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Amazon’s Prime Day has broken sales records with 60 percent growth globally compared with last year, surpassing sales seen on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

This year’s event marked the third annual Prime Day, which offers deals reserved exclusively for Amazon Prime members, and saw the online sale running for 30-hours, starting at 6pm on July 11.

Amazon said that tens of millions of Prime subscribers made a purchase on Prime Day 2017, more than 50 percent higher than the prior year, with the e-tailer’s Echo Dot being the most popular purchase globally.

The online retailer also added that more new members joined Prime on July 11 than on any single day before, as they looked to purchase the exclusive deals.

Other purchases in the UK included more than 13,000 pairs of sports shoes, over 31,000 exercise and fitness products, as well as toothbrushes, headphones, game consoles, toys, power tools, kitchen items, and camping gear.

Amazon UK country manager Doug Gurr said: “Prime members in the UK have loved Prime Day – in fact the day was our biggest day of the year so far, and by 9pm customers had already ordered more items than Prime Day last year.

UK retailers to see tougher pensions policy

British retailers, high street giants and fashion employers will see policies concerning pensions be more firmly regulated.

In the wake of the BHS scandal, the Pensions Regulator announced plans to 'fortify its policing of companies following recent scandals, stating that using its powers as a last resort is no longer appropriate,' according to the Retail Gazette.

The regulator conducted wide-ranging review of its practices after its effectiveness was brought into the spotlight in the BHS trails, which saw tens of thousands of workers’ pensions jeopardised.

Last month the Pensions Regulator stated UK listed companies payed out increasing bonuses to shareholders at the expense of shoring up their pension deficits. In its report, the regulator noted continuing uncertainty over future economic conditions highlights the important of effective risk management.

Work and pensions secretary David Gauke said a whitepaper from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) would “set out our proposed next steps on what reform is needed to support the sector, including the powers of the regulator. Our way forward is clear and we will ensure that the system continues to balance the needs of consumers, the schemes themselves and business for the future.”

Photo credit: The Pensions Regulator Blog

New app aims to spot counterfeit luxury goods

It was only a matter of time before an app was designed to see if online purchases of luxury goods are authentic or could indeed be counterfeit.

Entrupy, a tech startup, aims to solve any doubts if the Hermes Birkin or Chanel 2.55 you are buying online is the real deal.

The New York-based company recently raised 2.6 million dollars in a Series A funding round as it aims to expand its technology to become an industry standard application.

Founded in 2016, the company's software is used by hundreds of secondhand luxury sellers to authenticate goods where it can charge 10 dollars per authentication.

According to Luxury Daily, Entrupy’s technology looks to replace the subjective manual authentication process with one that is less open to human error or uncertainty. Using a device provided by the company, the user scans a product and sends images to Entrupy.

The service will compare the images to a database of millions of microscopic photos and return an answer on the product’s authenticity in seconds. The user can also create and share a certificate of authenticity. Entrupy’s on-demand solution allows businesses to authenticate anytime, anywhere with our mobile app and portable device.

How does it work?

The software has complex detection algorithms into that allow to analyze various materials ranging from canvas and leather to metal and wood. The Entrupy device that scans the item takes microscopic photographs of different areas and runs them through a computer that uses proprietary algorithms. Authentication accuracy of over 96.4 percent and is steadily increasing, according to Entrupy.

LVMH invited the company to showcase its solution at the conglomerate’s Luxury Lab during Viva Technology in 2016, just finished a Series A funding round.

"We are excited about the opportunity this funding gives us to accelerate the development and expansion of our solutions, increasing our ability to reach across product categories and geographies," said Vidyuth Srinivasan, CEO and co-founder of Entrupy. "We look forward to bringing to bear a future where trust is the norm in secondary-market transactions and no consumer gets duped or worse by a fake product."

Entrupy currently offers monthly plans which authenticate Hermes, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Godard, Dior, Gucci, Fendi, Burberry, Balenciaga and Prada styles.

Photo credit:Entrupy.com

Atty London and Genies List team up for pop-up

Online fashion platform Atty London and influencer consultancy Genies List have teamed up on a co-curated summer concept store on the King’s Road, London.

The 2,485 square foot pop-up, located at 227-229 King’s Road, will be open until July 31 and will sell a range of summer fashion and accessories including swimwear, baskets, jewellery, shoes and ready-to-wear, from a curated mix of brands and upcoming designers including Atty London, All Things Mochi, Octavia Hix, Sixty Ninety, NINI Molnar, I+I Jewellery, and Joyis London.

Commenting on the opening, Alexandra Pope, founder of Atty London said: “Securing prime space on a parade that attract a fashionable and modern consumer is a fantastic springboard for launching our seasonal concept store. We are delighted to be joining the Chelsea retail community and interacting with both new and loyal customers.”

The pop-up will also host a programme of in-store events including late-night shopping days, bloggers’ breakfast and a free weekly yoga class.

Sloane Stanley commercial property manager Hannah Grievson, added: “We are delighted to welcome this innovative and exciting collaboration between Atty London and Genies List which will deliver a unique mix of designers to King’s Road.

“We are always delighted to attract retailers with a distinctive experiential offer which we feel is a vital component to creating a compelling retail and leisure destination.”

Image: courtesy of Atty London

UK fashion sales suffered in June

Various states of uncertainty negatively affect consumer confidence, as was evident in Visa UK's Consumer Spending Index figures released this week.

Spending dropped in the second quarter to its lowest growth in nearly four years, and even the good amount of sunshine didn't prevent consumers from watching their pennies.

According to the report, spending fell 0.3 percent year on year from April to June, the lowest growth since 2013. High street spending fell 2.4 percent in the same period.

According to visa, fashion and footwear sales fell 0.5 percent, with homeware down 3.4 percent. Sales of jewellery increased with services and miscellaneous goods up 5.7 percent.

Kevin Jenkins, managing director at Visa UK and Ireland said the effect of inflation is fueling shoppers’ habits towards spending money on essentials. “The recent heatwave and summer sales have failed to reverse the high street’s fortunes, with face-to-face spend falling for the second consecutive month. On the other hand, e-commerce spend continued to grow, albeit at a slower rate compared to May.”

Annabel Fiddes, an economist at IHS Markit, is quoted in the Associated Press: “The marked deterioration in household expenditure trends since last year comes at a time when households are facing an increasingly challenging scenario of rising living costs and weaker wage growth. Consumer confidence has also been dampened by uncertainties linked to the outcome of the ongoing Brexit negotiations, the inconclusive General Election result, as well as relatively lacklustre growth across the UK economy.

Photo credit:Bond Street shoppers, source New West End company blog, www.newwestend.com

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