- Vivian Hendriksz |
London - Pepe Jeans has opened the doors of its new flagship store in the heart of London's shopping area a 59-61 Regent Street. The new store marks the inauguration of Pepe Jeans new store concept, which was designed by renowned design studio Martin Brudniziki.
The newly developed flagship store offers the labels complete womenswear, menswear, denim range, accessories as well as footwear across a single floor. The new store concept is said to have been inspired by the ethos of developing a brand accessible to all ages. The flagship store's design concept aims to bring together an eclectic mix of contrasting materials, focusing on craftsmanship, to create a unique retail space to inspire all generations of consumers.
Pepe Jeans new London Flagship store features debut retail concept
"This store represents a new chapter for the Pepe Jeans brand. London was the birthplace for the brand, and so it's only right that we enhanced the brand's visibility in the capital," said Mark Blenkinsop, Pepe Jeans Group Chief Marketing Officer in a statement. "London continues to be a global reference point for fashion and style, and we are really excited to brand presence on Regent Street, arguably the best street in London to deliver both a premium brand perception and strong footfall."
The new store, which spans 1,500 square feet, follows on from Pepe Jeans recent store opening in Rome, Italy, as the denim label continues to roll out a number of new flagship stores in major European cities as part of its wider strategic expansion plan. However Pepe Jeans flagship store in London is the first of the label's new store to feature the debut retail concept and acts as the brand's pilot store.
"From a brand presentation perspective, our objective for Regent Street was not just to open a new store, the objective was to deliver an innovative retail experience," added Blenkinsop. "We partnered with Martin Brudnizki Design Studio to conceive a new global retail system for Pepe Jeans and Regent Street is the pilot store for this new concept."
Photos courtesy of Pepe Jeans
- Danielle Wightman-Stone |
Yoox Net-a-Porter Group is teaming up with luxury fashion house Valentino to create a new omnichannel business model, which it states will “elevate the customer experience by reinventing the relationship between luxury brands and online retailers”.
The partnership will see the creation of an online flagship store platform called ‘Next Era’ that will enable Valentino customers to access inventory from all Valentino’s boutiques and logistics centres as well as the Yoox Net-a-Porter Group’s global network of eight fulfilment centres from New York to Dubai and Milan to Shanghai.
This new platform aims to give Valentino customers greater access to a more extensive product selection, as well as offer smoother in-store mobile features including better checkout, full product information and online inventory, alongside faster delivery, and an enhanced service available in major cities where orders can be fulfilled from Valentino boutiques.
Yoox Net-a-Porter Group to create a “superior retail experience” for Valentino
‘Next Era’ combines Yoox Net-a-Porter Group technology with a leading-edge Order Management System created in partnership with IBM that offers Valentino a single view of its inventory and a comprehensive profile of its customer base.
As part of the partnership, Yoox Net-a-Porter Group will also create a fully revamped Valentino.com, which it states will become a “superior retail experience” with a mobile-centric interface, a new look and feel and new functionality powered by Artificial Intelligence such as on-site personalisation and contextual search, enabling customers to use “natural language” to interact with the digital store.
In addition to being a benefit to Valentino customers, the new omnichannel model will also extend to Net-a-Porter and Mr Porter, as their 10 million customers will also be able to access the enhanced Valentino inventory and services.
Next Era is expected to launch in early 2018, with similar partnerships expected to follow, as Yoox Net-a-Porter Group has agreements with other luxury brands.
Images: courtesy of Yoox Net-a-Porter Group/Valentino
- Sara Ehlers |
Los Angeles - Forever 21 is planning to expand its F21 Red line. The company announced today that this year, F21 Red will open 70 more locations before the end of 2017.
As the company’s affordable basics line, F21 Red has announced these rapid expansion plans recently. The Los Angeles-based company is opening its first three stores this April in Chicago, Illinois; San Antonio, Texas; and Bronx, New York. "We are excited to announce that we will be growing F21 RED's presence in 2017," Linda Chang, VP of merchandising at Forever 21, said in a statement. The F21 Red brand is known for its basics at an affordable price, including t-shirts, jeans, camisoles, tank dresses, and more. Currently, F21 Red already has locations in San Diego, Brooklyn, and Kendall in Florida. In the future, the store will open across the U.S. in major retail markets.
Launched in 2014, F21 Red has grown as a shopping experience with staples from Forever 21, its sub-brands, Forever 21 Plus, Forever 21 Men, and Forever 21 Girls. The prices range from approximately 1.90 dollars to 7.90 dollars in price, varying from denim, tanks, and other basic apparel pieces. Headquartered in California, it seems that the brand’s new locations will spread F21 Red’s presences along the U.S.
- Danielle Wightman-Stone |
Luxury online retailers Net-a-Porter and Mr Porter are to offer its top customers, dubbed ‘Extremely Important People’ with enhanced personal shopping services from September 2017.
Timed to coincide with the autumn/winter shopping season, the personal shopping options will include a new “you try, we wait” same-day delivery service in London, which will be followed by New York and Hong Kong before the end of the year, as well as at-home shopping consultations.
‘Extremely Important People’ customers will be able to request through their personal shopper to try on their order in the comfort of their home, while the courier waits so anything to be returned can be collected immediately.
The personalise one-to-one home shopping consultations will see ‘Extremely Important People’ receiving a curated selection of product and they will only be invoiced only for the items they choose to keep. This service will be available to customers in London, New York, Hong Kong and Los Angeles from September 2017 onward.
“Through our network of personal shoppers, we are thrilled to be offering these new best-in-class services to our most engaged and loyal customers around the world,” said Alison Loehnis, president of Net-a-Porter and Mr Porter. “We are committed to harnessing innovation to elevate the shopping experience, and ultimately seek to use a personalised touch to make the lives of our customers easier.”
‘Extremely Important People’ customers also receive other loyalty benefits and services including a dedicated personal shopper, global free shipping across Net-a-Porter and Mr Porter, priority access to new arrivals and exclusives collections with the ability to reserve and pre-order, a complimentary Porter magazine and Mr Porter Post subscription and, regular shopping and lifestyle events.
- Danielle Wightman-Stone |
The New West End Company is set to bring a world first in technology and retail to London in what it is calling a “smart street”, which will feature next-generation technology, fashion, innovation and sustainable retail concepts.
Taking over Bird Street, which is just off Oxford Street, the New West End Company has said that the project with funding from Transport for London’s Future Streets incubator scheme, will provide a tech-friendly, traffic-free hub that will be “an oasis of technology, fashion, innovation, and sustainability”.
The street will feature cutting-edge sustainable technologies, including bringing in PaveGen technology which generates electricity from pedestrian movement, and Airlite’s revolutionary air purifying paint.
In addition, in partnership with Appear Here, the leading marketplace for temporary spaces, Bird Street will also feature a “curated collection of pioneering pop-ups” that will mix fashion, technology and alfresco dinning, said the New West End Company.
The “smart street” is expected to launch in May 2017 and the New West End Company and Appear Here are actively seeking “interesting and innovative fashion and tech brands” to participate in the project.
Artist impression: courtesy of Harry Dobbs Design, Architects and Urban Designers
- Don-Alvin Adegeest |
Connected customers are not only changing the retail landscape, but also fueling the innovative payments space, both online and offline.
According to Sage Pay's 2017 Payments Landscape Report, businesses need to move with the times or risk losing customer loyalty.
In 2015, 7.75 billion pounds was spent using contactless cards, compared to 2.32 billion pounds in 2014, according to The UK Cards Association, which represents banks and card issuers. The growth in spend has increased more than the growth in the number of contactless cards, with monthly spend on contactless cards reaching a record 1.5 billion pounds for the first time in March.
With consumers now using mobile phones to do everything from scanning airline tickets at security, to buying their clothes, it comes as no surprise that they want to be able to use their devices for making payments.
Some of the innovations happening in the sector include MasterCard rolling out its Identity Check Mobile, or ‘selfie pay’, across Europe, including Germany, Spain and the UK. Engadget reports that the technology will allow MasterCard owners to verify their identity with a fingerprint or selfie, so users can take a photo of themselves on the app and the service creates a digitised map of their face. This is then used as a reference point whenever someone wants to complete a new purchase online.
Alibaba Group earlier this year introduced VR Pay, a virtual reality payment system that allows virtual reality shoppers to pay for items just by nodding, according to Reuters. This payment system will be incorporated into virtual online marketplaces, which will simulate, at home, the experience of shopping in a physical store by using a VR device, such as helmets or glasses.
Consumers are breaking the purchasing rules
While there is no longer a standard path to purchase, a third of consumers surveyed by Sage say they prefer browsing online and buying in-store – known as webrooming – while another quarter do the opposite – known as showrooming. UK consumers increasingly prefer online-only to in-store shopping, however, this is the opposite of consumers in the US, who prefer in-store only to online only shopping.
Credits:Image, MasterCard Selfie Pay; Report Sagepay.com
- Vivian Hendriksz |
London - US designer label Tory Burch has opened her new London flagship store on Regent Street. Located at 233, the new store opening sees the brand expand its presence in the UK and builds upon its existing store portfolio.
Spanning 3,200 square feet, the two-floor store offers Tory Burch complete ready-to-wear collections, handbags, footwear, watches, eyewear, beauty as well as home. The store's interior features oak panel walls,gold-leaf chandeliers and golden shelving which is complimented by leopard-print carpeting.
In honour of the new store opening, Tory Burch has exclusively launched its newest handbag, Jacqueline, at its Regent Street store. Tory Burch's Regent Street store is located near to its second store on New Bond Street, which opened its doors in 2010.
Photo: Tory Burch UK website
- Danielle Wightman-Stone |
Mango is allowing its customers to choose what music is played in its stores following a partnership with Shazam, the mobile app that identifies the music around you.
The partnership will see Shazam In-Store available in 20 Mango stores in Spain, where customers will be able to connect through the app to access Mango’s playlists and choose the songs they want to hear while shopping in the store.
The Spanish retailer has become the first fashion brand in Europe to offer this interactive experience in-store and aims to offer its consumers a better shopping experience.
The Shazam In-Store app for Mango will feature exclusive multimedia content, such as the retailer’s campaigns, special offers and the latest looks of the season. In addition, customers will have access to the brand’s social networks including its Spotify channel.
- Vivian Hendriksz |
London - Reebok is set to expand its presence in China by opening 500 FitHub stores across the country by 2020, as part of its wider strategy to become the leading sportswear brand in the region.
The move sees the footwear and fitness label, held by Adidas Group, go head to head with US rival Nike which is currently viewed as the marker leader in the country. The expansion push sees Reebok team up with Belle International Holdings, one of China's leading footwear retailers, who will assist the brand in rolling our its FitHub concept stores across the region. At the moment Reebok counts seven FitHub stores in China, with stores in key cities such as Beijing, Hangzhou and Qingdao as the sportswear label aims to open an additional 50 stores in the region this year.
Reebok's FitHub concept store was designed to compliment the labels new positioning within the sportswear market and features in-store classes, events and fitness experts in store to offer customers tailored advice on products. As the sportswear and fitness market continues to rapidly expand in China, the region has become a key sector for international players like Adidas and Nike to expand in. "For a fitness brand, there is no better country to invest in right now than China," said Chad Wittman, general manager of Reebok Greater China to China Daily.
"We've spent a lot of time and energy putting together a China strategy that meets the specific needs of Chinese consumers in terms of product, messaging and experiences." In addition to offering Reebok's global range of apparel, footwear and fitness equipment, the label is set to offer custom-made products targeted specifically at Chinese consumers. At the moment the brand is focusing on three main categories: running, training and classics. The former is set to become a key focus in China for the brand this year, as running has seen a surge in popularity in China over the past few years.
Photos: Reebok FitHub stores, Courtesy of the adidas group
- Danielle Wightman-Stone |
New online UK luxury marketplace LuxSeeker.com has launched with more than 100,000 luxury new and pre-owned products for sale from shoes and accessories to watches and jewellery.
The new platform aims to offer luxury retailers an easy and effective way to sell their products to luxury buyers, which the marketplace states are a “notoriously difficult” target group to reach online.
LuxSeeker integrates detailed buyer guides, trends, and fashion news, plus the best of social media photos and videos to provide the buyer with “an educative and inspired buying experience”. Its recommendation engine crunches over 1,000 data points to deliver recommendations, curations and alerts across media platforms and social channels.
The marketplace, which has already attracted premier luxury retailers and specialist independents including Vestiaire Collective, Goldsmiths, and Shoeaholics as well as specialists from Hatton Garden such as Bouchon and Prestige Pawn Brokers, had a soft launch easier this year and now has more than 100,000 products available to purchase.
LuxSeeker looking to target “notoriously difficult” online luxury buyers
To target luxury buyers, LuxSeeker states that all retailers are “carefully selected” to ensure the authenticity of all products for sale, so customers be reassured that they are buying genuine, authentic items from trusted sellers. In addition unlike eBay and Amazon, there are no private sellers or ‘home traders’, as private sellers are actively encouraged to place their luxury goods with the specialist retailers who are listing to get a great hassle free, price and service.
Lead investor, Lee Williams, who launched and built the highly successful Auto Trader online, said: “I believe LuxSeeker.com can make the luxury online marketplace more accessible, in particular, we want to unlock all the amazing products and content stocked by both the major retailers and crucially all the independents from across the country into one specialist hub. LuxSeeker.com passionately believes that we can enable more of the population to attain the products that they aspire at prices that will surprise them.”
Williams added: “We are launching the first phase with 100,000 luxury products. Response from the luxury trade has been fantastic. We will be rapidly adding products, content and engaging consumer and retailer features month on month. This time next year we expect to list over 1 million products and services.”
Image: courtesy of LuxSeeker