Tokyo named world’s “hottest” retail market

London - Japan’s capital Tokyo has been named the world’s “hottest” city for retail expansion, according to the latest CBRE report, ‘How Global is the Business of Retail?’.

The report, which tracks the target markets of new brands in 164 cities in 50 countries, found that Tokyo was the most popular after it attracted 63 new brands last year and that space in core areas of the Japanese capital remained highly sought after, despite mixed signals in the economy and an increase in the sales tax to eight percent in April 2014.

Tokyo named world’s “hottest” retail market

Singapore followed Tokyo with 58 new retail brands, while Abu Dhabi came in third with the arrival of 55 new retail brands. In Europe, Moscow came out on top with 41 new retail brands, closely followed by Paris with 40, while Berlin came in third with 29. Toronto stood out as the hottest market in the Americas, attracting 25 new international brands in 2014.

The research also revealed that US retailers are the most active when it comes to expanding into new global markets, in 2014, US retailers accounted for 26 percent of cross-border expansion, with Asia being the primary target, followed by Europe, the Middle East and then Africa.

Italian retailers were the second most active, accounting for 14 percent of cross-border expansion, followed by UK based retailers with 11 percent and French retailers at 10 percent. Globally, Europe accounted for 42 percent of retailer expansion, followed by Asia with 39 percent and the Middle East and Africa with 10 percent. North America was only a target for three percent of retailers.

Japan’s capital is world’s “hottest” city for retail expansion

“The core elements of globalisation, technology and demographic change, continue to have a dramatic impact on the business of retail. Demographic shifts in many countries have resulted in changes in both spending power and shopping habits. Technology enables retailers to enter markets and evaluate performance more swiftly,” said Brandon Famous, senior managing director, retail occupier advisory and transaction services, CBRE. “Consumer travelling patterns mean that many brands are well known before they even enter a market and the pent-up demand for the chance to purchase locally creates a ready-made market before entry.”

Mid-range fashion retailers remained the most active sector accounting for 21 percent of global expansion, followed by luxury and business retailers with 20 percent, and specialist clothing with 16 percent.

Famous added: “Consumers continue to view the physical store as their preferred mode of purchase and perhaps more importantly, as a point of social interaction.

“Consumers view shopping as a leisure activity and the continued expansion of brands and the development/improvement of shopping locations gives them the opportunity to embrace this.”

Images: Matsuya Ginza in Tokyo and CBRE

Victoria Beckham combining dress and denim lines

New York - The lady who went from Spice Girl, to the wife of a soccer super star, then a fashion icon, and finally an acclaimed fashion designer has some very major news. Victoria, Victoria Beckham, her sister dress line, will be adding pants to its offerings. They aren't just adding any pants either, they'll be adding jeans, the most major staple in everyone's wardrobe.

Beckham will be merging her Victoria Beckham dress line into her main line into her sister label as of pre-spring 2016. The collection will be at a luxury price point, with prices ranging anywhere from 195 dollars to 1900 dollars. In a statement, Beckham said, "I am very proud of the sense of fun and inclusiveness we’ve created with our sister brand since we launched. It’s now time to take the VVB girls on further adventures — beyond the parties and cocktails and into the workplace and the everyday. The key elements of the denim collection that have resonated incredibly well with my girl fit so neatly within the Victoria, Victoria Beckham line that over time we saw it only made sense to combine the two into one collection. The possibilities are really exciting.”

Having showed at NYFW this year, Beckham is gradually increasing the status and visibility of her line. From the woman who has been on everyone's best dressed list for almost two decades, only top quality can be expected from her collection. So far, she has been sure not to disappoint, so, she is sure to have an excellent selection of denim offerings.

Ted Baker to open new concept store in London next month

High street fashion label Ted Baker is set to open a new concept store at 132 Commercial Street, in London next month which will offer the brand's entire product range.

Founder of the Ted Baker and chief executive Ray Kelvin first mentioned plans of the store earlier this year, in March, and Drapers has confirmed the upcoming opening of the 6,000 square foot store, which has been dubbed 'Ted Baker & Moore.' Although each Ted Baker store is said to be uniquely themed, as the British label does not follow a 'one size fits all' approach for its stores, the new store will introduce a new concept.

Ted Baker to open new concept store in London next month

The new store will categorized into six distinct areas, including apparel, eyewear and bicycles. The store's interior will be based upon an industrial design, featuring exposed steel beams and concrete floors as well block wall paneling. The store will also feature digital window displays, similar to the ones seen in its concept store on Buchanan Street, in Glasgow, to showcase its Spring/Summer 2015 collection.

EcoChic Design Award launches 2015/16 cycle

Emerging designers better start preparing their best sustainable creations, as NGO Redress has officially launched the upcoming cycle for the EcoChic Design Award 2015/16. Following the success of last year's competition, which saw Central Saint Martins student Kevin Germanier as the winner, this season's cycle is open to entries from over 100 countries across Asia and Europe.

Now in its fifth year, the industry's largest sustainable fashion design competition to challenge designers to reduce and reuse textile waste, will host an exhibition at the Hysan Place in Hong Kong to celebrate its international growth since its inauguration in 2011. "The EcoChic Design Award is a powerful platform that is driving change in the fashion industry. Over the last five years, we've introduced sustainable fashion education to thousands of emerging designers, influenced global fashion brands to produce sustainable collections and reached millions of consumers," commented Christina Dean, Redress’ Founder.

"But whilst we pause for momentary celebration, we can't be complacent because textile waste is still a critical environmental and social issue and our work to inspire tomorrow’s leaders to be agents of change is far from over." The competition aims to promote the importance of rethinking fashion design education and the use of minimal waste design techniques as solutions to counter the growing issue of textile waste that is generated by the fashion industry and its global consumers.

The EcoChic Design Award 2015/16 is currently accepting entries from designers with less than three years' experience who live in any Asian and European country until August 15, 2015. Applicants must incorporate one or more of the three sustainable design techniques of zero-waste, up-cycling and reconstruction into their designs. The judge line-up, which includes Orsola de Castro, fashion designer and co-founder of Estethica and Fashion Revolution, will select 30 semi-finalists in September. The selection will be narrowed down to 10 finalists who will be flown to Hong Kong in January 2016 for the final fashion show taking place during HKTCD Fashion Week.

The first prize offers the winner the chance to design a capsule collection using upcycled materials for luxury label Shanghai Tang. "As China’s leading luxury brand, we believe it is important to embrace sustainable design and collaborate with multi stakeholders, from NGOs to emerging design talent, so as ultimately to influence consumers," commented Shanghai Tang Chairman, Raphael Le Masne de Chermont. "The fashion industry ought to be more and more eco-responsible." The second prize features a six-month mentorship with sustainable fashion designer, Orsola de Castro and the bonus prize this year will see one winner design a sustainable outfit for Hong Kong model Janet Ma.

H&M has thrown its doors open for the stampede of new recruits it aims hire ahead of its rapid expansion push in the US. In order to attract the right calibre of employees H&M has launched its first-ever national recruiting campaign, named 'Place of Possible,' targeted at young individuals seeking to start a career in the fashion industry.

The fast-fashion retailer currently operates 360 stores across the US, but will be opening an additional 61 new stores this year. To help find the many thousands of employees the Swedish fashion retailer hopes to hire, the new campaign will include national advertising across online channels, outdoor billboards, and in-store job displays as well as a college tour.

The campaign launch kicks off one week before the opening of the H&M's largest store in the world, a 65,000 square foot flagship store on Herald Square, in New York City. "We are proud to launch of the Place of Possible campaign because we believe the best investment we can make is in our employees," commented Daniel Kulle, president of H&M North America. "H&M loves bringing fashion to the world and we need to find employees that want to join us in our journey."

The new advertising campaign features fifty H&M employees whose career paths with the company are reflected the values of the campaign, with several of the employees in the campaign advancing from entry-level positions to developing long lasting careers. The retailer will be pushing its sustainability efforts, corporate social responsibilities as well as its benefits and advancement opportunities for staff to help locate their ideal candidates.

British accessories brand Cambridge Satchel Company is to open its first standalone men’s store in Covent Garden on June 8.

The 1,000 square foot store at 15 Short Gardens, Seven Dials, will stock the brand’s range of classic satchels, backpacks and trunks for men, and will launch with the new autumn/winter 2015 collection, which previewed at London Collections: Men in January.

Mario Muttenthaler, CMO at The Cambridge Satchel Company said: “Around 20 percent of our customers are men. Our range of traditional satchels has always been unisex and music bags as well as backpacks have been very popular with men.

“In 2014 we launched our expedition range, work bag range and a premium collection called the ‘Saddle Collection’ which were all tailored to men and very well received. It was therefore a natural next step to launch fully fledged men’s collection.”

Muttenthaler, who joined the brand last summer from the Net-a-porter Group’s MrPorter.com, added: “We identified a real need for an accessible range of utilitarian, good quality, British made bags for men. We are excited to offer the complete range in our retail stores and our global website cambridgesatchel.com.”

The brand’s first bricks and mortar store has been completely redesigned to cater specifically for a male audience and features materials such as oak, tweed, brass and leather in its construction, fixtures and fittings.

As well as housing the new men’s collection, the store will also stock unisex classics and seasonal specials. The glass-roofed atrium at the rear of the store will be used to showcase special collections and host events while the store’s basement will be used as an office.

British childrenswear brand Smalls, known for its range of everyday merino bodywear, is launching its collection in Australia with Melbourne retailer Big Dreams.

Founded by two New Zealand women who now live in the UK, Smalls has a collection of merino products for children aged 2-12 including vest and long-sleeve tops, created using merino sourced from Australia and New Zealand.

The line, which is currently sold via their own e-commerce store and ships worldwide, also counts Selfridges London and Babyccino Kids as its stockists, and now they’ve added Melbourne-based childrenswear boutique Big Dreams.

“We’re so excited to bring Smalls to Australia. It’s stylish enough to wear on its own or to layer up. A Smalls long sleeve under your favourite T-shirt or school uniform is the ultimate combo of comfort, warmth and cool,” Catriona Pharo, co-founder of Smalls told CWB. “What’s more, as a mum of three, I know that my kids need to be comfortable, and I want them to be happy underneath it all, in all seasons, no matter what they’re wearing on the outside.”

Retailers worldwide lose a staggering 1.75 trillion dollars annually in revenue due to the cost of overstocks, out-of-stocks and returns, according to new research from retail analyst firm IHL Group, commissioned by OrderDynamics.

In the ‘Retailers and the Ghost Economy: $1.77tn Reasons to be Afraid’ report, IHL notes that the impact of overstocks, out-of stocks and needless returns are three of the primary components “haunting” retails 14.5 trillion dollar worldwide economy. It states that these inefficiencies result in “monies left on the table and the loss of sales that otherwise would be available.”

The worldwide losses in these three categories are preventable returns, accounting for 642.6 billion dollars each year, out-of-stocks following closely with 634.1 billion dollars each year, and overstock stands at 471.9 billion dollars.

These losses IHL claims equals 11.7 percent of the annual revenue for a typical retailer, and by addressing the inefficiencies throughout their organisation could mean the equivalent of adding 117 million dollars in revenue for every one billion in retail sales, the equivalent to an additional 2.9 billion dollars in revenue for a 25 billion dollar retailer.

Commenting on the report, Greg Buzek, president of IHL Group, said: “Retailers all too often focus on a variety of ways to drive revenue and increase comparable year-over-year sales, but retailers can realise huge gains by addressing opportunities that are in hand and slipping through enterprise fingers.

“These problems are within retailers’ grasp to solve, but it requires more than data, more than business intelligence. It requires understanding the root causes of inventory and data disconnects and implementing the technology solutions and operational changes to address these revenue-limiting issues.”

Ethical Collection, a new online sustainable and ethical fashion retailer is to launch in the UK later this month. Created by Giovanna Eastwood. Ethical Collection will offer a range of internationally sourced high quality ethical fashion, whilst supporting sustainable projects and protecting the environment.

The e-tailer will be the only UK stockist for a number of ethical brands including luxury accessories label Cuero&Mor, handbag line Jade Tribe and eyewear brand Bohten.

Other brands to be featured include Aspiga, Beach Candy, Claire Fouché and Pachacuti, representing designs from Ghana, USA, Guatemala, India, and Kenya.

Each designer brand will be introduced to Ethical Collection’s customers with their own section to inform of their story, the origins of their collections, and the projects that they are supporting with their lines.

Prices will start from 30 pounds.

Harvey Nichols backs down from Amsterdam store opening plans

It seems as if British department store group Harvey Nichols has decided to back down from its plans to open a store in Amsterdam, the Netherlands following the announcement of the new boutique department store Haussmann opening during the second half of 2016.

Previous media reports indicated the Harvey Nichols was in talks with property investment group Emmes to lease the property adjacent to Marks & Spencer on the Rokin. Martin Smit, the owner of Emmes, revealed to local newspaper de Parool in December 2013, that they were in discussion with Harvey Nichols but things were "heading in the right direction." The website domain name Harveynichols.nl had been registered by Emmes Group and featured an opening page which read: "Amsterdam Opening 2016."

However, recently news emerged that a group of Dutch entrepreneurs and financial investors behind the department store have leased the 75,000 square foot store on Rokin 49 for the new Haussmann. Frans van der Kraan, founding partner and CEO of Haussmann, said Harvey Nichols had their eye on the property for a long time, but complications arose when it came to licensing the operations. "There are disadvantages to the exploitation of a established concept," he said to de Parool.

The website has been taken offline. A spokesperson for Harvey Nichols declined to comment on the move, stating: "Harvey Nichols does not provide comment on market rumour or speculation."