Nike launches new app in six European countries

Nike, the global sportswear retailer, has launched their new app, ‘Nike’ in six additional countries.

Now available to iOS and Android users in the UK, France, Spain, Italy, Germany and the Netherlands, Nike’s new app provides exclusive content to ‘Nike Plus’ members, the retailer’s free membership service.

Laid out in a feed style, the app is personalised to a member’s interests - described by the sport retailer as ‘‘your exclusive access to everything Nike.” Users are prompted to choose topics, including specific sports as well as lifestyle, cities, sports teams and products to follow on the app. The app also offers access to exclusive product releases as well as experiences and services. Training content from top athletes can also be unlocked, and the in-app store gives benefits such as free shipping.

In addition, the Nike app offers exclusive benefits to some users depending on their city. For example, users in London may gain inside access to the city’s top football clubs on a match day, Paris members could receive styling tips from top editors, Berlin user’s could gain a reserved product and Amsterdam football players may gain free custom boot embroidery.

The new Nike App joins Nike’s wide range of applications available to UK iOS and Android users including Nike+ Training Club, Nike+ Run Club, Nike+ Fuel and Nike+ Move.

Photo courtesy of Nike

Abercrombie & Fitch to launch on Alibaba’s TMall

Abercrombie & Fitch, the struggling US apparel brand, is set to launch on Alibaba Group’s Tmall, China’s largest consumer platform for brands and retailers.

Abercrombie & Fitch have seen success in China, operating ten physical stores as well as a recent flagship store opening in Hong Kong’s Harbour City. The brand also have a local website, abercrombie.cn. The US apparel retailer will launch its full offering of Abercrombie & Fitch and abercrombie kids products on Tmall, on July 26.

Catering for a wider audience, who do not have access to a physical store, Abercrombie & Fitch joins sister brand Hollister, who launched on Tmall in 2014. “Building on our Hollister brand's successful partnership with the leader in China's online retail space, we are excited to bring our A&F brand experience to the broader Chinese market, beyond the reach of our physical stores through Tmall," said Fran Horowitz, Chief Executive Officer of Abercrombie & Fitch Co.

Since reevaluating their target market to consumers in their twenties who shop digitally, Abercrombie & Fitch currently aligns better with Tmall demographics; 75 percent of which are under the age of 35 and 80 percent of sales take place on mobile devices.

Tmall supplies brands with innovative marketing tools such as live-streaming, helping to provide consumers with a personalised and interactive shopping experience. “Abercrombie is focused on delivering both an engaging and seamless experience for its customers, whenever, wherever, and however they choose to shop,” the brand noted in a press statement. The brand are also planning to provide additional omni-channel capabilities to consumers through Tmall.

"We are excited to welcome Abercrombie & Fitch to the Tmall platform," said Jessica Liu, President of Tmall Fashion, Alibaba Group. "Abercrombie is an iconic global brand that consumers, both on our platform and in China, have sought out for some time. We look forward to connecting our consumer base to the brand and working with Abercrombie & Fitch to further its international growth."

Photo courtesy of Abercrombie & Fitch, website

Warm weather boosted UK retail for June says ONS

Warm weather, strong summer collections and sales have helped boost clothing sales across the UK, according to new data from The Office for National Statistics (ONS). ONS released data representing a percentage rise of 0.4 percent in value of UK retail sales this June, compared to a month earlier in May, which saw a decrease of 1.1 percent in value.

June’s increase in value contributed to a 1.6 percent overall rise in value for Q2, compared to the first quarter of 2017 which saw an overall fall of 1.4 percent in sales according to ONS. "Looking at the quarterly data, the underlying trend as suggested by the three-month on three-month movement is one of growth, following a fall in quarter 1, suggesting a relatively flat first half of 2017," said Kate Davies, Office for National Statistics Senior Statistician.

This flat first half of the year follows uncertainty around the aftermath of the Brexit vote last June - though, “any anxiety over the general election, Brexit or the squeeze on disposable incomes appears to have been put to one side for the moment,” said Richard Lim, Chief Executive, Retail Economics - an independent economics research consultancy focused on the UK retail industry.

“June’s retail sales bounced back as warmer weather drove shoppers onto the high street. As temperatures soared, consumers decided to refresh their summer wardrobes with clothing and footwear retailers performing particularly well,” continued Lim.

The weather was not responsible for all rising figures though, with online sales equating to approximately 16.2 percent of retail spending, increasing by 15.9 percent year-on-year excluding sales of automotive fuel. Store prices have also increased by an average 2.7 percent since last June. Encouraged by summer discounting, consumer spending has increased by 5.7 percent year-on-year, proving that June’s warm weather was not the only contribution to increased figures.

As Britain begins negotiations to leave the European Union, retailers will be hoping that shoppers remain resilient, although expected pressures to households with rising inflation leaves the retail industry with as much uncertainty as the consumers.

Photo courtesy of Pexels

Afriek goes to London with pop-up shop in Shoreditch

London - Afriek has opened its debut pop-up store in London, marking the start of its international expansion. Best known for its hand-made tailored blazers, the young fashion brand, founded by Sivan Breemhaar and Kars Gerrits, offers sustainable designs which are made in by local tailors in Rwanda Africa.

The pop-up shop, located on Rivington Street 1-3, Shoreditch, marks the brand's first retail foray outside of its home market, the Netherlands. The move signals Afriek expansion plans, as the brand aims to open another pop-up store in Paris in the future to continue growing its international presence.

Afriek goes to London with pop-up shop in Shoreditch

"We have done some research on how to bring our brand abroad and found that London would be the best next step for us," explained Breemhaar to FashionUnited. "Our brand focuses on the cosmopolitan citizen, open to traveling, cultures and new ideas. Shoreditch, next to Camden and Brixton came out best for locations for our pop-up shop and we chose Shoreditch as this was the best venue we could find."

The pop-up shop, which is set to run for one week from July 18 to 23, features a curated selection of Afriek men's, women's wear as well as accessories. "Since we opened we received a lot of positive feedback for the choice of the location from customers, and Londoners are even more enthusiastic about our brand than we could've imagined," added Breemhaar.

Afriek goes to London with pop-up shop in Shoreditch

In addition to running the pop-up shop, the brand is also in close contact with a number of stores in London to stock their new SS18 collection. "We are looking for further visibility in the UK market through collaborations with online platforms, musicians, and influencers. We are planning a few more pop-up shops in the same location through which we hope to create more visibility for our local stockists and web shop as we ship internationally."

Photos: courtesy of Afriek

Amazon launches Spark, with shoppable images

Amazon has launched a new addition to its app: Amazon Spark, thereby allowing users to shop for products via images. This new ‘see now, buy now’ option was developed to encourage social interaction online by sharing and commenting on images.

Similar to social platform Pinterest, Amazon users - who must be Prime membership holders to use Spark, are able to discover images related to their chosen interests, such as ‘Style & Fashion’ or ‘Food’. Images are shown in an Instagram style feed, allowing users to share images to their own Amazon profile and comment with expertise about products and experiences.The main feature however, is the capability to click the products in the images and buy them instantly from Amazon.

Amazon Spark taps into ‘see now, buy now’ with shoppable photos

This is not the first time social platforms have seen the opportunity for a ‘shoppable photos’ app, Instagram launched a similar feature with a number of brands back in March. However, Amazon is the first online retailer to seize the opportunity - continuing to innovate their portfolio of products with a move towards social media.

Amazon, who are in ‘prime’ position for a shoppable image app - just saw their biggest ever ‘Prime Day’ sale event on July 11, reporting a 60 percent growth on global sales compared to last year, processing “tens of millions” of purchases made through the Amazon app. The sale day, which surpassed Amazon’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales figures also saw the registration of more new Prime members than on any previous single day.

The launch of Amazon Spark also follows the launch of Prime Wardrobe, a service that allows users to try up to five items before buying. With a clear focus on fashion, Amazon appointed new president, Christine Beauchamp in May and have recently added brands such as Nike to their portfolio - joining a plethora of high-street and designer brands available for users to purchase directly from Amazon.

Currently only available to US users, Amazon Spark will still have a huge starting audience to test whether the new addition to the app will live up to other shoppable image technologies.

Photo courtesy of Amazon

Chinese fashion brand Urban Revivo coming to the UK

China’s leading fast-fashion retailer Urban Revivo is set to open its first store outside of Asia in London in 2018, marking the start of its global expansion.

Urban Revivo has signed up to a 22,000 square foot unit on the upper level of the extension at Westfield London and plans to open the global flagship in March 2018.

Leo Li, founder and chief executive of Urban Revivo, said: “Our first global flagship store represents a new chapter for Urban Revivo and we are thrilled to make these first steps in London. The city continues to be a global reference point for fashion and its influence will be a vital instrument to the success and growth of Urban Revivo as an international brand.”

Chinese fashion brand Urban Revivo coming to the UK

Founded in 2006, Urban Revivo is a fast-fashion brand specialising in contemporary clothing and accessories for men, women, and children, selling accessibly priced fashion targeting 15 to 40 year-olds.

China’s fast-fashion brand Urban Revivo to open in Westfield London in 2018

The brand has 160 stores in China and recently opened its first international store in Singapore. The company announced it would be expanding worldwide when it celebrated its tenth-anniversary last year, adding that it had ambitious plans to open around 400 stores globally by 2020, with stores set to follow in Europe as well as more across Asia outside China.

It’s a brand known as the Asian Cos as it offers chic minimalist pieces at reasonable prices and is a fast-fashion brand that is aiming to break the association with poor quality and producing throw-away styles, instead it prides itself on quality, design-led fashion pieces. It also offers a staggering 12,000 new pieces every year to keep up with the latest trends.

Expect this label to rival the likes of Zara, H&M, and Topshop in the UK, especially if the brand decides to open more stores across the UK.

Kevin Farrow, senior director for central London retail at CBRE, added: “We are delighted to be retained to represent Urban Revivo in securing their debut store outside of Asia. This deal reaffirms London, and the UK market as a whole, as a world class leader in retail innovation and an attractive destination for brands seeking to expand their global reach.”

A recent report from the CBRE, ‘How Active Are Retailers in EMEA’ found that the UK currently leads the way as the most attractive retail market in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, with 65 percent of retailers surveyed citing the UK was their target market for expansion in 2017.

Images: via Urban Revivo Facebook

Celtic & Co wins manufacturing excellence award

Cornish footwear and clothing brand Celtic & Co has won the Manufacturing Excellence Award for the South West at The National Family Business Awards.

The annual awards celebrates the achievements of Britain’s family-run businesses and took place at Wembley Stadium in London over the weekend.

Commenting on why Celtic & Co impressed, The National Family Business Awards judges stated: “We felt the culture and values presented by the team at Celtic & Co really encompass what it is to be a family business. They are a growing business who really take a pride in the care and attention in the level of service to customers and of course the handcrafting of their products.

“It’s refreshing in today’s world to find a company so dedicated to keeping traditional skills with a modern outlook. They have an amazing rapport with staff and their local communities. A wonderful business.”

Founders of the company, Nick and Kath Whitworth, collected the award for Celtic & Co alongside their daughter Clare who also works for the brand in marketing.

Celtic & Co has been crafting sheepskin into slippers, boots and accessories in Cornwall for 27 years. The fashion company has been growing in recent years, experiencing a 3 percent year-on-year growth. They have successfully launched their website and catalogues in the UK, US, Canada and Australia, as well as expanding its trade offerings into retail.

Image: courtesy of Celtic & Co - founders of the company, Nick and Kath Whitworth with daughter Clare.

The Government has announced that from January 2018 “unfair fees” applied to the use of credit and debit card payments will be banned.

Currently, retailers and brands can charge consumers up to an extra 20 percent ‘surcharge’ for purchases made with a credit or debit card or for other services such as Paypal, however, the Government has stated that the “rip-off charges” are not in the interest of shoppers.

The practice is primarily used by small retailers, as well as global airlines, takeaway apps and local councils and government agencies, to cover expensive merchant fees from the card companies and banks, and cost British consumers an estimated 473 million pounds in 2010, according to the Treasury.

The Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Stephen Barclay, said: “Rip-off charges have no place in a modern Britain and that’s why card charging in Britain is about to come to an end.

“This is about fairness and transparency, and so from next year there will be no more nasty surprises for people at the check-out just for using a card. These small charges can really add up and this change will mean shoppers across the country have that bit of extra cash to spend on the things that matter to them.”

The action follows the Government’s cap of the costs that businesses face for processing card payments, and it has added that it will “engage with retailers to assess if there is any more that can be done to help”.

While campaigners have been celebrating the news, some have also commented that the change in law will likely mean that some companies will simply put up their prices, to cover the extra costs they bear with card payments.

MAP: The Top 10 Fastest Growing Prime Retail StreetsINTERACTIVE MAP

Retailers and shoppers alike can breathe easy, as fears of a hard Brexit have done little to scare away shoppers. London's New Bond Street has been hailed as one of the world's prime fashion retail destinations, according to CBRE Research's semi-annual Global Prime Retail Rents. West End’s New Bond Street prime rental rates grew 39.1 percent during Q1 2017 compared to the same period in 2017, making it the fastest growing prime retail location in the world. And the second most expensive retail location, with rent averaging 1,753 US dollars per square foot per year.

The news map can be found after the next two paragraphs.

New York City remains home to the world's most expensive shopping street, namely Manhattan's Upper 5th Avenue, but London showed the strongest annual rent growth, climbing up the ranking to the second most expensive shopping street, with rent averaging 1,753 US dollars per square foot per year in Q1 2017. London’s overall strong retail performance is said to be emblematic of the wider retail strength spotted across Europe, which was the only global region to register rent growth. Retail rents declined in the Americas, driven by weakness along the US Eastern Seaboard. Overseas in Asia Pacific, rents fell, but key cities, notably Hong Kong, rents started to stabilize, according to the report.

FashionUnited has mapped the Fastest-Growing Retail Locations, named by CBRE.

Instructions:Open the menu by clicking the button in the top left of the menu or click on the icons in the map to learn more about the locations and their retail rents.
Tip: For an optimal experience we recommend you view this map in full screen. Hit the button on the top right 'view larger map'.

Photo: Pexels
New Bond Street named fashion-growing prime retail location

London’s New Bond Street, home to designer brands including Mulberry, Chanel, and Louis Vuitton, has been named the fastest-growing prime retail location in the world, according to new research by CBRE.

In the CBRE’s bi-annual Global Prime Retail Rents report it reveals that prime rental growth on New Bond Street has grown 39.1 percent in Q1 2017, compared to the same period last year, making it the fast-growing prime retail location.

The report adds that New Bond Street also ranked second among the world’s top 10 most expensive retail locations, with 1,753 dollars per square foot per year in Q1 2017. However, New York’s Fifth Avenue retains its position as the world’s most expensive retail destination as it almost doubles the square foot value of London’s shopping street by commanding 3,240 dollars per square foot per year.

Rounding up the top ten markets for prime retail rents are Hong Kong’s Russell Street, Paris’s Champs-Élysées, Tokyo’s Chuo Dori, Sydney’s Pitt Street Mall, the Prime Shopping Centre in Beijing, Zurich’s Bahnhofstrasse district, China’s Guangzhou, and Singapore’s Prime Shopping Centre.

Take a virtual walk down New Bond Street

Rhodri Davies, head of UK retail, CBRE, said: “London’s overall performance is emblematic of the broad strength we are seeing across the retail market in Europe. Demand for quality retail space in London remains robust and the arrival of brands such as New Balance, and Nars has further underlined the importance of these prime shopping destinations.

“However, an increase in occupational costs, as a result of business rates revaluation, has meant that retailers are increasingly being more selective about their choice of store location. This has resulted in a slowdown in the past six months of retailers transactions in London’s prime retail streets.”

New Bond Street second most expensive retail location in the world

The report also revealed that Europe was the only region to register rental growth in Q1 2017 with an increase of 4.3 percent year-on-year, which CBRE states has been driven by lack of supply in prime retail areas.

With regard the fastest growing retail locations, St. Petersburg came in second behind London’s New Bond Street after reporting a 15.4 percent year-on-year growth that was driven by an increase in tourism in the city. Auckland and Sofia were third with 12.5 percent growth, Dublin was fifth with 10.5 percent and Glasgow was sixth with 9.4 percent.

Natasha Patel, EMEA retail research at CBRE, added: “The retail sector is rapidly evolving and is a highly competitive market, therefore, retail brands must focus on targeting consumers across multiple channels.

“The physical store remains an important part of the consumer journey and retailers will continue to target prime bricks-and-mortar locations to grow their brand. Stores will also become the place that customers use to interact with physical products and retailers will use to showcase and try innovative technology.”

Image: courtesy of Louis Vuitton, New Bond Street store