pocketed rivals such Estee Lauder Cos Inc (EL.N) and L’Oreal SA (OREP.PA).
The equity value of the deal is $419 million, based on Elizabeth Arden’s outstanding shares as of May 3.
Elizabeth Arden has a strong presence in the luxury skincare market, mainly in the anti-aging category, with brands such as Prevage, Ceramide and SuperStart. Its fragrances include those licensed from celebrities such as Britney Spears, Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift.
Revlon is stronger in hair color and color cosmetics, which are mainly distributed through mass retail channels and beauty salons across 130 countries.
“The combination will leverage Revlon’s scale across major vendors and manufacturing partners, improving distribution and procurement,” the companies said, adding that they expected cost synergies of about $140 million from the deal.
Elizabeth Arden has reported lower-than-expected revenue in six of the past eight quarters as it loses customers to rivals with more exclusive offerings.
BofA Merrill Lynch and Citigroup Global Markets Inc have committed about $2.6 billion to fund the deal and refinance the debt of the two cosmetic makers.
Revlon also said it expected 2016 net sales of $2.0 billion-$2.1 billion on a constant-currency basis, excluding the impact of the acquisition. This implies a “high single-digit growth rate” in net sales, the company said.
Revlon also forecast adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of $400 million-$420 million for the year.

Golden Goose opens new store in London

Italian luxury brand Golden Goose has opened its first store in the U.K., located on Dover Street in London’s Mayfair.Spanning two floors, the 950-sq.-ft. space stocks the brand’s women’s and children’s collections, as well as the men’s wear range, Haus by Golden Goose.
The space has a minimalist decor that showcases the brand’s colorful pieces, which include green metallic leather biker jackets, red tulle skirts, glitter brogues and backpacks and a series of the signature low-top sneakers. They come with glitter finishes, studs and oversized crystals for spring- summer 2016.
The U.K. launch follows a series of openings of standalone stores across the globe, including New York, Tokyo, Seoul and Milan. Most recently, the high-end fashion label opened a shop on rue de Saint Peres, on Paris’ Left Bank, as part of its ongoing international expansion strategy.

Chanel opens in Vancouver largest retail space in Canada

CHANEL has opened a large ground-level boutique inside of Vancouver’s Holt Renfrew at CF Pacific Centre, replacing a previous location on the women’s upper-level designer floor.

Although a shop-in-shop, Vancouver’s new Chanel concession is now Canada’s second-largest location, featuring the country’s first Chanel fine jewellery and watch boutique. The boutique also features ready-to-wear, handbags, shoes, accessories eyewear.

The new Chanel concession measures about 5,060 square feet, and includes a separate 750 square foot area dedicated to fine jewellery and timepieces.

Ralph Lauren to Slash 1,000 Jobs, Shutter Stores

Designer Ralph Lauren, right, poses in his office with Stefan Larsson, global brand president for Old Navy, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015, in New York. Lauren is stepping down as CEO of the fashion and home decor empire that he founded nearly 50 years ago, and Larsson, who has been the global president of Old Navy for three years, will succeed him. 

Ralph Lauren unveiled plans to cut jobs and close stores as the luxury brand struggles with a prolonged period of weak sales. The apparel maker and retailer also disclosed sales targets for the year that missed Wall Street’s expectations, news that sent shares lower on Tuesday.
The company said it would book charges of up to $400 million, with a bulk of those expenses tied to lease terminations, store closure costs and severance expenses. Under the plan, Ralph Lauren RL -1.68% said it would also simplify the company’s leadership by moving from an average of nine layers of management to six. While Ralph Lauren didn’t disclose specifics, the company told The Wall Street Journal that it would close 50 stores and cut 1,000 jobs, or 8% of the full-time workforce.
“We have to evolve,” new CEO Stefan Larsson said in a presentation to investors Tuesday. “We have to cater to the life and style that people dream of today.”
Ralph Lauren also projected fiscal-year net revenue would post low double-digit declines, citing store closures and a weak retail environment in the U.S. Analysts had projected a far more modest 4% decline. First-quarter sales are also expected to be soft.

CHANEL opens new temporary store in Amsterdam

During the renovation of its store on P.C. Hooftstraat, CHANEL has opened a temporary store on the same road. The building, called crystal houses, is conceptualized by acclaimed Dutch architecture practice Mvrdv. The project not only represents a mean architectural feat, but also marks the arrival of the purpose-built luxury flagship store – a longtime phenomenon elsewhere – in the Dutch capital.

The new CHANEL boutique which features a glass facade occupies the lower floors of the building measuring a spacious 620 sqm., while the top floor remains residential.

Harrods opens temporary outlet in Doha

London luxury department store Harrods has opened a temporary store in Doha for the Christmas period.
The iconic store, which is owned by Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), opened a 6,500 square metre branch at Katara Cultural Village at the weekend. For the first week, the store is only open to VIP visitors, after which the general public can visit from 4pm to midnight daily for the next 45 days.
Designed by Italian architect Gio Pagani, the store is a larger version of the Harrods branch in Sardinia.
It features 14 luxury brands, including Audi, Bentley, Buccellati, Graff Diamonds, Chopard and Ferrari. The store also features luxury vehicles, including Rolls-Royce, BMW and Bentley.
“The goal for this ambitious village was to create a really unique space that enhances the environment, adds a desirable ‘wow’ factor, and highlights each luxury brand within a contrasting unexpected temporary space, turning what was originally an anonymous space into one of the world’s most desirable shopping experiences,” said Pagani.
Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohamed bin Saud Al Thani, CEO of QIA, said the store was brought to Doha to coincide with Qatar’s national day celebrations, with a much larger store planned for next year’s national day. 

 

Qatari-owned Valentino offers $569m for Pierre Balmain

Italian fashion house Valentino, owned by Qatar’s Mayhoola for Investments, has offered 500 million euros ($569 million) to buy Pierre Balmain, French newspaper Les Echos has reported , citing sources.

The French fashion house, led by artistic director Olivier Rousteing, has also received offers from a Chinese group and an American investor, Les Echos said, without providing names.
The heirs of Pierre Balmain’s founder, Alain Hivelin, have until Thursday to decide whether to accept one of the three offers, according to Les Echos.
Valentino and Pierre Balmain were not immediately available for comment. 

 

Louis Vuitton to close more stores in China

China Retail News reports that French luxury house Louis Vuitton has officially confirmed that the company will close two stores located in Shanghai and Shanxi, respectively, by the end of March 2016.
A representative of Louis Vuitton China said that the two stores will no longer operate from April 2016. However, Louis Vuitton has emphasized that the store closure does not mean they will stop their Chinese development strategy and they will continue to invest and expand there this year.
This wouldn’t be a first for Louis Vuitton in China though. According to a report on China’s luxury market in 2015 published by global management consulting company Bain, they closed six stores and opened two new stores in China last year. LVMH has stated in its financial report for the third quarter that due to the continued weakness of Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, and Macau markets, its Asia Pacific, excluding Japan, market share continued to shrink.
Last year media outlets reported that Louis Vuitton were set to close stores in the cities of Guangzhou, Harbin and Urumqi, which will leave the brand with about 50 stores in China. So will we see more stores in China close than what has been reported? Only time will tell.
Louis Vuitton isn’t the only luxury house to have been hit by China’s slowing economy. Giorgio Armani, Hermès and Versace are among those to have closed stores in the country over the past couple of years. 

 

Hugo Boss opens new store in Florence

Hugo Boss opens a new store in Florence, Italy. The store is located at 70-72 via Por Santa Maria, steps from Piazza Signoria. The new store covers a surface of 500 sqm over three floors.
The groundfloor is dedicated to Boss Woman while the first and second floors and dedicated to menswear and accessories (Boss Sportswear, Boss Clothing). 

    
   

Galeries Lafayette set for redevelopment

Parisian department store Galeries Lafayette has announced that it will be working with British architecture studio AL_A to transform the ‘Cupola’ building of its flagship located on Boulevard Haussmann in Paris.
The redevelopment is part of the company’s strategy to build the ‘department store of the 21st century,’ with the aim of offering consumers a new shopping experience, and the remodelling of the 430,500 square foot store will start in early 2017.
AL_A, founded by Amanda Levete, has recently worked on projects for the Victoria and Albert Museum, as well as the Selfridges store in Birmingham, were chosen for its “bold proposal and intuitive conceptual approach” that will “create a visionary metamorphosis of the department store’s main building, relying on tradition and modernity,” a press statement from Galeries Lafayette said.
Nicolas Houzé, chief executive officer of Galeries Lafayette and Bhv Marais said: “We are delighted to start this collaboration with Amanda Levete and her team to conduct the reinvention of this iconic Cupola building, which is also the soul of the Galeries Lafayette brand. Amanda has demonstrated her talent for radical thinking and reimagining built heritage, and I am confident that her innovative vision will serve our ambition to offer to our clients the department store of the 21st century.”
Amanda Levete, director of AL_A, added: “This store is an institution that has a special place in the life and identity of the city of Paris. Our commission is a fantastic opportunity to build on tradition to make a living contribution to the future of Galeries Lafayette and the cultural life of Paris.
“The exquisite craftsmanship of the original building and its location in the heart of Haussmann’s city are both elements we seek to celebrate as we move forward.”
  

Finery to open retail outlets in 6 flagship stores of John Lewis

Finery, the online fashion retailer of womenswear, shoes and accessories, has decided to have an offline presence. It is set to open physical outlets in six flagship stores of John Lewis. The move follows the company clocking £5m (€6.5m, $7.3m) in its first year of sales.
Nickyl Raithatha, cofounder at the company, said: “We are on the cusp of becoming mainstream. [It will] accelerate awareness of our brand. It is important for us to be wherever our customers what to be and there will always be people that want to try clothes on before they buy.”
He added that the company had beaten expectations by attracting 10,000 customers since its launch 12 months ago. Raithatha said while there are no current plans for a standalone store, it is working on opening more of these concession stores, which are essentially miniature stores operated by the brand and located within a larger store, to enable reaching out to more customers.
The move also reflects the latest trend of online retailers having a physical presence. Examples of other such internet-based retailers include furniture companies. In 2015, Loaf and Made.com set up high street stores and more recently online giant Amazon launched its physical bookstores across the US.
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Finery was set up in 2015 by Caren Downie, Raithatha and Luca Marini. While Downie is a former fashion director at Topshop, Raithatha and Marini are both from Harvard University with work experience at Rocket Internet, the German company that builds online startups and owns stake in various models of internet retail businesses.
The London headquartered company is backed by Global Fashion Group that is dedicated to bringing fashion online to emerging markets and has shareholders including Kinnevik, the Swedish investment firm, and Rocket Internet. Finery designs all of its offerings in-house and prices its collection of the 150 to 200 items that it produces between £40 and £250.
Raithatha said: “We realised there was a gap in the market for women who wanted quality designed clothes between the high street and designer.” Downie, who is considered to be amongst the most influential women in British fashion, said the inspiration to start Finery came with the desire to provide both quality and design at accessible price points, according to The Telegraph. 

 

Selfridges celebrates new sales record

Selfridges experienced the most profitable hour in its history as shoppers turned out in their thousands for post-Christmas deals. 
Crowds appeared outside Selfridges stores across Britain, in some cases as early as 1am, to take advantage of Boxing Day sales. The dense crowds were a welcome reappearance as recent sales events have seen high street retailers losing customers to online stores. 
The result was an intake of just over £2m by 10am from tills alone, a 2% rise on Selfridges’ previous record for its most profitable hour. 
“It is encouraging to see High Streets performing significantly better than Boxing Day last year,” said Diane Wehrle, Insights Director at Springboard. She called the sales “surprisingly positive” as the influx of foreign shoppers and mild weather helped to boost profits. 
It would seem that Selfridges means to end the year on as high a note as it started: in November the chain revealed results marking the 12 months to the end of January 2015 as its most profitable financial year of all time, with operating profits rising by 4% to £155m. 
The store has credited its success to its growing online presence as well as its continuing focus on luxury fashion brands. 
Selfridges currently trades from four stores in the UK. Recently it has invested over £300m on overhauling its flagship store on Oxford Street, London.