Category Archives: #luxury

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. 


Chanel Pays Record Price for Retail Space

French luxury retailer Chanel SA is paying a record price for retail space in Los Angeles as prime shopping locations in the nation’s major urban areas command rising premiums.

Chanel is purchasing the 11,500-square-foot building at 400 North Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills for $152 million, or more than $13,000 a square foot, according to people involved in the transaction. That tops the previous high for Southern California of about $10,400 a square foot, set in 2012, for another building on North Rodeo Drive, according to data provided by real-estate firm Real Capital Analytics.
The deal is another sign of the strong interest among retailers and landlords in retail real estate in large urban areas with a dense population of affluent shoppers.
“That’s what people have been willing to pay up for,” said Jim Costello, senior vice president at Real Capital Analytics. “That’s where the millennials are. That’s where the consumers are.”
Buyers have been willing to pay particularly high prices for the most desirable and heavily trafficked destinations where luxury brands can command attention, such as Madison Avenue in New York.
“It’s like buying a very expensive billboard,” said Scott Kalt, a founding partner at Elkins Kalt Weintraub Reuben Gartside LLP, a Los Angeles law firm that represented one of two families in the partnership that sold the property to Chanel.
Chanel, for example, paid more than $31,000 a square foot last year for retail space on Madison Avenue at 64th Street, which is the highest price for any retail space in the nation, according to Real Capital Analytics.
Three other sales in Manhattan this year have topped $14,000 a square foot, the firm’s data show. Prices in the top quartile of sales of retail space have often topped the prerecession peaks in many cities in recent years, according to the firm’s figures, though prices have also fluctuated in some places.
North Rodeo Drive is home to a wide range of luxury retailers, including Cartier, Gucci and Prada. Chanel has rented the property on the corner of Brighton Way for years, according to people familiar with the matter.
“If it’s not the single best corner in Beverly Hills, anyone would list it in the top two or three,” said Ron Goldie, a Los Angeles-area attorney who also worked with one of the families selling the property. “It’s highly visible.” 


LVMH’s Fresh opens new London flagship

LVMH-owned skincare brand Fresh has opened a 70 sq m flagship store on Monmouth Street in London’s West End. The opening marks the latest in a line of top brands to take space on the street in the last 12 months, including Larsson & Jennings, Loft Design By…, Pierre Herme and most recently, Club Monaco.

Designed in-house, the Fresh boutique is the second standalone UK store for the brand, which houses the company’s full lifestyle range, including skincare, bodycare, haircare and fragrances.
‘The brand’s arrival plays a great part in our strategy to create a unique shopping destination that appeals to both local and international visitors alike,’ says Charles Owen, Seven Dials Portfolio Executive at Shaftesbury. 


Prada opens enlarged and renovated store in Manila

Prada celebrates the reopening of its recently expanded and renovated store inside the prestigious Greenbelt Ayala Center department store in Manila, Philippines.
The space, designed by architect Roberto Baciocchi, covers a total area of approximately 200 square metres on a single level and houses the women’s and men’s leather goods, accessories and footwear collections.
The external façade, of remarkable visual impact, is composed of an interplay of light- boxes, completed by a backlit white canvas curtain enclosed in a crystal box. 


Michael Kors opens its largest Japanese flagship store

Michael Kors has opened its largest Japanese flagship store on Chuo Street in Tokyo’s Ginza district. The store is the first in the world to carry every category offered by the global luxury retailer.
The 724 sq m store reflects the new design concept unveiled last year at the Jing’An Kerry Centre in Shanghai, including a shimmering exterior facade inspired by Michael Kors’ signature use of metallics and texture.

The facade comprises luminous screens made of unique, light reflective facets set within a grid of internally lit recesses. In addition, a large-scale branded campaign image covers the balance of the second and third story facade, creating an effect that is elegant and kinetic. 

The ground floor features curated presentations of accessories, including handbags and small leather goods, from the Michael Kors Collecton and MICHAEL Michael Kors labels. Downstairs, the lower level is dedicated to menswear and men’s accessories, making the Ginza flagship the first freestanding Michael Kors store in Asia to offer menswear. 

Women’s ready-to-wear is located on the upper floor in sophisticated rooms designed to complement the Michael Kors Collection and MICHAEL Michael Kors labels. On this floor, customers can browse, try on clothes and consult with the store’s personal stylists in a calm environment and feel completely indulged. This floor also showcases an elevated display of watches, jewellery, eyewear and a selection of the brand’s fragrances. This floor is finished off with a grand shoe salon featuring footwear from both labels.

The store interior reflects the jet set glamour of the brand, and features white marble flooring and custom white painted wood fixtures for a sleek and refined feel. Rice paper accents and framed Macassar wood boxes highlight key products and evoke the elegance of sophisticated Japanese design. Luxe ultra suede fabrics are also used throughout the store to enhance the inviting atmosphere.  


First Polo Ralph Lauren flagship store in Europe opens in Rome

Ralph Lauren has recently opened its first Polo Ralph Lauren label flagship store in the Italian capital of Rome. The new store cover 465 m² on two floors at the corner of Via del Corso and Via Frattina. The new store also features the Polo Sport line. The label currently has 15 flagship stores globally, 8 of which are directly operated. Further openings are expected in London and Sao Paolo.


Polo Ralph Lauren flagship store Rome

20% of Louis Vuitton’s Chinese stores will close next year

Louis Vuitton has recently announced the closure of three China stores, including its first outlet in Gaungzhou. According to sources close to the brand, the luxury retailer is preparing to close several more stores across the country in the coming months.  
Parent company LVMH said that overall sales in Asia fell by more than 9% in its third quarter of trading, with Louis Vuitton China sales “suffering” in particular.  
These closures illustrate the pressure that China’s luxury sector is facing, on the back of a slowing economy, government run anti-corruption and anti-extravagance campaign. Launched in late 2012, the three year political movement has hindered demand for all types of luxury goods in the country. Global brands such as Louis Vuitton are now viewed as commoditised and overpriced among China’s changing, sophisticated consumers.  
While many luxury goods makers have expanded their sites in China over the past decade to appeal to the nouveaux rich, the store closure count is quickly picking up pace across the market.  
“According to my information, 20% of Louis Vuitton’s stores in China will have disappeared by mid-next year: that is a closing rate of about one store per month,” Emmanuel Hemmerle, a leadership consultant told The FT. 
While China’s economic slowdown has hindered Louis Vuitton’s worldwide success, the high-end company still opened a store in Beijing and Hangzhou earlier this year.  
In a statement on Monday, Louis Vuitton said that it “will continue investing in China in the current store network in order to enhance the level of experience we wish to offer to our clients”. 
According to a report by US-based analysis company The Demand Institute and its parent company The Conference Board, overly optimistic growth and consumption projections for China have misled foreign investors. Multinational and luxury brands have been misled into investing too much into the wrong Chinese cities. 
“To a certain extent LV has been suffering from brand overexposure. Having so many stores in China and particularly in these lower-tier cities doesn’t make sense economically but is also not very good for the brand,” said Torsten Stocker, partner at consulting group AT Kearney.   


Burberry reports increase in profits and flat revenue

Burberry has reported that pre-tax profit rose by 9% to £154.7 million in the first half of its financial year.
Adjusted profit before tax was £152.9 million compared to £152.3 million a year ago.
However, sales were flat in the six months to 30 September at £1.1 billion.

Cartier CEO to step down

Cartier CEO to step down 

He will be succeeded as CEO by Cyrille Vigneron, currently the president of LVMH Japan. 
De Quercize’s resignation is with immediate effect. Richemont said however that he would remain a group executive, taking over the role of chairman of Richemont France. 
LVMH and Richemont had agreed that Vigneron would formally assume his new position on 1 January 2016, Richemont added. 
Prior to joining the LVMH Group, Vigneron worked with Richemont from 1988 to 2013. He worked principally with Cartier, rising to become managing director of Cartier Japan, president of Richemont Japan, and finally, managing director of Cartier Europe. 
“In his capacity as Chief Executive Officer of Cartier, Mr Vigneron will become a member of the Group Management Committee from 1 January 2016. Thereafter, he will be nominated for election to Compagnie Financière Richemont’s Board of Directors in September 2016,” Richemont said. 
Commenting on the changes, Johann Rupert, chairman of Richemont, said: “Stanislas de Quercize has had a superb career to date, having worked with Cartier, Montblanc and Alfred Dunhill prior to taking up positions as Chief Executive of Van Cleef & Arpels and Cartier. I and all my colleagues on the Board, in management and across both Richemont and Cartier, recognise his commitment, work ethic and enthusiasm. We deeply regret that Stanislas has decided to stand down but must accept his decision.
“Cyrille Vigneron is an old colleague and a highly capable and effective leader. We welcome him back to Cartier. I look forward to a smooth transition from Stanislas to Cyrille and know that he will have the full support of Cartier management and employees. I look forward to Cyrille’s contribution to further building Cartier’s reputation as the world’s leading jewellery and haute horlogerie Maison.”
Posted on 9 Nov 2015 08:35 


Furla opened a new store on New York’s Fifth Avenue

Italian affordable luxury brand Furla opened a new store on New York’s Fifth Avenue, at 51st Street. The new Furla store features the complete range of products of the brand. The new store carries a limited edition ‘Fifth Avenue’ of handbags and small leather accessories. The new opening marks the beginning of an extended expansion of the brand in the U.S. 


Burberry makes key leadership team appointments

Burberry makes key leadership team appointmentBurberry has announced two new appointments within its leadership team.
In November Leanne Wood will take on the newly created role of chief people and corporate affairs officer. Reporting to Burberry chief creative and chief executive officer Christopher Bailey, she will be responsible for Burberry’s corporate affairs and human resources across the world.
Joining Burberry from Diageo where she has been group HR director since 2013, Wood’s prior roles at the drinks business include global talent and organisation effectiveness director and HR director for its various businesses in South East Asia, the UK, Ireland and Africa. She has also worked for Allied Domecq and LEK Strategy Consulting.
Burberry has also announced that Fumbi Chima will be joining the company in November as chief information officer, reporting to chief operating officer John Smith. The role oversees Burberry’s technology division and will include responsibility for the brand’s upcoming technology platform upgrades including SAP.
Chima was previously corporate vice president and chief information officer at Walmart Asia and has also held IT and technology positions at AMEX and JP Morgan. In addition, she has recently been selected as a member of the United Nations Digital taskforce.
Bailey said: “Both Leanne and Fumbi will play key roles in Burberry’s leadership team as we begin the implementation of our plans for increased customer focus and product and brand development in the coming years.” 


Coach opens first flagship store in Paris

Coach has recently inaugurated its first store in Paris on the prestigious Rue Saint Honore at number 372-374. The new Coach which store covers 600 sqm on two floors features an updated retail design concept which is likely to be implemented across future store openings.

With the occasion of the opening, Nigel Darwin, president of Coach Europe, told WWD he was eyeing Milan and Munich next, hoping to find good retail spots there “sooner rather than later.”
“Europe is trading extremely well. We see double-digit growth in the region, as the company is heading towards a 0.5-billion-dollar business, which we said was our short- to medium-term objective here,” the executive explained, citing a combination of direct business through flagships, wholesale growth as well as online as the strategy going forward.
Coach currently has more than 450 points of sale in North America, about 500 directly operated locations in Asia, and more than 30 in Europe. The brand also operates e-commerce in the U.S., in Canada, Japan, China and the U.K., which launched last week. 


Ralph Lauren is stepping down as CEO of his company

Ralph Lauren has stepped down from his position as CEO of his own company, The New York Times reports.

Lauren will not be entirely absent from his namesake company, though, since he has no plans of leaving.
“When they start designing things I can’t understand, I’ll quit,” Lauren said to The Times. “But I don’t feel like I’m stepping back now.”
Stefan Larsson, currently the global vice president of Old Navy, has the lofty task of filling Lauren’s shoes.
But Larsson is rather accomplished. He worked with Old Navy throughout its massive resurgence. He will officially leave his post at Old Navy October 2, according to a release.
Additionally, Lauren told The Times that he plans to work together with Larsson, calling their working relationship “a partnership.”
It’s a win for Larsson, too.
“One of the biggest reasons for me to join is the opportunity to work side by side with someone like Ralph,” he said to The Times.
Business Insider has learned that Larsson will be replaced by Jill Stanton, currently Old Navy’s executive vice president of global product. 


La Perla opens renovated flagship store in Hong Kong

Italian luxury lingerie brand LA PERLA has reopened its flagship store in Hong Kong at Russel Street, following extensive renovations. The newly revamped La Perla store features the new interior design concept of the brand and includes all La Perla Collections for women and men. La Perla operates three other stores in Hong Kong, 


Givenchy expands in Thailand with second store in Bangkok at Siam Paragon

Givenchy has recently opened its second store in the Thai capital city of Bangkok. The new Givenchy store is located within the Siam Paragon Shopping Center and features both men’s and women’s ready to wear and accessories collections of the brand. The store covers 220 sqm and is situated on the M floor.

Apple takes over all 24 windows at Selfridges London

Apple has taken over all 24 windows at Selfridges on London’s Oxford Street, with a focus on the Apple Watch.

The windows have been designed to reflect both companies’ dedication to beauty and design. For its most personal device ever, Apple has collaborated with the world’s top department stores and speciality boutiques to provide bespoke shopping experiences focused on Apple Watch. 

Its shop-in-shop at Selfridges, which opened in April, has already featured unique window executions inspired by the Apple Watch User Interface (UI) and specifically imagined for the Selfridges environment, the most recent of which were Butterflies and Chromosphere. 

As with Apple’s first two window designs at Selfridges, this new Flowers installation draws on inspiration from the Apple Watch experience, specifically extracting Apple Watch faces. The Flowers face features eight blooming flowers set as a background with the time placed above. The window installation utilises this UI design and enlarges it on a grand scale to take over the 24 Selfridges windows. Windows have been filled with flowers ranging from 200mm – 1.8m in height, all featuring a unique configuration of the Apple Watch, including Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch and Apple Watch Edition. 

The installation comprises 24 large, 50 medium, 5,525 small flowers, and 240 small plus flowers. The flowers have all been hand sculpted by artists and these were used to create a master tool. From this, Apple produced the number of petals required out of vac-formed PETG, while the central stamen details have also been hand sculpted to form a tool, and then reproduced from cast resin for the large and medium flowers. The small flowers are a direct 3D scan from these and then scaled down and 3D printed. They are finished with a scenic paint teatment, with fine flocking details added before they were finally assembled. 

‘Customers love Apple Watch, our most personal product yet. We are thrilled that the flowers of the Apple Watch face have inspired such a beautiful design and to see it come to life in this amazing installation reflected in all 24 of Selfridges’ historic windows,’ says Paul Deneve, Apple’s vice president of Special Projects.

Linda Hewson, creative director at Selfridges, says: ‘We are delighted to have worked with Apple on this exclusive and exciting window scheme. Collaborating with Apple on such a large scale creative project continues our well-established tradition of inviting outstanding designers with a unique point of view to curate displays within our stores.’  


Jimmy Choo opens new flagship store in Hong Kong, Harbour City

Jimmy Choo’s newest flagship store is its largest in Hong Kong, covering 158-square-metre flagship. Set in the heart of Tsim Sha Tsui, on Canton Road within the Gateway Arcade (Harbour City) the new Jimmy Choo store is the first store of the brand in Hong Kong to provide a full range of men and women’s products ranging from bags, small leather goods, and shoes.

Designed with the brand’s signature design elements of elegance paired with sophistication, the space epitomises modern, everyday glamour with a palette of satin gold, light pink marble, with an oyster stone and mother of pearl chevron floor.
The new Jimmy Choo flagship store in Hong Kong features a Made-to-order service. Unfortunately, the service is only available to women for the moment; however it is ideal for ladies who are looking to make their shoe dreams a reality. The service presents a range of signature styles that can be custom made in a variety of colourways, textures, and finishes with personalised style preferences, such as monogramming the sole of the shoe.

LVMH owned Sephora makes global airport debut with Abu Dhabi Duty Free

UAE. LVMH-owned beauty retailer Sephora has made its global airport debut at Abu Dhabi International, through Abu Dhabi Duty Free and retail partner DFS. The airport will be home to two pop-up Sephora outlets, in terminals 1 and 3. 

The stores will open between 1 August and 31 October. The offer will include Sephora’s own private label range Made In Sephora. 

Celebrating Sephora’s debut at Abu Dhabi International Airport (left to right): Sephora Middle East Head of Operations Miriam Von Loewenfeld; Made in Sephora Senior Manager Hasmik Panossian; Abu Dhabi Airports CEO Eng. Mohamed Mubarak Al Mazrouei and Abu Dhabi Airports Chief Operations Officer Eng. Ahmad Al Haddabi
The airport company noted: “The addition of Sephora to the roster of brands on offer at Abu Dhabi International Airport is consistent with the company’s objective of delivering an outstanding passenger experience. Beauty & Fragrance was the biggest selling product category in 2014, with a 31% share of duty free turnover, helping to increase overall annual sales by almost +10%. 
Abu Dhabi Airports Acting Chief Commercial Officer Dan Cappell said: “We are delighted to welcome Sephora to Abu Dhabi Duty Free and to be the first airport to host them in a duty free retail space managed and operated by our retailer partner DFS. Beauty & Fragrance is an important part of our offering to passengers and the choice of leading brands has increased to meet their demands. Sephora, with its unique, open-sell shopping environment, perfectly complements our commitment to offer travellers a world-class, unique shopping experience within the airport.” 
Abu Dhabi Duty Free has placed a strong emphasis on the growing P&C business, notably with the addition of a fragrance boutique, opened by DFS, in 2014; now the offer has been bolstered by the introduction of Sephora, a first for the airport channel
Owned by leading luxury goods group Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy (LVMH), Sephora is the leading chain of fragrances & cosmetics stores in France, and also has a powerful beauty presence in countries around the world. It offers skincare, fragrance, body and haircare goods in addition to its own private label. The brand operates around 1,900 stores in 29 countries worldwide, including 24 stores in the Middle East. 

Gucci, Burberry demand lower Hong Kong rents as market wilts

Luxury companies including Kering SA are demanding lower Hong Kong store rents to reflect the island city’s waning appeal with wealthy Chinese shoppers.
The owner of the Gucci brand may close some of its shops there if those costs don’t come down, Kering Chief Financial Officer Jean-Marc Duplaix said late on Monday.

UK trenchcoat maker Burberry Group Plc said last week it may also try to lower its rent bill after sales growth slowed to a two-year low. Luxury spending in Hong Kong, one of the world’s largest hubs for high-priced shopping, has been suffering since China began discouraging extravagant spending among government officials in late 2012.

Gucci opens in Shanghai its very first restaurant

After the cafe at its museum in Florence, the cafe / lounge at its flagship store in Seoul and the bar at its men’s store in Milan (Brera District) Italian luxury brand Gucci has recently opened in Shanghai its first restaurant.
The Shanghai restaurant that opened this week is named 1921 for the year the Italian fashion house was founded, and it is located in the IAPM luxury shopping center in Shanghai. Guests can only access it by means of an elevator from the Gucci store in the mall. Once inside, diners are surrounded by velvet, pillows, and other Gucci branded elements like the silverware, napkins, and menus.
The menu is reportedly primarily Italian, with a two-course lunch menu running approximately 150 yuan, or $24 per person. The prix fix dinner reportedly runs twice that price.
Gucci is a late comer to the luxury fashion themed dining business after several other luxury brand already operate such themed restaurants, some in more than one destination: Ralph Lauren (Paris, New York), Burberry (London), Armani (Milan, Dubai), Bvlgari (London, Milan, Bali), Dsquared2 (Milan), Roberto Cavalli (Miami, Milan) and Dolce & Gabbana (Milan).

Harvey Nichols drops Azerbaijan store after split with business partner

Harvey Nichols has pulled out of its first store in Azerbaijan just four months after opening in the oil-rich state widely criticised for human rights abuses.
The seven-floor store in Baku’s Globus Plaza no longer runs under the upmarket department store’s name after a split with licence partner Perfomans, part of a local investment company.
A statement said: “Harvey Nichols has terminated its licence agreement with the operator of the Baku store. Consequently, the Baku store no longer operates under the Harvey Nichols brand.” The retailer said it could not comment further for legal reasons.
The Baku outlet was the department store’s eighth overseas venture, joining others in Turkey, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Dubai. The 110,000 sq ft store was Harvey Nichols’ largest outside London, offering stylists, personal shoppers, restaurants, a beauty hall and more than 500 international designer brands.
At the time of the opening, Harvey Nichols’ chief executive, Stacey Cartwright, said: “This market is fast becoming one of the top luxury retail destinations in the world and we are excited to offer the ultimate in luxury shopping and hospitality to the discerning customer in Baku.”
But trade journal Retail Week reported that Harvey Nichols began moves to exit the store within weeks of opening.
Azerbaijan, formerly part of the Soviet Union, houses a fast-growing market for luxury goods, with Baku home to stores for brands including Dior, Burberry, Armani and Valentino.
Last month the country played host to the inaugural European Games, organised by the European Olympic committee amid protests from human rights organisations over locking up journalists and activists in the buildup.
Azerbaijan’s president, Ilham Aliyev, who inherited his job from his father, a former KGB general, invested a reported £6.5bn in sports venues and infrastructure for the games, but the human rights group Index on Censorship has accused him of using the event to “whitewash” the country’s reputation in the wake of a crackdown on freedom of speech.
Harvey Nichols’ exit from the country comes as it prepares to open a new store in Birmingham on Friday. The 45,000 sq ft store, in the Mailbox shopping centre, is about twice the size of the retailer’s previous Birmingham outlet.

Wishing all our readers a blessed Ramadan Kareem


Burberry expands Regent Street store

Burberry has expanded its global flagship store in London’s Regent Street to include an area dedicated to gifting.

The new space also accommodates an all-day café that offers an entirely British menu.

The gifting area houses a seasonally updated collection of gifts, together with an assortment of homewares including throws, blankets, cushion covers, candles and games as well as stationery and travel related items.
The store also offers a personalisation service where gifts can be embroidered or leather embossed by hand by skilled craftsmen based in the store. Gifts can then be wrapped at stations located within the space, with a selection of exclusive printed and solid ribbons available for customers to choose from, as well as personalised gift cards from paper embossing machines in-store.
The all-day Thomas’s café offers a menu of British classics from afternoon tea to lobster with chips, seven days a week, using seasonal produce from small farmers and artisan suppliers from around the UK.

Tommy Hilfiger launches furniture collection

U.S. fashion house of Tommy Hilfiger, which is owned by PVH Corp., recently announced the addition of furniture to the Tommy Hilfiger Home collections. Available in the United States and Latin America as of fall 2015, the furniture collection will be offered in two collections and available through key department stores, specialty stores, and e-commerce partners.
The two Tommy Hilfiger’s furniture collections are comprised of the modern city collection, which channels urban sophistication with upholstered bedframes and sofas in luxurious tufted velvets, crisp linens, and soft leathers in signature hues of red, white, and blue, and the coastal collection, which offers a cool take on classic American styling with white washed wooden bedroom furniture and natural linen upholstered seating in light blues and grays.
While the brand’s existing home decor collection, which includes bedding, bath, and decorative accessories, is licensed and produced by Global Brands Group, the furniture collections will be produced under a license agreement with LF Products (a Li & Fung company).

Latest global ranking of luxury brands by value

Louis Vuitton and Chanel were the only big luxury brands to increase in value last year as the industry grappled with slowing sales in China and Russia, research company Millward Brown said Wednesday in the 2015 BrandZ study.
Vuitton gained 6 percent to $27.4 billion, placing LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE’s biggest brand atop the luxury ranking for the 10th straight year. Chanel’s value rose 15 percent to $9 billion, propelling it to fourth in the list behind second-place Hermes and Kering SA’s Gucci.
The value of the top 10 luxury-goods brands — based on interviews with more than three million consumers and an analysis of companies’ performance — fell 6 percent, or $7.1 billion, to $105 billion as companies from Prada SpA to Cartier declined.
Spending on lavish gifts has fallen in China as the government clamps down on corruption, while Russia’s shoppers are suffering from the ruble’s depreciation and sanctions tied to the conflict in Ukraine, Millward Brown said. At the same time, efforts to appear more exclusive have created opportunities for cheaper brands such as Michael Kors and Tiffany, which finished in the top ten for the first time, the researcher said.
Chanel and Louis Vuitton fared better than their peers thanks to their unique approach, according to Elspeth Cheung, Millward Brown’s Global Brandz Valuation Director. Chanel has harmonized prices across regions, encouraging more in-store consumption, Cheung said. And Vuitton has successfully revitalized its brand with a fresh take on its original LV monogram.
The worst performers were Cartier, whose value decreased 15 percent to $7.6 billion, placing it sixth, while Prada slumped 35 percent to $6.5 billion, according to the study. An overly expensive product mix and lack of novelty at Prada have led shoppers to spend elsewhere, analysts at Exane BNP Paribas have said.
Hermes’s value fell 13 percent to $18.9 billion and Gucci declined 14 percent to $13.8 billion, according to the study. Rolex fell 6 percent to $8.5 billion, placing it fifth. Rounding out the top 10 most valuable luxury brands were Burberry in eighth, and newcomers Michael Kors and Tiffany.
The luxury ranking is part of a broader study commissioned by WPP Plc, the advertising-company parent of Millward Brown. Apple Inc. overtook Google Inc. as the world’s most valuable brand with its estimated value rising 67 percent to $247 billion, Millward Brown said. Google’s value gained 9 percent to $173.7 billion.
Vuitton ranked 34th in brand value across all industries, compared with 30th last year.

Chanel to begin selling eyewear online

New York – Earlier this year, Chanel announced that they would begin e-commerce operations in 2016. It was news that was met with applause by the fashion industry, and as it was announced on April 1 (April Fool’s Day), many were hesitant to believe the news was even true. Before the legendary French fashion house takes a full dive into e-commerce, however, they decided that they would begin testing the waters first.
Chanel takes first step into e-commerce

Though no specific dates have begin as to when, later this year, Chanel will begin selling eyewear online as the first of their e-commerce offerings. Chanel’s foray into e-commerce is a sign that other luxury brands won’t be able to hold out for much long. While many luxury brands, such as Celine, believe that e-commerce cheapens the exclusivity of a brand, luxury goods are in a slow growth period, because not even they were spared from the winter of discontent.
Now is as good a time as any to turn to as many ways to make your brand as shop able as possible. With the recent trend of mobile commerce becoming a thing to, for a brand to not be accessible either e-commerce wise or mobile wise could lead to stagnant and lagging sales numbers as time goes on. While nothing can ever compare to that experience of going into a designer boutique and selecting those perfect pair of Chanel sunglasses you’ve dreamed about since you began your designer sunglasses collection, e-commerce can sometimes be more convenient for those who don’t have time to shop or don’t have as many mall and boutique options due to their geographic location.
Bruno Pavlovsky, President of Chanel Fashion, has said of Chanel’s first dip into e-commerce that it’s about “creating a luxury experience, as only Chanel can do.” For Pavlovsky, Chanel’s entrance into e-commerce is not about trying to boost sales numbers, but, rather, raising service levels so Chanel’s clients have the highest level of satisfaction. Pavlovsky stressed that digital is an excellent way for customers to find out when collections become available in store.
They plan to begin harmonizing global prices starting in 2016 when they take their full dive into e-commerce. They are hoping that e-commerce will help them better understand and cater to their customers needs. For those who have been marking away the days on the calendar until Chanel launches e-commerce your wait for eyewear just got shorter.

More luxury brands enter South Africa

”Diamond Walk”, the new development within the Sandton City complex in Johannesburg has attracted new luxury store openings by major international brands. Prada, Dolce&Gabbana, Burberry, Giorgio Armani and Louis Vuitton have already opened their stores on the Diamond Walk at Sandton. Future store openings include: Ermenegildo Zegna, Billionaire Italian Couture, Jimmy Choo and Tod’s.

Sandton City’s Diamond Walk can be found in a spectacular new mall where Sandton City’s upper level links with the Sandton Sun and InterContinental Johannesburg Sandton Towers hotels. 


Prada Opens Store In Johannesburg

The Prada fashion house has opened its first store in South Africa. The brand now occupies an 8,611-square-foot retail space in the new luxury wing of the Sandton City mall in Johannesburg, which is called the Diamond Walk.

“The new opening in Johannesburg, one of the most interesting cities in Africa from a cultural and commercial point of view, is part of a strategic plan which aims to strengthen the retail channel in the African market,” a representative for Prada told WWD.

“With this opening, the Prada Group is increasing its presence in Africa, where it is already present with stores in Morocco,” the brand rep continued. “We are confident that the Prada store in Johannesburg will be a reference point both for the South African clientele and for the many international visitors of the city.” 

The store will sell Prada’s men’s and women’s ready-to-wear, leather goods, accessories and footwear. The location was designed by architect Roberto Baciocchi, and features green fabric-lined walls, fine crystal tables, velvet sofas, a black marble chest of drawers and Prada’s trademark black-and-white floors. 

“We harnessed the allure of luxury and sophistication, and approached the luxury and superluxury brands that best complement the center’s existing range of brands,” Alex Phakathi, a fund manager at the Liberty Property Portfolio — which owns the Sandton City mall — told WWD.   

Prada also hosted a party to celebrate the South African store opening. DJ Misty Rabbit aka Mimi Xu had guests — which included Pabi Moloi, Lalla Hirayama, Miss Africa 2015 Liesl Laurie and rapper Da L.E.S. — dancing at the event.

Original Sofa Co opens Harrods concession 

Original Sofa Co opens Harrods concession following £110,000 investment

David Thomas of NEL Fund Managers with David Robinson of the Original Sofa Co

Furniture makers the Original Sofa Co have opened a new concession in luxury department store Harrods thanks to a £110,000 investment.

The Team Valley-based firm was approached by Harrods on the back of success at its newly opened Sloane Square showroom in London.

A second investment from the Finance for Business North East Growth Fund helped the 14-year-old firm to open the concession, which is expected to create jobs back home in the North East.

Three new staff, including two upholsterers, have been taken on in the last month as the firm is hopeful Harrods presence will generate sales.

The £110,000 investment, led by NEL Fund Managers, follows a £100,000 Growth Fund injection at the beginning of 2014.

Bespoke OSC creations are visible across a number of locations, including Google’s London offices, Harvard University, Cambridge University Union, Red Bull’s headquarters, the St Pancras Hotel in London and several Dunhill venues around the globe.

David Robinson, founder and managing director of The Original Sofa Company, said: “We’ve made a great deal more progress over the last year than even we expected, and opening the Harrods concession really is the cherry on top of the cake.

“Our London showroom has really taken off, and there’s been a huge appetite for the high quality, traditionally manufactured products that we’re creating in both domestic and overseas markets.

“Much of the interest we’ve had so far in Harrods has come from international customers, and it’s great to know that North East manufacturing expertise is in such high demand around the world.

“The North East will remain as our manufacturing base as the company continues to develop, and it’s a real hive of activity. Adding two new upholsterers to the team is a real indication of the confidence we have for the future, and we’ll be looking to create further new jobs on the back of the new opportunities we’re now seeing.

“Making everything happen over the last year has meant we’ve needed to put a lot of new infrastructure in place, which obviously requires capital to achieve. We’ve had a great relationship with the NEL team over the last year, and going back to them for a second round of funding was very much the natural thing to do.”

David Thomas, investment executive at NEL Fund Managers, added: “The Original Sofa Co has made fantastic progress in a relatively short time, and they’re all set to do even more through their expanding London presence.

“The availability of a ‘funding escalator,’ where vibrant North East companies can gain ongoing access to capital investment as they grow and their needs change, is crucial to both their individual success and the wider regional economy.”

The Growth Fund is part of the wider Finance for Business North East Fund, managed by North East Finance.

“2014 Chanel’s best year to date”

“2014 is Chanel’s best year ever … We have grown well, I would say with a significant growth. We are very satisfied,” said Bruno Pavlovski, the number of Chanel’s fashion division. 

According to market sources, the French fashion house would have registered revenues of 5.6 billion euros for the past fiscal year, well ahead of 2013’s 4.98 billion euros (this represents an 8.5 percent increase year-on-year.) 

On a related note, Chanel’s President of Fashion said in an interview with the ‘South China Morning Post’ that the company’s new strategy of standardising its product prices worldwide will prepare it for the next two decades and help it to develop its share of the Chinese market. 

It is worth of remembering that a month ago, Chanel announced its plans to “harmonise” prices worldwide, starting with its iconic 2.55, 11.12 and the Boy bag models. 

“The reason we decided to do the price standardisation was to prepare ourselves for the next 20 years,” Pavlovsky said. “The brand is quite strong; the year before we had double digit growth in almost every market, so we can afford to make such a decision.” 

South Korea, US and the Middle East, key markets for growth

“We made a very important decision, to treat our customers the same way everywhere in the world. It was a big decision,” said Chanel’s president of fashion, Bruno Pavlovsky, in an exclusive interview with the Chinese journal before Chanel’s Cruise show in Seoul. 

“I must say that there is not a single market on which we are betting. We say that every year, with two or three events, we try to reach all 40 markets in which we operate, cuddling our customers worldwide. Of course we are studying India, Africa and South America, high potential markets. But they are not our immediate priority. Let’s say you do not focus on new forgetting our historical territories,” said Pavlovsky to ‘MFF’. 

“We count on rather consolidating our presence in markets such as Australia, Thailand, Brazil and Dubai. And then we want to strengthen our position in established markets like the US, which in 2014 grew well and that even in these early months of 2015 are performing well,” added the head of Chanel’s fashion arm. 


Michael Kors opens in London first Collection store in the U.K.

The first Michael Kors Collection Store in the UK covers a space of 1,800-square-feet at 29 Sloane Street. The new store carries ready-to-wear and accessories from Michael Kors Collection, as well as watches, jewellery, footwear and eyewear. The store will also carry a selection of the brand’s fragrances.

The brand’s in-house team designed the store experience to echo the label’s casual-chic aesthetic, using elements like sleek fixtures, mirrored surfaces and glossy, large-scale vintage photographs to evoke jet set glamour and timeless sophistication.

“London is one of my favourite cities,” says Michael Kors. “It’s fast-paced, glamorous and international with a truly unique style. I love the way women in London dress, and I’m delighted to be opening this Collection store on Sloane Street which is undeniably chic.”

Available at Michael Kors Sloan is the Bespoke Miranda, the first custom-made product initiative launched by the brand that allows customers to create a signature handbag with an entirely personalized feel. 


Clessidra buys control of Italian fashion label Cavalli


By Massimo Gaia and Astrid Wendlandt

MILAN/PARIS (Reuters) – Italian private equity fund Clessidra acquired control of fashion house Roberto Cavalli on Thursday for an undisclosed sum, concluding one of the longest running courtships in the luxury goods industry.

Clessidra, which has invested in jeweller Buccellati, held discussions with Cavalli back in 2008 and 2009 and since then, talks had been on and off with other private equity firms including Permira, Investcorp and Russia’s VTB Capital.

Sticking points included valuation but also getting licensees to back a deal, sources close to the matter said.

Clessidra is buying a majority stake in Cavalli and together with minority co-investors private equity firm L-GAM and Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Ltd, a Hong-Kong based holding company controlled by the Cheng family, it will own 90 percent.

Roberto Cavalli, the 74 year-old founder of the brand known for its bold animal print designs, retains 10 percent.

Two sources said the deal valued Cavalli at around 390 million euros (£284 million), or 16 times core earnings, but the final price tag was not set since there was an earnout clause.

Another source said the price paid was well below the 18 times underlying earnings of 25 million euros Permira was reported last year to have offered for the brand.

In 2014, Cavalli’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) fell to 15 million euros from 22.4 million in 2013, hit by one-off items linked to problems at licensees. Sales last year rose 4.2 percent to 209.4 million euros.

“In five years from now, we aim to be in a different league,” said Francesco Trapani, former boss of Bulgari and head of watches and jewellery at LVMH, who will become Cavalli’s chairman.

The Tuscan label founded in Florence in the 1970s today runs around 200 stores. 

Peter Dundas, who came from Emilio Pucci, was appointed creative designer in March. 

Renato Seminari will be chief executive. Seminari was president at US perfume group Coty (COTY.N) and previously was head of LVMH’s (LVMH.PA) Guerlain perfume brand and European head of the luxury group’s Sephora perfume chain. 

Sources close to the deal said Trapani had been very keen to do this deal since joining Clessidra last year and leaving LVMH in January.

Law firm Bonelli Erede Pappalardo and financial advisors BNL BNP Paribas assisted Roberto Cavalli SpA while Credit Suisse Italy’s UHNWI team supported the family. Banca IMI and Gattai, Minoli, Agostinelli & Partners respectively were the financial and legal advisors to Clessidra SGR.

(Additional reporting by Silvia Aloisi and Stephen Jewkes; editing by Agnieszka Flak)

Mulberry commemorates Paris store opening with social content

Mulberry spring/summer 2015 campaign image

Mulberry spring/summer 2015 campaign image

British leather goods maker Mulberry is celebrating the opening of its new Paris flagship store with an animated social video.

The fashion label moved its Parisian boutique down the street from 207 to 275 Rue Saint-Honoré. While not a dramatic move, promoting the relocation on social media will help ensure that consumers do not miss the store as they are looking to shop with the brand.

Moving in
On April 27, Mulberry shared a YouTube video with its social media fans, letting them know it had arrived. At the beginning, text in French is subtitled in English, instructing the viewer to “follow us.”

A woman and girl stand outside Mulberry’s store in London on New Bond Street. The girl lets go of a Mulberry-logoed balloon and it soars above Big Ben and the London Eye, eventually passing a Parisian hotel room’s open window overlooking the Eiffel Tower and an outdoor café.

The balloon finally floats through the doors to Mulberry’s new boutique.

Mulberry has arrived at 275 Rue Saint-Honoré

On social media, Mulberry also linked to a Mulberry Loves Paris page of its Web site, which delves into the boutique. Here, consumers can read about the monogramming bar central to the store, as well as the brand’s “English sensibilities” reflected through the space.

Also in celebration, an article on Mulberry’s blog uses photos to compare the construction between the brand’s Bayswater bag and the Eiffel Tower. A second post shares an interview with artist Genevieve Bennett, who created leather panels for the new store.

Mulberry EiffelPhoto from Mulberry’s blog post

Brands often include their loyal fans in store openings, whether in-person or remotely.

In 2014, French apparel and accessories brand Longchamp feted its store opening on the Champs Elysées in Paris with a live-stream of the event and social media content.

“Longchamp-Elysées” kicked off on Dec. 4 with a Twitter talk with campaign model Alexa Chung, followed by evening festivities, including celebrity appearances. These efforts will help to involve consumers in a big brand moment, as it opens its largest store yet (

 Gucci posts bigger than expected first-quarter sales drop

PARIS (Reuters) – Kering’s Gucci posted a bigger than expected drop in first-quarter sales on Tuesday, which it blamed on a transition period as its flagship brand works to regain momentum under a new creative and management duo.

Gucci, which accounts for nearly 60 percent of Kering’s operating profit, saw comparable sales fall nearly 8 percent in the three months to March 31, while analysts had expected a drop of 3-6 percent.

“Our priority is to give Gucci new impetus,” Kering Finance Director Jean-Marc Duplaix said.

Kering sacked Gucci’s chief executive and designer in December to try to stem declining sales. It named Marco Bizzarri as CEO, after he oversaw Bottega Veneta’s stellar growth, and promoted in-house designer Alessandro Michele as creative head.

Duplaix reiterated Kering’s previous prediction that Gucci’s performance would only start to improve in the second half of the year, once Michele’s collections hit the shelves.

Sales at Gucci’s own retail network of 502 stores fell 4 percent in the quarter, including a 10 percent slide in the Asia-Pacific region as its performance in Greater China “deteriorated compared to earlier in the year”.

However, retail revenue remained stable in North America and rose 6 percent in Western Europe.

Kering said it planned to continue pruning Gucci’s portfolio and beefing up entry-level products such as small leather goods and luggage which had not been performing well. The brand would also continue investing in online retail.

Asked about moves by rivals such as Chanel to cut prices in Asia to reduce discrepancies with Europe, Duplaix said the company did not want to react immediately. 

For certain brands and products there could be some harmonisation across regions, excluding value added tax or customs duties, he said.

Kering’s No.2 luxury brand Bottega Veneta also saw a slowdown in the first quarter, with revenue growth of 3.1 percent on a comparable basis.

Duplaix blamed poor trading in Hong Kong and Macao, where tourist flows dried up after last year’s pro-democracy protests and where Bottega Veneta made 19 percent of its sales.

Kering’s Puma sports brand posted a 13 percent rise in sales to 825 million euros (594 million pounds) in the first quarter, up 4.5 percent on a comparable basis. Duplaix said he expected Puma’s sales growth in the second quarter to be similar to the first.

Duplaix added that the sale process for Kering’s Sergio Rossi shoe brand was “ongoing” and expected to clinch a deal before the end of the year.


Pandora opens shops in collaboration with Disney Parks and Resorts

Baltimore — Pandora Jewelry, in collaboration with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, has opened dedicated shops within two Disney merchandise locations: Uptown Jewelers in Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and La Mascarade d’Orleans in Disneyland park in California.

Both locations carry Pandora’s newly released spring 2015 Disney jewelry collection and the Disney Parks collection, as well as the brand’s full assortment of jewelry.

The redesigned Uptown Jewelers is reminiscent of a Victorian era collectibles shop, echoing the nostalgic style of Main Street U.S.A., the first themed land within Magic Kingdom Park. With classic decor and ornamental touches, Uptown Jewelers reflects the prosperity and optimism of early 20th century America.

The newly renovated La Mascarade d’Orleans, located in the heart of New Orleans Square in Disneyland park, brings the festivities of the French Quarter to life.

The Disney owned and operated stores feature Pandora retail fixtures and displays within exterior shop windows.


House of Fraser plans 2016 China debut

House of Fraser: Sunflower dress, €77 (Dickins & Jones)Open Gallery 1
House of Fraser: Sunflower dress, €77 (Dickins & Jones)

British department store House of Fraser said it would open its first shops in China next year and start trading there online, as strong demand in Britain helped annual profits rise 7 percent.

The company, sold a year ago to China’s Sanpower Group, said on Tuesday three large stores in Nanjing, Chongqing and Xuzhou would open in 2016/17 and that online trading would begin there and in markets such as Australia.

A second franchise store in Abu Dhabi will also open soon with additional openings in the Middle East set for 2016.

The company on Tuesday posted record sales of 1.3 billion pounds ($1.93 billion) in Britain, where it trades from 59 stores. Adjusted core earnings for the year to Jan. 31 rose to 64.4 million pounds.

Revenue at stores open more than a year rose 2.2 percent and were up 32 percent online after a website revamp and improved delivery options, the firm said.

Sales for the first 11 weeks of its new fiscal year were up 6.5 percent with a further improvement in its gross margin rate.

Ralph Lauren opening in Sao Paulo

One of America’s most internationally known designers is taking his talents and designs to South America, Sao Paulo, Brazil to be precise. On Tuesday, April 14th, 2015, Ralph Lauren will open a 9,100 square foot store in one of the largest tourist destinations in the world. The store will feature Ralph Lauren men’s wear and women’s wear collections, in addition to accessories, footwear, and timepieces.

“I have long been fascinated by the Brazilian lifestyle and culture and believe our first store in São Paulo will fit well into a country that appreciates traditions of true quality and luxury,” Ralph Lauren, Chairman and CEO, said in a statement. Of course, when your name is synonymous with American class and luxury only the best can be expected from you. The store already sounds like quite a sight to behold with with storefront archways made of cast stone and white plaster, along with two water fountains that flank the grand entrance.

The layout of the store includes alternating smaller and larger rooms (a key aesthetic to Ralph Lauren stores), reclaimed oak beams, stained concrete floors with oak ties, hand-finished plaster walls, and painted white furniture. The decor also includes hand-woven rugs and antique fixtures. If the architecture won’t lure you in perhaps the liquor will, as the store will also include a bar that will serve cocktails.


Ralph Lauren arrives in Brazil

The design aesthetic was meant to blend Brazil’s rich residential ranches with Lauren’s signature equestrian style. When you enter the store there is a room housing the women’s collection on the left, and on the right is a room housing Ralph Lauren men’s Purple Label. There is also a watch salon for Ralph Lauren time pieces.

Being an entire lifestyle brand, Ralph Lauren doesn’t just stop at the clothes either. Accents of Ralph Lauren Home, such as candles and books, are placed throughout the store and are available for sale. The store will be located in Cidale Jardim, a fast growing luxury retail mall that is home to several other luxury brands, including Jimmy Choo, Carolina Herrera, Chanel, Dior, Prada, Gucci, Armani, and Cartier, just to name a few.

Ralph Lauren sees big potential in the Brazilian market, and with Europe struggling and the Asian market being more sluggish than expected, luxury retailers are turning their focus to other countries where the luxury good markets is growing. David Lauren, Executive Vice President of Marketing, Advertising, and Communications at Ralph Lauren, has said that he would like the company to expand outside of Sao Paulo, but there are no definite locations planned yet.

Brazil’s seasons operate the opposite of North America’s, however, the store is still expected to sell on a North American schedule. Ralph Lauren’s presence in Brazil is seen as long overdue. Robert Burke, CEO of Robert Burke and Associates, a top NYC consulting firm, said, “The São Paulo customer has a very solid understanding of luxury and a high taste level and loves well-executed brands, and I’m sure it will be successful.” Already a global fashion super power, this is just another star on Ralph Lauren’s impressive map.

Britain’s HOF Department Store Will Enter China

House of Fraser

British department store brand House of Fraser will officially enter the Chinese market and its first batch of stores will be located in Nanjing, Xuzhou, and Chongqing.

In April 2014, HOF was acquired by Nanjing Cenbest, a subsidiary of China Sanpower Group. With the transaction, Cenbest gained a 89% stake in this U.K. department store brand for GBP430 million. One year after the acquisition, HOF finally decided to enter the Chinese market.

Sanpower Group will convert Cenbest’s Orient Department Store in Nanjing into a new HOF store. With a business area of about 25,000 square meters, the new store is expected to be launched in April 2016.

Founded in 1849, House of Fraser is one of the oldest department stores in the U.K. and it also supplies products to the Royal family. Before being acquired by Cenbest, HOF had 61 chain stores in England and Ireland. Positioning as a medium- and high-end fashion department store, HOF boasted annual sales of GBP1.2 billion.

Michael Kors defies crisis and opens new store in Moscow

Michael Kors has recently opened a new store in Moscow, defying the current financial crisis of the country. The new Michael Kors store opened in the heart of Moscow on Stoleshnikov Lane. The store which covers 200 sqm features ready to wear, accessories, jewelry, shoes and fragrances. Michael Kors stores in Russia are operated in franchising by BNS Holding which runs more than 200 stores of global brands that also include Armani Jeans and Topshop.

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Gant launches first store at London’s St Pancras station.

US clothing brand Gant has expanded its UK presence with the opening of a new store at London’s St Pancras station.

The 1,860 square foot shop will sell the brand’s collections for both men and women as it looks to benefit from the one million commuters who pass through the station each week. 

Fergus Patterson, managing director of Gant for the UK and Ireland, told WWD: “The combination of domestic and international travellers, along with a growing number of workplace customers, affords us a great opportunity to showcase our brand in what I hope to be the first of a number of travel locations for Gant in the UK.”

The store is Gant’s 19th in the UK.

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Salvatore Ferragamo debuts in Scandinavia with first store in Copenhagen

Salvatore Ferragamo has opened first monobrand store in Denmark, inside the prestigious Department Store ILLUM, in Copenhagen, on Østergade, marking the launch of the Florentine brand’s direct presence in Scandinavia. The new Salvatore Ferragamo store, which extends over a total surface area of about 180 sqm, and has two display windows overlooking the street, offers Men’s and Women’s leather collections, together with silk accessories, eyewear, watches and fragrances.

Access to the store is both from the street and from inside the department store ILLUM, through a passage made of slats of light and stone. Founded in 1891, ILLUM is the premium shopping destination in Scandinavia, with a vast selection of the best international fashion and luxury labels, as well as a variety of Scandinavian brands. In 2013, ILLUM was acquired by La Rinascente as part of the retailer’s strategic plan to expand abroad. 


Prada’s profit takes a hit from China

Prada store in Hong Kong
Luxury retailer Prada says the company will implement cost-cutting measures

Italian luxury goods retailer Prada saw its net profit fall 28% last year as sales slumped in major markets of China and Europe.

The firm’s net income was €451m ($490m; £330m) for the year ending 31 January, down from €628m a year ago.

The amount also fell short of analyst expectations of €476m.

Its Asian sales fell 3% in the time period with much of the decline coming from the Hong Kong and Macau markets.

“Results in the region were hit by the negative performances recorded in Hong Kong and Macau,” Prada said in a statement on Monday. 

The Asia-Pacific region accounts for more than a third – over 35% – of the group’s sales, making it Prada’s biggest market.

A combination of a clampdown on corruption by the Chinese government, and pro-democracy protests closing down major roads in Hong Kong, leading to the decline in the number of mainland Chinese tourists, has led to several retailers reporting a slump in sales.

In other major markets like Europe, Prada sales fell nearly 5%. The losses were given a boost by sales growing slightly in North America and Japan, where sales jumped nearly 8%.

The company has said that it would have to cut costs and open fewer stores than they had planned because of the results.

Record earnings for Tiffany in 2014

American jewelry house of Tiffany reports full year 2014 worldwide net sales rose to $4.25 billion, which represented a 5% increase in dollars or a 7% increase on a constant exchange rate basis which was on top of a 10% increase in 2013 on that same basis.

Tiffany net earnings for the full year rose 167% to $484 million. However, on an apples-to-apples basis, excluding charges in both years, net earnings rose 13% and EPS of $4.20 was slightly better than the original guidance of $4.05 to $4.15 that we published at this time a year ago. And that 13% earnings increase in 2014 was on top of the non-GAAP 15% increase in net earnings that we achieved in 2013.

The Americas represented 48% of worldwide net sales in 2014 unchanged from 2013; Asia-Pacific was 24% of worldwide sales, up slightly from 23% a year ago; Japan was 13%, down slightly from 14% in 2013 and that was largely due to currency translation; and Europe at 12% of worldwide sales was unchanged

In 2014, Tiffany opened a total of eight company-operated Tiffany&Co. stores closed two. Tiffany is currently planning to increase its company-operated stores by a net of approximately 12 to 15 stores during 2015. A majority of that net addition is planned in Asia-Pacific with the balance in the Americas and Europe. 


Prada opens new stores in S Korea, HK


 Retail in Asia 

Italian luxury house Prada opened two new stores in Asia last week – one in Hong Kong, one in South Korea.

Opened on 2 March, the new Seoul store is located at the Shinsegae Main department store, covering a total area of approximately 165 square metres and housing the men’s ready-to-wear, leather goods, accessories and footwear collections.

Located at Plaza 2000 Building on Causeway Bay’s Russell Street, the Hong Kong store covers a total area of 1,320 square metres. Opened on 5 March, it’s the ninth Prada store in the city.

The luxury brand last month opened its first store in Vietnam, at Hanoi’s prestigious shopping district.

Burberry opens its 1st freestanding store in Osaka

Burberry on Monday opened its first freestanding store in Shinsaibashi, Osaka.

Set over two floors, the new store houses the largest Burberry product assortment in Osaka, including the brand’s collection of iconic Made in England trench coats. In-store digital screens showcase Burberry content and broadcast live events directly from the brand’s global headquarters in London, enabled by the Burberry retail theatre concept.

A collection of men’s and women’s accessories has been designed exclusively for the Burberry Osaka store to celebrate the opening. The collection includes limited edition versions of key Burberry bag styles – The Mini Bee bag and The Petal bag for women, all available in store.

Burberry has a long-term commitment to Japan where it currently has four mainline stores and thirteen concessions in locations including Omotesando, Kobe, Ginza Marronnier Dori and Roppongi.  

Victoria’s Secret opens first Guam airport store with Lotte Duty Free

Leading lingerie and beauty retailer Victoria’s Secret has opened its first Beauty & Accessories store at AB Won Pat Guam International Airport, in partnership with Lotte Duty Free Guam. 

Opened on 11 March, the new store showcases an array of fashion-forward beauty products and accessories designed for the modern jet-setter, according to the brand. 

The offer includes prestige fragrances such as the FiFi Award-winning Victoria’s Secret Bombshell, the newly launched Bombshell Pink Diamonds and perennial favourites such as VS Fantasies. These are complemented by travel-friendly items such as lip glosses and body care products. 

The new Guam location also carries a range of “functional yet chic” accessories, including branded cosmetic cases, multi-use fashion bags, scarves, sunglasses and underwear. 

The 66sq m store has a modern façade and dynamic storefront, while the interior incorporates black-cherry fixtures plus black and white images and a video wall that broadcasts footage of the iconic Victoria’s Secret Angels.

Harvey Nichols to make Qatar debut at Doha Festival City

World famous luxury department store Harvey Nichols will make its debut in Qatar after signing a deal to be part of Doha Festival City, it was announced on Saturday.

Qatari firm Saleh Al Hamad Al Mana Group of Companies has struck an exclusive licence agreement with Harvey Nichols to bring it to the Gulf state.

The mall is already well under construction, and on programme for opening in the third quarter of 2016.

“Bringing one of the world’s most highly renowned department stores to Qatar for the first time is a significant milestone for Doha Festival City as it will meet and satisfy the country’s sophisticated taste and appetite for luxury goods,” added Kareem M Shamma, CEO of BASREC, the joint venture which comprises Dubai-based Al Futtaim Real Estate Services, Qatar Islamic Bank, Aqar Real Estate Investment Company and a private Qatari investor.

“Of the 550 shops including more than 100 restaurants, cafes and food court outlets at Doha Festival City Mall, a large number of brands will be making their debut in the Qatari market. This will make our mall one of the region’s leading shopping destinations and it will become a destination of choice for all of Qatar’s residents and visitors,” he said.

Harvey Nichols opened its first store in London in 1831 on the corner of Knightsbridge and Sloane Street, and remains one of the most glamorous department stores in the world.

Hisham Saleh Al Mana, chairman of Saleh Al Hamad Al Mana Group of Companies, confirmed plans for the three-level 112,000 square foot store.

“We are partnering with Doha Festival City Mall in bringing Harvey Nichols, one of the most prestigious retail stores, to Qatar and this is the ideal location to host such an iconic British institution. Qatar will be hosting the FIFA 2022 World Cup and will be paving the way as the center of attraction in the region,” he said.

Last May, Doha Festival City announced the appointment of Gulf Contracting Company and ALEC Qatar, a joint venture to lead construction of the massive mall.

Doha Festival City is one of the largest mixed-use developments in the Gulf. It will house over 550 shops, more than 100 restaurants, cafes, and food court outlets, indoor and outdoor entertainment attractions including Qatar’s first snow park and a cinema complex with 19 digital screens.

Fendi prepares for ecommerce with new Web site

Fendi's new Web site

Fendi’s new Web site

Italian fashion house Fendi is updating its online image with a new Web site that streamlines navigation and caters to consumers’ needs.

The brand has released a new ecommerce feature for its European sites, and the Web site redesign was likely in preparation for this addition. By staying up-to-date on the latest technology, Fendi is ensuring its consumers that it is committed to making their online experience as enjoyable as possible.

“The new site has plenty of gorgeous imagery, videos and some nice interactions,” said Fadi Shuman, co-founder of Born Group, New  York. “There is a lovely simplicity to it which at the same time feels modern.

“The new Fendi site has taken the more classic left-hand navigation approach, which isn’t as common as it used to be,” he said. “I actually think this helps to lend the site a more a authentic tone where they’re not trying too hard be the edgiest and most innovative. 

“In fact they are taking a sensible, usable and rather respectful approach to user experience. Let us not forget their target audience is going to be more mature.”

Mr. Shuman is not affiliated with Fendi, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Fendi was unable to respond by press deadline.

Fendi fiesta
Fendi has kept its consumers informed about its upcoming ecommerce feature. At the beginning of the year the Italian fashion house announced that it will soon offer global ecommerce after an inital launch in Europe.

fendi website 2The new Web site features Fendi’s signature color

Fendi’s CEO Pietro Beccari told Women’s Wear Daily of the impending launch moments before the runway presentation of the brand’s menswear began in Paris. Offering ecommerce extends a label’s reach beyond the traditional retail radius and allows the consumer to interact with the brand how they feel most comfortable (see story).

Fendi’s new Web site features a yellow menu in its signature color on the left side of the page. The menu lists options such as “woman,” “man,” “kids,” “the magic of Fendi,” “casa,” which refers to housewares, and others.

fendi website 3The 3Baguette bag has its own section on the site

The homepage opens on a video clip of the latest fashion show with models walking down the runway and the words, “welcome to the new” written in white across the center of the screen. Users are then given the option to scroll down to experience more of the site.

Some of the features available include the option to watch a full video recording of the fashion show or to participate in the online auction of Fendi’s 3Baguette Project in which celebrities design their own versions of the classic Fendi Baguette bag. While the ecommerce feature has not yet been released in the United States, consumers do have the opportunity to view the different collections online.

fendi website 5Consumers can view Fendi’s products in a clear and easy way

Perhaps the most unique element of the site is the “magic of Fendi” section, which offers information on the history of the brand, custom orders and Fendi’s public works project to restore Rome’s fountains. This gives users a chance to see a more intimate side of the brand and form a more substantial connection.

The previous Web site did not include all of this information but rather linked to microsites that shared the content individually. By uniting its content under one site, Fendi is making navigation easier for consumers and improving their experience of the brand.

fendi website 4The brand included facts about its charity projects and heritage

Modern modifications
Other Italian fashion labels have also been updating their online presence. For example, Marni amplified the efforts for its 20th anniversary with a new Web site design that blends content and commerce.

Marni worked with Yoox Group, which has powered its ecommerce since its launch in 2006, to improve the user experience with a new image-lead layout that encourages brand discovery. As Marni continues to commemorate its milestone, having a Web site where consumers can easily explore past projects and brand history will help get consumers involved in the celebration (see story).

Fendi’s new Web site will certainly help the brand keep up with its competitors. It will also allow the brand to connect with consumers by providing them with an enjoyable online experience.

“The advantages of having all aspects of the site integrated together on one site are huge,” Mr. Shuman said. “It means that brands can tell a story and engage their customers beyond singular conversation. 

“All brands must win a customer’s heart before they win their minds, and to do this they must create an emotional connection. This is done via all manner of content .

Juicy Couture plans global expansion

New York — Juicy Couture, which was acquired by Authentic Brands Group in 2013, may no longer be a coveted brand in the United States, but it is still has great appeal in foreign markets. The company expects to open 133 stores (through its various licensing partners) during the next five years, according to Women’s Wear Daily.

Juicy will open 31 international locations in eight countries this year, the report said. Three of the countries — India, South Africa and Azerbaijan — will be new market entries for the brand.

Currently, Juicy operates 199 freestanding stores overseas. In addition, it also operates outlet stores and shops-in-shop in select department stores across 60 countries, including the U.S.