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Arket Regent Street store to open August 25

Arket, the newest retail concept from the H&M Group will reportedly open their first UK store on August 25th on London’s Regent Street.

The highly-anticipated debut store opening is slated for early autumn, according to a report from German trade magazine, Textilwirtschaft (TW).

Arket, a new retail concept is described by H&M Group as ‘a modern-day market that will offer essential products for men, women, children and the home’. The store offering will be made up of Arket’s own lines as well as, according to TW, an array of brands including Adidas, Nike, Diemme, Hestra and Tricker. Each flagship will also have a vegetarian cafe - described by the group as having been ‘based on the New Nordic Kitchen and its vision of quality ingredients and healthy living.’

The London store will be Arket’s first of five store launches, with openings in Munich, Brussels, Copenhagen and Stockholm to follow.

Photo courtesy of H&M Group website

The Parisian concept store Colette will close its doors after 20 years of business. The 750 square meter building, spread over 3 levels, will remain open for business until December 2017. Learn everything you need to know about the history and development of the Parisian concept store below: the most important moments from 1997 - 2017.

For an optimal experience you find the interactive timeline, illustrated with photos and videos, here: Timeline: Colette's closure, the end of an epoch.

March 1997

Colette is born

Colette is the first Parisian concept store to open. Located at 213 rue Saint-Honoré, the boutique was founded by Colette Roussaux, a former employee of Sentier, and her daughter Sarah Andelman, a graduate of the l'Ecole du Louvre and a trainee at Purple Magazine. The shop offers art, fashion, design, music and street style. Designer Milan Vukmirovic joins the team as a co-creator. The characteristic blue-dot logo of Colette is created by Guillaume Wolf. P> 2001 Launch of first music compilation

Colette launches its first music compilations. The first Colette N°1 was released in March 2001, featuring artists from the electronic music scene, like: Peaches and Gonzales, Charles Wilp and Erik Satin.

2002

Departure of Milan Vukmirovic

Milan Vukmirovic departs from the company in 2002, leaving management of the store in the hands of Colette Roussaux and Sarah Andelman. Despite the fear that departure of Vukmirovic's may negatively impact the business, the Colette continues to grow and gain name recognition.

2008

Renovation

Colette closes its doors for a total makeover from July 7 to August 25. The store's renovation is led by the Japanese architect Masamichi Katayama. The retail area retains its leading fashion department and water-bar but offers more room to its growing beauty segment. More space is also given to streetwear labels.

2010

Collaboration with Hermès

Together with French luxury fashion house Hermes, Colette brings back the mythical square silk scarves by launching an exclusive collection. Named ""J'aime mon carré"", the scarf collection is characterized by graphics and colors. Developed under the guidance of Hermes' artistic director of silk Bali Barret, the two tapped British photographer Matt Irwin to travel to New York, London, Paris, and Tokyo to shoot the accessories and create a photobook.

2012

15 year anniversary: Carnaval

Colette invites Parisians two-day carnival, free of charge. Visitors are welcome to attend workshops in the presence of perfumers Francis Kurkdjian, Alberto Morillas; participate in a competition of Pastry chefs Pierre Hermé vs Sébastien Gaudard' take Polaroid training; enjoy skate sessions; compete in ping-pong competitions and purchase customized t-shirts by graffiti artists in a 4,000 square meter tent located in the Tuileries Garde. Magic tricks and puppet shows also take place for the little ones.

2013

Hedi Slimane fights against Colette

Hedi Slimane, artistic director of Saint Laurent, accuses the store of mocking the luxury fashion house after Colette begins selling t-shirts bearing a slogan: ""It's not a Laurent Without Yves"" in reference to the change of the Maison's name. Saint Laurent refuses to deliver collections to the store and asks Colette to pull all t-shirts from the store. The dispute was laid to rest when Saint Laurent appointed a new creative director, Anthony Vaccarello.

2014

Armed robbery

Two hooded men break into the store on Rue Saint-Honoré, before shop's opening at 10am. Thieves force six employees and a security guard, who were inside, to lay on the ground before robbing the store. The duo escapes on a scooter with a fake license plate. The raid takes only a few minutes and no one is injured.

2014

Piscine Molitor

The luxury boutique annouces its first swimwear collaboration: Colette swim x Speedo. Together with the world leading swimwear brands, the Paris-based shop organizes water-jumping classes in the Molitor swimming pool, which is considered to be the most beautiful in the capital city.

2014

Colette x Stan Smith

Adidas previously halted the production of its Stan Smith trainers in 2011. But the iconic sneakers makes its comeback with Colette 3 years later. The German sportswear brand aims to market its shoe in leading concept stores such as: Dove Street Market in London, Barneys in New York and Colette in Paris. Adidas designs a special Stan Smith sneaker to mark the occasion, which embodies Colette's logo with charactaristic color blue.

2014

Colette launches the Apple Watch

Colette is one of the few concept stores to exclusively offer the new Apple Watch. Launching in stores during Paris Fashion Week, Apple and its star-designer Jonathan Ive try to win over the world of fashion with its new accessory. P>

September 2016

Style.com collaborates with Colette

Luxury e-commerce platform Style.com collaborates with Parisian concept store Colette to offer the French retailer’s products via its website.

As part of the ongoing partnership, a series of exclusive designer collaborations are available to buy online via Style.com and in-store, with the first being with Mansur Gavriel.

February 2017

Colette and Saint Laurent repair friendship as store re-stocks brand

In 2013 French luxury house Saint Laurent spectacularly severes ties with Paris-uber retailer Colette. The store has been stocking t-shirts bearing the slogan 'Ain't Laurent without Yves,' a not so subtle dig at Mr Hedi Slimane, who was the creative force behind the brand at the time.

At the time Colette's artistic director Sarah Andelman received a letter from Kering to tell her they cancelled her spring-summer 2014 menswear order. Since then, the world-renowned boutique has not been able to carry the brand, despite having been a faithful stockist since 1997.

But as Saint Laurent is now being designed by Anthony Vaccarello, who's own label Andelman championed at her store, the friendship between Colette and Saint Laurent is restored.

Colette buys the Saint Laurent's first womenswear collection under Vaccarello, which features in the store's window displays until March 1.

3 March 2017

Collette Massive Ball Pit in celebration of the Parisian boutique's 20th anniversary

French boutique Colette celebrates its 20th anniversary by launching a unique installation in Paris. Designed by New York-based creative duo Snarkitecture, the interactive experience dubbed The Beach features more than 300,000 recyclable, antimicrobial plastic balls in its giant ball pit.

23 March 2017

Ikea at Colette

Ikea collaborates with Colette. The two partner to launch a collection with selected products. The Scandinavian brand is also featured in three major areas of the shop: the windows, the gallery and the waterbar.

6 July 2017

Colette x H&M Studio collab

H&M announces its latest collaboration, which sees the fast-fashion brand working with iconic Parisian concept store Colette. Together the two creates an exclusive collection for H&M Studio AW17 line.

H&M Studio x Colette exclusive collection offers nine pieces, which feature a unique colour palette based off of Colette's signature blue.

The H&M Studio x Colette exclusive edition is set to launch on August 21 and will be made available in store and online at Colette for two weeks, along with additional selected items from the main H&M Studio AW17 collection ahead of its launch date.

12 July 2017

BREAKING: Colette to shut its doors for good this year

"As all good things must come to an end, after twenty wonderful years, Colette should be closing its doors on December 20th of this year,"" reads a statement on Colette's website. Founded in 1997 by Colette Roussaux, the Parisian boutique has been under the charge of her daughter Sarah Andelman over the past few years.

Part of the concept store's closure has been linked to the impending retirement of Roussaux, ""and Colette cannot exist without Colette,"" added the statement. French fashion house Saint Laurent is already in negotiations with Colette to take over the three-storey 8,000 square foot building.

The announcement came as a blow to the industry early Wednesday morning, following news that the iconic concept store had teamed up with H&M Studio to create an exclusive collection for H&M Studio AW17.

This text was previously published as Timeline: Colette's closure, the end of an epoch .
Brora announces first high street concession

Luxury Scottish cashmere and fashion brand Brora has announced that it is launching concessions for the first time on the high street with a retail partnership with department store John Lewis.

Launching this Autumn, Brora will be opening its first series of womenswear concessions in selected John Lewis stores including Cambridge, Southampton, and Glasgow, which are set to open in early September, with more concessions planned for 2018.

Victoria Stapleton Brora’s founder and creative director said: “We are very excited about becoming part of the John Lewis family. They hold so many of the same values as we do and I am sure customers who are not already familiar with the breadth of the Brora collections will be pleasantly surprised!”

Since its inception in 1993, Brora has sold exclusively through its own retail outlets, however, the cashmere brand notes in a press statement that with its shared business values such as supporting British jobs and manufacturing that John Lewis made a great fit to expand the brand to a different audience.

Perushka De Zoysa, John Lewis womenswear buyer, added: ”Brora creates beautiful, quality cashmere and is focused on supporting local craftsmanship, perfect for our customers. We look forward to bringing their products to life exclusively on the high street at John Lewis.”

The Brora autumn/winter 2017 collection will also be sold on JohnLewis.com .

Image: courtesy fo Brora

Britons are spending more money using debit cards than cash, according to the annual Payments Survey from the British Retail Consortium.

The survey reveals that card payments, debit and credit cards, accounted for more than 50 percent of all retail transactions by volume for the first time, driven by UK consumers increasingly using cards for lower value payments.

It adds that card usage has grown as a result of more retailers investing in payment technology to facilitate consumer choice, as debit card transactions grew in 2016 by 4.5 percent to almost 43 percent of all retail transactions, overtaking cash transactions which saw a 5 percent drop in its share of retail purchases to account for 42 percent.

The report also noted that retail customers have become less reliant on credit cards, as the survey reveals little change in the relative state of different payment types by sales value, however, retail spending on credit cards has fallen and represents a diminished share of retail purchases by value. This shows consumers borrowing less for day-to-day purchases in contrast to a broader trend of increasing consumer borrowing in the UK.

This year’s annual report also covers the first full year in which the contactless transaction ceiling has stood at 30 pounds, having risen from 20 pounds in late 2015. It notes that a third of all card transactions are now contactless, according to The UK Card Association, and that the wider use of contactless has gone some way to displace cash for lower value transactions that had until recently been the preserve of notes and coins.

Commenting on the report, British Retail Consortium policy advisor- payments and consumer credit, Andrew Cregan, said: "A growing number of retailers have invested in payment technology to accept cards, contactless payments and new payment applications both online and in store. In part, this has been facilitated by the Interchange Fee Regulation (IFR), which was introduced across the European Union following a successful campaign by the BRC and has led to a significant fall in the cost of collection that benefits retailers and their customers.

“Looking ahead, the Government should act to retain the benefits of the IFR for retailers and their customers after the UK leaves the EU and introduce further regulatory action to address the alarming increase in other card fees and charges at a time when the retail industry is facing acute cost pressures elsewhere.”

River Island to upsize store in Centre:MK

River Island is doubling the size of its store in Centre:MK in Milton Keynes to create a regional flagship store.

The fashion retailer will double its existing unit to 20,000 square foot to accommodate the brand’s full range of womenswear, menswear and children’s fashion ranges.

The refurbishment of the Acorn Walk located store will be designed by the retailer’s in-house team and will see the store open in time for Christmas.

Josie Cartridge, customer director at River Island, said: “River Island is one of the UK’s most loved high street brands and we are looking forward to offering our customer base even more affordable and well-designed fashion in our larger store. Centre:MK is a longstanding, top-performing location for River Island and increasing our presence here is a key step in our ongoing growth.”

River Island to upsize store in Centre:MK

This news follows Hermes Investment Management and AustralianSuper’s announcement of plans for a 60 million pounds investment in the centre, including the recently completed Sunset Walk refurbishment, as well as the revamp of Deer Walk in the centre.

Ed Sellick, on behalf of Centre:MK joint owners, Hermes Investment Management and AustralianSuper, added: “The new, significantly larger River Island store reaffirms Centre:MK as a highly successful and sought after regional shopping destination.

“River Island’s flagship store will be an exciting addition to our fashion line up and follows recent successful upsizes, including JD Sports and new entrants Footasylum and Kiko. Being home to the first Acuitis store outside of the Capital will be another great achievement and further complements the international brands on offer at Centre:MK.”

In addition, designer eyewear specialists Acuitis is set to launch its first store outside of London at Centre:MK later this month. The 2,152 square foot store, situated at 30 Silbury Arcade, features eyewear collections for men, women, teens and children.

Images: courtesy of River Island

Timeline: Colette's closure, the end of an epoch

London - Iconic Parisian store Colette is set to close its doors for good this December, after a twenty-year run. The one-of-a-kind concept store first opened its doors on 213 rue Saint-Honoré in March 1997. As Paris first leading fashion concept store, Colette rapidly becomes a leading force in the world of retail and is praised by many for its unique offering and shopping experience. A few months after Colette celebrates its 20th anniversary comes a sudden announcement: Colette will be closing down on December 20th.

"Until our last day, nothing will change," said the store in a statement. "Colette will continue to renew itself each week with exclusive collaborations and offerings, also available on our website colette.fr. We thank you for your support and see you soon at Colette--until December 20th!" FashionUnited has gathered together some of Colette's milestones throughout its twenty-year run in the interactive timeline before. Click on the arrows to read each highlight.

Photos: Courtesy of Colette.

The Coletter timeline was originally published in March 2017, on FashionUnited.fr in honour of the concept store's 20th anniversary. Author: Aurore Hennion. The timeline has been translated and edited for FashionUnited UK by Vivian Hendriksz.

Store Twenty One admits defeat with the closure of remaining stores

Multiple efforts to save the financially unstable, Store Twenty One were halted this morning after the company entered into compulsory liquidation.

The budget fashion chain’s remaining 122 stores were closed on Friday, resulting in the loss of 900 retail jobs.

News of Store Twenty One’s compulsory liquidation comes as no surprise, as the company has come close to administration over the past few years. An attempted restructure last year which saw a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) placed, resulted in the closure of 93 loss-making stores.

The retailer has struggled to withstand competition from growing budget retailers like Primark as well as online fast fashion competitors. The company’s turnover has declined from 95 million to 57 million pounds along with sustained losses in the past few years.

In April 2017, HM Revenue & Customs issued a winding up notice due to unpaid tax - placing the company in their final days, despite their attempt at raising the owed funds.

“We are now in the process of conducting an orderly wind-down and would welcome contact from any interested parties who may wish to purchase assets of the company,” Bonney continued.

Store Twenty One, owned by Indian textiles company Alok Group, first started out in the 1930s manufacturing goods for retailers such as Marks & Spencer, subsequently opening their own stores, rebranding to QS. In 1990, QS floated on the London Stock Exchange, acquiring sister chain Bewise.

Store Twenty One’s fall into compulsory liquidation is a warning sign of tougher times ahead. Many years of success are hard to retain in the current economy - along with significant changes to the traditional retail industry, which sees pressure from online brands and retailers. Store Twenty One is not the first retailer to perish and is certainly not the last, in this ever changing industry.

Photo courtesy of Store Twenty One website

BREAKING: Colette to shut its doors for good this year

London - It's the end of an era in fashion retail, as leading Parisian department store Colette, is set to close down its doors for good this year after twenty years of trading.

"As all good things must come to an end, after twenty wonderful years, Colette should be closing its doors on December 20th of this year," read a statement on Colette's website. Founded in 1997 by Colette Roussaux, the Parisian boutique, located at 213 rue Saint-Honoré, has been under the charge of her daughter Sarah Andelman over the past few years.

Colette to close its doors forever after twenty years this December

Part of the concept store's closure has been linked to the impending retirement of Roussaux, "and Colette cannot exist without Colette," added the statement. French fashion house Saint Laurent is already in negotiations with Colette to take over the three-storey 8,000 square foot building.

"We would be proud to have a brand with such a history, with whom we have frequently collaborated, taking over our address," continued the statement from Colette. "We are happy of the serious interest expressed by Saint Laurent in this project, and it could also represent a very good opportunity for our employees."

At the moment it remains unclear as to whether or not the store will continue to operate its e-commerce platform, which accounts for 20 percent of the store's revenue. But the company is adamant that it will continue business as usual until it's last day. "Colette will continue to renew itself each week with exclusive collaborations and offerings, also available on our website colette.fr."

BREAKING: Colette to shut its doors for good this year

The announcement came as a blow to the industry early Wednesday morning, following news that the iconic concept store had teamed up with H&M Studio to create an exclusive collection for H&M Studio AW17. Employees were informed of the decision early Wednesday morning. The iconic concept store, famous for its blue dot logo, celebrated its 20th anniversary in March at Les Arts Décoratifs. At the time the boutique did not appear to be facing any hardships outside of a drop in tourists numbers, reporting revenues of 28 million euros in 2016.

Colette is best known for its unique collection of curated fashion and lifestyle products. Featuring an eclectic blend of high-end fashion brands and fierce street labels, Colette is celebrated for its beautiful window display, in-store installations, and regular events. Andelman has been praised her willingness to feature up and coming designers, as Colette was one of the first stores to stock collections from Rodarte, Mary Katrantzou and Proenza Schouler.

Colette announces impending store closure

The store will continue to host its series of month-long takeover, starting with Balenciaga from June 16 to August 5 and ending with Saint Laurent from November 27 to December 20. The irony that the French brand is in the lead to take over the store premises has not been lost on some.

In 2013, Colette featured a line of parody t-shirts which read "Ain't Laurent Without Yves", following the passing of the maison's late founder. Saint Laurent reportedly threatened to sue Colette over the t-shirts, with Saint Laurent chief executive Francesca Bellettini accusing Andelman of "selling counterfeit products that 'seriously damaged' the YSL brand and confirming the end of their business relationship."

Andelman responded by pulling the t-shirts from Colette's online store and selling the remainder of them in store, a move which underlines the store's carefree spirit.

Photos: Colette, website

Bargain Spot launches in the UK

London - British Bargain shopper rejoice - Australian online shopping site Bargain Spot has expanded its services overseas and launched a dedicated platform to serve its growing UK audience.

The website searches for and gathers the biggest and the best bargains from the UK's leading retailers, including Asos, Boohoo, Littlewoods and more in one single location for shoppers to browse. The platform alerts consumers to the best discounts currently available by searching through more than a million products in a range of categories, including fashion, footwear, and beauty. Bargain Spot also features a price alert which lets users set to warn them when the desired product has reached a certain price level.

Bargain Spot launches in the UK

"We’ve seen Australian online shoppers take to Bargain Spot in large numbers since it began and it fast became a leading destination for Australian bargain hunters," said co-founder Justin Gray. "We have just launched Bargain Spot into the United Kingdom to give online shoppers there an opportunity to save money in the same way." Founded by father and son team Chris and Justin Gray in late November 2015, the online bargain spotting service has reached over one million Aussie shoppers.

Similar to the Australian version, the UK site offers products from a range of the country’s top retailers as well as the UK's favourite international stores. "Since its opening in November 2015 in Australia, we’ve seen Bargain Spot offer a ‘new way’ for bargain hunters to shop," added Justin. "We created the site with the aim of giving bargain hunters the chance to uncover — and take advantage of — hugely discounted items offered by stores," he explained.

"Because of the success of the Australian site, we have just launched the service in the United Kingdom, giving shoppers there the chance to save serious money."

Photos: Courtesy of Bargain Spot

Missguided deploys Doddle into flagship stores

Missguided, the popular womenswear fast fashion retailer is working with Doddle’s proprietary click & collect technology solution ‘Powered by Doddle’ for use in their two flagship stores at Westfield Stratford and Bluewater Kent.

Powered by Doddle is a customisable app, which lets brands control the look and feel of the interface. Installed on an android device, store teams are able to serve customers anytime and anywhere, therefore removing the need for a dedicated click & collect area as well as helping to reduce queues at peak times.

“We chose Powered by Doddle to run the click & collect service in our Westfield and Bluewater stores. The Doddle technology is super flexible, can be set up and changed quickly depending on demand, and it has been proven to work in 80 of Doddle’s own stores,” said John Allen, Chief Technology Officer, Missguided in a press statement.

Missguided deploys Doddle into flagship stores

Missguided were able to place their distinctive branding and tone of voice within the app, with functions including receipt of goods, allocation of goods to storage, customer communication and handling of expired parcels. The customisable interface enables Missguided to send branded emails and text messages to customers as opposed to those from a third party courier.

“For our own click & collect service we wanted to make sure we offered our customers a fantastic experience the first time, every time and Powered by Doddle has enabled us to do that in a way that looks and feels ‘Missguided’,” Allen continued.

“Moving from an online environment into physical stores is a huge operational and logistical undertaking. We’ve been able to add value as a partner by supplying a tried and tested click & collect service that their customers will love and will help them convert their strong online traffic into collection footfall,” added Tim Robinson, Doddle CEO.

Making the transition even easier, Doddle offers comprehensive training for Powered by Doddle, providing brands with a dedicated e-learning module, train-the-trainer sessions and centrally held staff training days.

Doddle have already partnered with more than 100 retailers, including ASOS and Net-a-Porter to offer collection and returns services. Powered by Doddle is the next generation of click & collect service and aims to simply ‘save [their] customers time’.

Photos courtesy of Doddle: Missguided Bluewater store, Screenshots from the Missguided Powered by Doddle app