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SuperGroup to expand Superdry Sport with dedicated stores

SuperGroup, the parent company of Superdry, have announced plans to expand Superdry Sport by introducing 'shop-in-shops' in some of their larger stores later this year.

The company noted in their impressive final year results, that Superdry Sport ‘remains a natural evolution for the brand’, adding that the ‘ath-leisure element of [their] range provides the natural entry point for customers before widening their buying to more technical products’.

The brand aims to enhance their sport range by improving ‘moisture wicking, weather tolerance and higher visibility’, as well as further developing their footwear offering, ‘to participate in this key part of the market’. THe move sees Superdry going up against market leaders such as Nike and Adidas.

SuperGroup's CEO, Euan Sutherland said the expansion of Superdry Sport is part of a plan to “further embed Superdry’s position as a global lifestyle brand.”

The Superdry brand is currently sold in 62 countries, counting 863 stores and concessions globally. Aiming to expand in 2018, SuperGroup will launch 60 Superdry franchise stores throughout the year, signifying a 20 percent year-on-year growth.

Photo courtesy of Superdry

Coast renews website

High street retailer Coast has renewed its online presence with the launch of a new website.

The new responsive online platform, designed by Aptos, offers customers a more seamless shopping experience whether they are shopping online or in store. The revamped website features high-resolution product images, an improved checkout service and the option to save items in their baskets. In addition, the new platform is responsive and works seamlessly for all shoppers, whether they are visiting from a mobile or tablet.

The new website also includes an integrated social media area on its product pages, which features shoppers own Instagram photos using the hashtag #MyCoastStyle. “Product is king for us, as it is in any business, but it’s really important for us,” said Jo McWilliams to Essential Retail on the renewed website. The additional feature is said to help customers visualise how a certain garment has been styled. The revamped website also offer additional payment options now, including Amazon Checkout and Apple Pay.

Since the launch of its renewed website Coast has seen double-digit growth “way ahead of expectations” concerning customers average order value, traffic, conversion and mobile use, which has a “big effect on bottom line” according to McWilliams.

Photo: Coast website

Paul Smith to open a new store in Manchester

Founded in Nottingham in the early 70s, Paul Smith is known for his classic cut clothes with added quirks such as stripes or flowers. The brand, who operate around the world in Paris, New York, Los Angeles, Hong Kong and more are taking on a 3,000 square foot shop on Manchester’s New Cathedral Street with a 10-year lease.

The designer brand will join other luxury stores on the pedestrianised retail street in close proximity to Manchester Arndale which is home to over 200 high street stores including Topshop, AllSaints and H&M.

The upmarket street is owned and managed by M&G Real Estate and Intu in a joint venture partnership. Regional director at Intu, Colin Flinn commented in a statement “we are really excited to be adding such an iconic British fashion brand to Manchester city centre’s line up. Paul Smith’s arrival in the city demonstrates the strength of Manchester as a core ‘must trade’ location for leading fashion brands,”

The store is expected to open this autumn, situated alongside department store, Harvey Nichols.

Photo courtesy of Paul Smith Website

The textile and footwear group Vivarte, who have been engaged in a disposal and reconstruction plan for several months, announced on Tuesday that they have sold the clothing brand Kookai to the Australian brand, Magi.

Magi, launched in 1992 has been the licensee of Kookai in Australia and New Zealand for 26 years, specialists in the apparel industry, they have their own creative studio in Melbourne, and generated a turnover of 70 million euros in 2016.

Vivarte described in a statement that they are allowing ‘for the brand to fully exploit its great potential’, bringing Kookaï’s 195 stores in France, Spain and Switzerland along with 500 employees into Magi’s portfolio.

This sale "is actively participating in the recovery plan presented in January 2017 " by Vivarte, who have already sold several brands, such as Pataugas in May. Also initiating the sale of two of its iconic brands: André, with 786 employees and Naf Naf, 860 employees.

Aiming to refocus the group to three activities: La Halle and Besson in residential areas, shoe brands Minelli, San Marina, CosmoParis and apparel brand, Caroll. The company is currently present in 70 countries and registered revenues of 2.2 billion in 2016. (AFP)

The British Retail Consortium (BRC), the trade association for UK retailers, has launched a Grenfell Tower Retail Appeal in partnership with the Retail Trust to raise funds for those affected by the fire in North Kensington, London last month.

The fire at the tower block on June 14 has left an estimated 80 people dead, along with hundreds homeless and injured in the blast, and the British Retail Consortium is hoping that its retail fund can help offer some practical support by raising money for those affected.

The British Retail Consortium, said in an open letter on the trade association’s website: “Like everyone across the country, we were shocked by the devastating Grenfell Tower fire. Lives have been lost, scores of people were injured and homes were destroyed. Our thoughts are with the families and friends of those who died and those awaiting news of loved ones.”

The appeal is in partnership with Retail Trust and Retail Week, with full details on how to donate located on their website: http://www.retailtrust.org.uk/grenfell-retail-appeal.

Luxury department store group Harrods has already donated 1 million pounds to the British Red Cross London fire relief fund, while Westfield London confirmed that it made an undisclosed donation to The Kensington and Chelsea Foundation Grenfell Tower appeal and the Evening Standard appeal.

Joe Browns to open debut flagship

Mail order and online fashion retailer Joe Browns is set to open its first physical store in Sheffield this autumn, as it looks to “transform into a multi-channel retailer”.

Joe Browns has signed up to a 4,000 square foot unit within Meadowhall in Sheffield, which is currently undergoing major regeneration works and will launch its debut flagship with its autumn/winter 2017 collection of clothing and accessories for men and women.

Simon Brown, managing director and founder of Joe Browns, said: “We are thrilled at the opportunity to launch our first ever store within Meadowhall, offering our existing loyal customers a new way to shop with us and allowing us to meet a brand new audience.

“This is a really exciting step for the company that will transform us into a true multi-channel retailer and we can’t wait to start that journey at Meadowhall.”

Joe Browns to open first physical store at Meadowhall

The debut flagship will be designed by Dalziel and Pow, the agency that also worked with Missguided with its debut bricks-and-mortar stores, and they will be looking to tailor the store design to reflect the brand’s personality as well as appeal to a new audience for the online retailer.

David Dalziel, creative director at Dalziel and Pow, added: “Designing a store for a popular online brand is a huge responsibility, we need to reflect their core strengths in a way that is truly individual and appealing to the new audience it is about to meet. Joe Browns is full of personality, so it’s clear we have lots of inspiring content to build on.”

British Land, which owns Meadowhall, notes that its True Value of Stores research reveals that physical stores improve brand awareness, customer service, and trust, as well as also contributing to online sales that do not directly touch the store. It also predicts that retailers that can offer a seamless omnichannel experience for shoppers are likely to outperform.

Meadowhall is currently undergoing a 60 million pound refurbishment, which has seen a host of new stores committing to the Yorkshire shopping centre including Flannels and Tag Heuer, as well as redesigns from House of Fraser, AllSaints, Hollister and Hugo Boss.

Image: courtesy of Joe Browns

JD Sports to upsize Glasgow flagship

JD Sports is set to “nearly double” the size of its existing flagship at the Silverburn shopping centre in Glasgow by the end of the year.

The sportswear retailer is set to retain its exiting location and expand into the neighbouring unit to create a new flagship spanning 12,830 square foot over two floors.

The new store is being designed by JD Sports’ in-house team and will incorporate the latest store design being rolled out across the retailer’s network of stores, as seen in the newly launched Newcastle flagship.

Group acquisitions manager at JD Sports, Warren Thompson, said: “We are excited to nearly double the size of our store and bring the latest fit out and concept to Silverburn. The additional space will enable us to offer a wider range of products to our loyal customers and realise the full potential of this location.”

JD Sports to upsize Glasgow flagship

The new upsized store is due to open in November and will see JD Sports offering a range of trainers, sports and fashion wear from big-name brands such as Nike, Adidas, The North Face and Converse.

Iain Mitchell, UK commercial director at Hammerson, added: “It’s great to see JD Sports significantly increase its offering with this brand new flagship store, mirroring a wider trend in which internationally renowned brands are prioritising larger, experiential stores in prime venues.

“The brand’s desire to upsize is a result of its successful performance at Silverburn and is a reflection of the centre’s position as the region’s leading retail and leisure destination.”

Image: courtesy of JD Sports - inside the newly refitted Newcastle store

Cambridge has been named the “healthiest retail centre” in the UK, after moving up six spots in the Harper Dennis Hobbs Vitality Index, ahead of Westfield London in second and Knightsbridge, which took third place.

The Vitality Index ranks all retail centres in Britain by quantifying the ‘retail health’ of each centre, measured through a combination of the proportion of up-market shops, value-led shops and ‘undesirable’ shops, as well as the vacancy rate. In addition, these variables are also compared to the demographic composition of the centre’s catchment area and a greater score is given to areas whose retail mix is optimally adapted to the local community.

Property specialist Harper Dennis Hobbs found that the university town of Cambridge with a retail market size of over 1.5 billion pounds, was up on the rankings since the 2014 study, due to more retailers moving in and that the town is “very much on the radar” for many retailers, plus it is popular with tourists, especially from China, which increases the “demand for luxury retail”.

Jonathan De Mello, head of retail consultancy at Harper Dennis Hobbs, added: “This ranking highlights the ‘healthiest’ retail centres in Britain, which successful brands should target when considering network expansion.

“Smaller centres are of increasing interest to retailers, given rents are often highest in the largest centres. So a small centre with a high vitality score – and the right shopper profile – could potentially yield strong profits.”

London still dominates the national retail scene and 34 percent of the top 50 most vital centres are located in the capital. However, quality retailers are increasingly gravitating towards a few very strong shopping centres and high streets, and this concentration of quality retail within the city is at the expense of the typical London high street.

Birmingham and Glasgow are the most improved centres near the top of the ranking, as both have benefited from new retail developments. Brent Cross has fallen out of the top 50 as a result of the preparation for works to modernise and expand the centre. It is likely that this drop will be temporary and the centre will increase its score upon completion within the next 5 years.

The least vital centre is Shields Road in Byker, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, where 19.6 percent of retail floorspace is unused, up 11 percent in the past 5 years. The retail mix on Shields Road is dominated by ‘undesirable’ retail, such as betting shops and money lenders, added the report.

British community shopping centres are playing an increasingly important role in the overall retail experience, as 78 percent of shoppers visit one at least once a week, according to new research from Savills and Ellandi.

The Retail Revolutions: The Rise of the Community Shopping Centre, reveals that 78 percent of shoppers visit one at least weekly, while 92 percent at least monthly, as consumers take advantage of their convenient retail mix and accessibility.

The Midlands, North West and North East regions have the most frequent visitation of community shopping centres, with 80 percent of consumers visiting once a week or more, states the report. By contrast, just 15 percent of shoppers nationally visit large shopping centres weekly and 44 percent visit one less than twice a year.

Tom Whittington, retail research director at Savills, said: “While destination schemes provide high profile, less frequent retail experiences, most shopping trips take place much closer to home. The difference in visit frequency is closely linked to the nature of the retail journey different types of scheme support.

“Local centres generally offer a high proportion of groceries and staple goods while destination schemes provide a greater number of fashion and comparison goods, with a more comprehensive leisure offer. However, there is clearly more to the relationship with community shopping centres than convenience, as revealed by the surprisingly long dwell times and range of goods purchased.”

The report also highlights that 44 percent of trips to community shopping centres last longer than one hour nationally, rising to 51 percent in Greater London and 66 percent in Northern Ireland. Across all areas, just 30 percent of trips are less than half an hour long. The typically short travel times also underline the fact that such centres serve a very local population, with 79 percent of shoppers undertaking journeys of less than 20 minutes, and 46 percent journeys of less than 10 minutes.

Savills also notes that community shopping centres have high conversion rates with 78 percent of shoppers spending money when they visit, with the average basket spend across all age groups being 36.60 pounds per visit, rising to 78 pounds for trips longer than two hours. Shoppers also tend to spend more on non-grocery goods on average 34 pounds, more than the average of 26 pounds for food-grocery purchases.

Hammerson to transform Highcross shopping centre

Hammerson has confirmed that it has been granted planning consent by Leicester County Council to complete a major reconfiguration of the former House of Fraser outlet unit at Highcross shopping centre.

The plans will allow Hammerson to create larger ‘experiential’ flagship stores, as well as introduce new brands to the shopping centre.

The former House of Fraser store spans across three floors, totally approximately 100,000 square foot, and will be reconfigured into eight new individual units of varying floorspace to accommodate a range of operators including retail, food and beverage and leisure, as Hammerson looks to “significantly enhancing the tenant mix at the centre”.

Three units have already been let to Zara and JD Sports, as well as Treetop Adventure Golf.

Zara will anchor the refurbished St Peter’s Square entrance, doubling the size of its existing unit to create a 35,500 square foot flagship store. The new, enlarged store will enable the global fashion brand to offer its full range of womenswear, menswear, shoes and accessories.

JS Sports is also increasing its footprint at Highcross, expanding into 20,400 square foot unit. While indoor mini golf operator, Treetop Adventure Golf, adds to the centre’s customer experience by “complementing the mix of retail and dining at the centre”, said Hammerson.

Peter Cooper, director UK shopping centres at Hammerson, said: “The planning approval marks a major milestone in the enhancement of Highcross, allowing us to put in place new flagships and concepts and create a fresh and relevant tenant mix. The plans also provide an opportunity to improve the entrance at St Peter’s Square, enhancing its link to the High Street in addition to breathing new life into the surrounding shopping streets.

“We are delighted to confirm upsized Zara and JD Sports stores, testament to the strength of the centre as the leading regional retail destination. The news reflects a wider trend within the retail industry in which we are seeing international brands prioritise large, flagship stores in key regional destinations.”

Work is expected to be completed in the second half of 2018.

Image: courtesy of Hammerson