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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

Over half of the UK’s micro-businesses feel that the rising cost of energy is threatening their future, according to a new report commissioned by Utilita Energy.

The report reveals that majority of micro-businesses say they are currently penalised by energy providers with almost half (45 percent) asked to make large upfront payments, while a third (31 percent) claim they are on a high tariff because they are seen as a credit risk, and one in five (21 percent) were turned down by energy suppliers.

The results revealed to coincide with Independent Retailer Month taking place in July, adds that 42 percent of small business retailers feel they get an unfair deal from energy suppliers and 71 percent state they have been caught out by unexpected terms and conditions such as crippling rates, inflexible payment terms, high deposits and extended contracts.

Clare Bailey, independent retail expert and high street campaigner, said: “Passionate, retail business owners are the life-blood of a place – not only do they break up the monotony of “clone-town Britain”, where the same chain stores, coffee shops and betting shops would otherwise populate our high streets, but they make a considerable commercial contribution.

“Statistics illustrate that for every 1 pound spent with a local, independent retailer, some 50-70 pence circulates back into that same community. That same 1 pound spent in a chain store may only return 5 pence to the local economy. So, when you support local stores you are making 10 times more impact, boosting the economic health of your area.”

According to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, micro-businesses now account for an estimated 5.2 million UK private sector businesses making up approximately 94 percent of the UK private business sector. Utilita’s independent survey of over 500 micro-business owners reveals that on average their fuel costs had increased by 215 pounds in the last year.

Shaun Underwood, director of Utilita Business Energy, said: “We should be supporting Britain’s small businesses in these times of uncertainty – but it is clear that there are a significant and growing number of small businesses that appear to be treated unfairly and have very real concerns. I believe customers should not be asked to pay crippling up-front deposits when cash flow is a problem, should not be put onto discriminative contract rates and should not be punished or shunned by suppliers.”

Bailey added: “A secure, affordable energy supply is vital for these businesses; it literally ‘keeps the lights on’ and the business operating. It is clear from the results of the survey undertaken by Utilita that too many of our small businesses feel they are getting a raw deal on prices and how they are treated.”

Halfpenny London expands Bloomsbury atelier

Designer bridal brand Halfpenny London has expanded and moved their Bloomsbury atelier in London into a new premise opposite their existing boutique.

Commenting on the expansion, Kate Halfpenny, founder and creative director said: ”It was beyond exciting to expand into no.9. It was a dream to find a space near by for the new Atelier as we had totally out grown the old space under the boutique, I couldn't believe it when we got the opportunity to take over number 9.

Halfpenny London expands Bloomsbury atelier

“The collection has grown over the last 4 years and with wholesale booming and in house production the new studios and sewing rooms are a dream, I don't know how we managed before."

The new store location means that Halfpenny London can dedicate the previously operated store to customers across the two floors, turning the downstairs studio and office space into a large fitting room for brides-to-be.

Halfpenny London expands Bloomsbury atelier

Halfpenny London can now be found at both No10 and No9 Woburn Walk in Bloomsbury, London.

Images: courtesy of Halfpenny London and Claire Graham Photography

Zalando launches premium membership program: Zalando Zet

Online retail giant Zalando is set to introduce Zalando Zet, a new program which offers customized premium services such as the pick-up of returns on demand and direct access to stylists and experts. Zalando is currently launching the first phase of the new program, which is available via invite-only in four cities in Germany - Berlin, Leipzig, Frankfurt, and Hannover.

Zalando Zet offers a series of benefits along the entire customer journey, starting with early access to sales. The premium service includes direct contact with stylists and experts via the telephone or Facebook chat according to customer preferences, same-day delivery, dedicated customer service and a new return-on-demand service which gives customers the opportunity to have their returns picked up within two hours at a time and place of their convenience.

Zalando launches premium membership program: Zalando Zet

Zalando ups customer service levels with Zalando Zet

“To make it as easy as possible to buy fashion online, Zalando constantly invests into customers by piloting new and innovative services and partnering with brands and retailers. Zalando Zet is the next step within our strategy of providing an even more frictionless shopping experience, tailored to fashion,” commented David Schröder, Senior Vice President Convenience at Zalando.

The new program is part of Zalando's wider aim to offer the best customer experience possible, which includes its 100-day free return and shipping policy. "Service is key to our customers," added Lisa Schöner, Head of Zalando Zet. "Zalando Zet combines the best of both online and offline shopping: Customers receive orders faster and return items easier. Furthermore, Zalando Zet adds a personal experience, as customers can ask Zalando about the latest trends or if they are unsure how to combine the shirt they just ordered."

Zalando launches premium membership program: Zalando Zet

During the first phase of Zalando Zet, selected customers in four cities in Germany will be able to test the premium service for no additional cost for three months. After that, they can choose to become members for 19 euros a year. Additional cities in Germany will follow over the next few months.

The launch of the program, which was announced together with Zalando's first half year results for 2017 sees the German online retailer following in the footsteps of Amazon, by offering a dedicated premium service for selected customers. Amazon Prime members have access to video streaming, music, e-books, unlimited fast and free-shipping in addition to a variety of other services from the online retailer, for 7.99 pounds a month.

Photos: Courtesy of Zalando

Fashion retailer & Other Stories is the latest major retailer to announce a new location at King’s Cross as the area looks set to become one of London’s fashion hubs.

The new 5,920 square foot store, the retailer’s fifth in London, will be located on King’s Boulevard and will open in autumn 2017. The store will sell a selection of accessories, stationery, bags, jewellery, beauty products, shoes and ready-to-wear collections.

Samuel Fernström, managing director, & Other Stories, said: “We’re thrilled to have found a great location in the King’s Cross neighbourhood. There’s a very creative atmosphere here with Central Saint Martins just around the corner, making us feel right at home. We can’t wait to open our doors this autumn.”

The King’s Cross area has become a key destination for fashion retailers, with Nike Central, the new concept from the sportswear giant opening last year, and Jigsaw, Carhartt WIP and 18montrose are all set to open new stores in the coming months.

Annual footfall on King’s Boulevard is estimated to reach 18 million people by 2019. In addition, in autumn 2018 the main concentration of retail at King’s Cross, Coal Drops Yard, which offers 100,000 square foot for up to 65 shops and a major restaurant.

Craig White, project director at Argent, added: “The retail evolution at King’s Cross is continuing at pace and the addition of & Other Stories joining Jigsaw and Carhartt WIP on King’s Boulevard later this year, is exciting news for shoppers who will be treated to influential brands with fresh approaches to visual merchandising innovation, handpicked to bring the very best in fashion and lifestyle to the area.”

Cath Kidston to relocate Guildford store

Fashion and lifestyle brand Cath Kidston has confirmed that it is moving its Guildford store to the new Tunsgate Quarter retail and restaurant development in the centre of the town.

Cath Kidston has signed up to a 1,770 square foot unit in the new Tunsgate Quarter development, which will comprise of 18 retail shops and 8 restaurants when it opens in October this year.

Sue Carvell, commercial director of Cath Kidston, said: “We’re excited to be opening a larger store in Guildford, reflecting the success we have seen in the town over the past 10 years.

“We already know how much our local customers enjoy our products and the brand new store will allow us to showcase even more of our popular products. Tunsgate Quarter will be the perfect location for us, and we can’t wait to open when the development is completed.”

Cath Kidston to relocate Guildford store

The new larger Cath Kidston store will allow the retailer to showcase a wider range of the brand’s fashion, accessories, kids and homeware lines.

The new 80,000 square foot retail development will span over two levels and will have views over Guildford Castle and its gardens and will connect the High Street with Castle Street.

Other brands that have already signed up includes The White Company, which has signed up to a 5,000 square foot store, doubling the size of its store in the town. The new store will offer the brand’s lifestyle products, high-quality home furnishings, and stylish clothing for women, men and children.

Additional retailers includes Loaf, and Bobbi Brown, while British homewares brand Oka and the Ivy Collection will anchor the development.

Images: Artist impressions courtesy of Tunsgate Quarter