Cole Haan opens Thailand flagship

South-East Asia footwear retailer Star360 has announced the unveiling of its Cole Haan flagship store located at Central World, the largest lifestyle shopping destination in Bangkok.

International growth has been key for Cole Haan over the past several years. Since 2014, they have successfully established themselves in over 40 new markets throughout Asia Pacific, Latin America, Europe, and the Middle East.

The design and interior of this store features a series of rooms, which is inspired by a residential layout that showcases the brand's new innovative lifestyle products. This new layout allows for a wider range of footwear and accessories to be displayed.

Cole Haan opens Thailand flagship

Cole Haan opens new store in Bangkok

Coinciding with the unveiling of this new store is the Cole Haan Fall 2017 Extraordinary Women, Extraordinary Stories campaign featuring fashion icons Christy Turlington Burns and Karlie Kloss, captured by photographer Cass Bird.

Burns and Kloss both have major initiatives for giving back: Kode with Klossy, empowering young women and girls to learn to code as well as become leaders in tech, and Every Mother Counts, providing support to mothers around the world with access to essential maternity care.

"We are delighted that Star360 has partnered with us to launch this Cole Haan store in Thailand which will further give customers more access to Cole Haan's innovative and stylish collections for both men and women. This echoes our goal of further expanding and allowing astute customers to find extraordinary footwear and accessories throughout Southeast Asia and the world," said, Greg Dinges, executive vice president and general manager, International at Cole Haan.

photo:via PR Newswire
Under Armour opens its first European flagship store in Amsterdam


Amsterdam - US sportswear brand Under Armour opened its debut flagship store in Europe in Amsterdam Thursday evening. The store, which is the first and largest Brand House store from Under Armour, spans more than 1,000 square meters.

Under Armour opens its first European flagship store in Amsterdam

Located on the Kalverstraat, a main shopping street in the city, the new Brand House offers Under Armour's menswear, womenswear, childrenswear as well as footwear. In addition, the flagship store also offers the brand's accessories, which are divided by category: training, running, golf and football. "This store is very important to us," said Paul Nugent, Senior Direct for Marketing to Yankeemagazines during the store opening. "We are a young brand and we are still putting Under Armour on the map in the Netherlands. We first introduced the brand to the country a year ago, established our European headquarters in the city and now we have opened a store. Now we have to take the brand to the next level."

Under Armour opens its first European flagship store in Amsterdam

"Today is a huge milestone for Under Armor in Europe, where our growth in the region continues to grow, " added Susie McCabe, Senior Vice President, Global Retail, Under Armour. "The premium quality of the store is fully in line with the other Brand Houses worldwide. Under Armour has, of course, added local elements that reflect the style and liveliness of Dutch and Amsterdam culture."

Amsterdam was a logical location for the brand to select when it came to opening their first flagship store. "There is something special about Amsterdam. There is a certain atmosphere in this city that radiates that 'we can achieve any goal.' That aligns exactly with the brand. The experience in the Under Armor store is very important to us. We want people to be inspired when they come in and feel that they want and can become better and a Brand House must be the place that represents the brand. Not just because of the technology behind a product, but also because of the feeling it evokes," added Nugent.

Under Armour opens its first European flagship store in Amsterdam

For the time being the brand does not intend to open any additional European stores. Under Armour is rather currently focusing its attention on its store in Amsterdam and will see how things pan out in the future. "The beauty of Under Armor is that we do not have a specific strategy in each market that we always follow, but we respond to opportunities. So we will see what the future brings us," concluded Nugent.

Founded by Kevin Plank in Baltimore, Maryland in 1996, the company has grown over the years and is present across the globe. The US sportswear brand currently operates a number of offices around the world, including its European head office in Amsterdam South.

Photos: Courtesy of Under Armour
McArthurGlen plans seventh designer outlet in the UK

McArthurGlen, which owns designer outlets at Cheshire Oaks, Ashford and York, is planning to open a seventh location in Cannock, 30 minutes from Birmingham, in a joint venture with U+I, Rioja Developments Limited and Aviva Investors.

The joint venture will see the companies investing more than 160 million pounds in the project with the development set to span 285,200 square feet across two phases and including improvements to the road infrastructure.

U+I and Rioja Developments have already secured planning approval for Cannock Designer Outlet from Cannock Chase District Council in September 2016 following extensive consultations with the local community. With the project set to be developed and built by McArthurGlen, U+I and Rioja Developments, and once it is completed, McArthurGlen will manage the centre, said the companies in a statement.

McArthurGlen plans seventh designer outlet in the UK

Gary Bond, joint managing director of development at McArthurGlen, said: “We are delighted to announce what will be the Group’s twenty-sixth centre and our seventh in the UK, and we look forward to working with our joint venture partners U+I, Aviva and The Richardson Family. The new centre will sit within a rapidly growing portfolio which currently has an active development pipeline of 150,000 square metres.”

Construction of Phase I will begin in the early part of 2018 and the opening is planned for spring 2020 and will feature 80 stores restaurants and cafes, a children’s play area and 1,400 parking spaces, with views over the beautiful Mill Green Nature Reserve.

McArthurGlen forms joint venture to launch plans for Designer Outlet Cannock

The designer outlet, which is located close to Birmingham with a 40-minute direct train journey, is expected to generate significant local economic activity over the next ten years, creating over 1,000 jobs and increasing visitor numbers, which the joint venture states will benefit the local community and its businesses.

Matthew Weiner chief executive at U+I Group Plc, added: “We are delighted to be working as development partner with McArthurGlen. The site’s location and potential are enormous and now that we have secured the planning consents, we are focussed on working with our partners to transform this site into a thriving community hub.

“The high-quality shops, restaurants, and other amenities will attract visitors from near and far, stimulate the local economy and create over 1000 jobs. Importantly, this project will protect and enhance the natural environment which surrounds it.”

McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Cannock will be situated in what is one of the most densely populated and affluent catchments in the UK. Over 11 million consumers live within a 90-minute catchment, making it one of the largest in McArthurGlen’s UK portfolio. It will be located close to many of central England’s most popular attractions, including: the Cannock Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty which attracts two million visitors a year; Alton Towers, the UK’s largest theme park; Stratford-upon-Avon, the home of Shakespeare; the iconic West Midlands Safari Park, and the popular chocolate factory at Cadbury World.

Commenting on the development, Councillor George Adamson, leader of Cannock Chase Council said: "The Council has supported the Outlet Village scheme over many years and I am pleased that it is now coming to fruition. It will become a major tourist destination and is a major boost for Cannock Chase.”

CGI Images: courtesy of McArthurGlen

PODCAST - In this monthly Style Friday podcast series by Euromonitor International, we will have a closer look at Unlocking the Spending Power of Women in Electronics with Karissa Chua, research analyst at Euromonitor International.

With increased access to higher education and more women entering the labour force, women are more empowered than before. The higher spending power of women is fueling the rise of the She-conomy.

Why should manufacturers and retailers be more proactive in selling to women?

Unlocking the Spending Power of Electronics for Women

Women account for 50 percent of the population in 2016. However they are already contributing to 60 percent of consumer spending on apparel and footwear. Female-driven industries such as personal accessories are almost 80 percent the size of consumer electronics in value terms which really demonstrates the untapped potential of the spending power of women.

Marni reopens Shanghai boutique

Marni has reopened its Shanghai boutique on Mainland China at Shanghai's Reel Department Store. To celebrate the grand reopening of their boutique, they had their first ever Marni Christmas Carnival. In total, the brand has 15 stores throughout China.

In honor of the event, Marni launched a line of puppets called "Marni Visitors," a range of puppets commissioned from Colombian artists. A portion of the proceeds are donated to children's charity Piccolo Principe.

In addition, five limited-edition trunk bags were also designed for the Christmas Carnival.

Marni has been undergoing an era of transformation since new creative director Francesco Risso took over from founder and designer Consuelo Castiglioni last year. The designers first collection was met with mixed reviews, but he's trying to take the criticism to improve upon the collections. The 33-year-old designer, who was formerly designer of Prada womenswear, has his work cut out for him following in the footsteps of Marni's acclaimed founder, but he slowly seems to be finding his footing.

photo: via Marni.com
In Pictures: Amazon's debut campaign for Iris & Lilly

London - Amazon Style Europe, the European fashion arm of US online giant, has unveiled its debut campaign for its in-house lingerie brand Iris & Lilly. The campaign, shot by acclaimed photographer Cass Bird, aims to celebrate authenticity and natural beauty.

In Pictures: Amazon's debut campaign for Iris & Lilly

The first campaign for the lingerie brand features Mia Kang, a model and professional Muay Thai fighter, who is also a close friend of the US photographer, in an intimate setting. The resulting photos aim to highlight the close bond between the two while linking the similarities between having a good friend and the best, supportive yet comfortable lingerie.

In Pictures: Amazon's debut campaign for Iris & Lilly

The new collection from the brand is currently available at Amazon.co.uk and includes more than 500 styles, ranging from delicate lace underwear to athleisure inspired pieces, in trendy colors such as soft pink, deep royal blue and classic black. Prices for the collection range from 2.99 pounds for a hipster brief to 15.99 for a lace bra.

In Pictures: Amazon's debut campaign for Iris & LillyIn Pictures: Amazon's debut campaign for Iris & LillyIn Pictures: Amazon's debut campaign for Iris & LillyIn Pictures: Amazon's debut campaign for Iris & Lilly

Photos: Courtesy of Amazon Style

British Land completes its 60 million pound Meadowhall refurb

British Land, joint owner of Meadowhall, one of the UK’s premier shopping destinations, has announced that the 60 million pounds refurbishment of the Yorkshire centre has completed its two-year programme.

The refurbishment, which has seen 40 million pounds invested in store upgrades, has seen more than 70 brands including existing and new additions to Meadowhall’s line-up. New brands added have included the first-ever physical store for online retailer Joe Browns, as well as Michael Kors, Flannels, Urban Decay, Skinny Dip, Tag Heuer, iSmash, Diesel, Joules, Jack Wills, Neal’s Yard, Nespresso, T2, schuh Kids, Pret a Manger, GBK, Barburrito, and Tapas Revolution.

Charles Maudsley, head of retail, leisure and residential for British Land, said: “The transformation we have achieved at Meadowhall is a great example of how we have listened to our customers and responded to their needs to create space that works for shoppers and enables retailers to thrive in an omni-channel world.

“It also demonstrates the value we place in working in partnership with the community to deliver significant, long-lasting benefits to the Sheffield City Region.”

British Land completes its 60 million pound Meadowhall refurb

Other highlights from the refurbishment has seen the creation of four districts each with a distinctive character and offering, while columns and bulkheads have been reduced or removed to create a lighter, brighter mall, with new glazing, improved lighting and new customer seating added.

A number of brands including All Saints and Hollister have introduced double height flagship formats, while Primark, River Island, Sports Direct, Build-A-Bear, JD Sports, Virgin Holidays and The Entertainer have all upsized or increased their brand presence in the shopping centre, and retailers Marks and Spencer, House of Fraser, Ted Baker and Timberland have redesigned their existing units.

Meadowhall completes two-year 60 million pounds refurbishment programme

Claire Barber, head of Meadowhall for British Land, added: “Meadowhall is a very different place as a result of our investment. It is lighter and brighter; the space is more modern and the offer is significantly enhanced so it is the first choice for shoppers across the region. Together with our longer term plans for the centre, Meadowhall has a great future as one of the leading retail and leisure destinations in the UK.”

The investment has already impacted the shopping centre performance with footfall on Black Friday up 8 percent, making it the busiest on record, and the prime Zone A rental area has risen to over 400 pounds, reflecting “very strong demand for space” with 30 new retailers signing in the last 18 months, said British Land.

The refurbishment has also impacted on the region and Sheffield City, with more than 1,200 jobs created to deliver the refurbishment, with 35 percent of the workforce living in Sheffield and 41 percent overall from the Sheffield City Region.

British Land completes its 60 million pound Meadowhall refurb

In addition, almost 50 percent of the 60 million pounds spent on the refurb has been awarded to SMEs, while 70 percent of the project spend was made within 25 miles of Meadowhall, with 55 percent being spent in the Sheffield City Region.

The refurbishment of Meadowhall will be followed by the development of a Leisure Hall, which was granted planning consent in an unanimous vote by Sheffield City Council’s planning committee in September. The 300 million pounds extension will add 330,000 square foot of new catering and leisure to Meadowhall, as well as enhanced public realm and other amenities.

Images: courtesy of British Land/Meadowhall

Primark signs deal to open in Westfield London

Budget fashion and lifestyle retailer Primark has signed a deal to open a 70,000 square foot store within the new 600 million pound expansion of Westfield London.

Primark is currently fitting out the new London store, which is set to open in the summer, ahead of the 10 year anniversary celebrations for Westfield London. The store will house women’s, men’s and children’s fashions including footwear and accessories as well as lingerie, beauty and homeware, and the design and layout of the store will build on Primark’s latest contemporary retail concept, said the retailer.

Keith Mabbett, director of leasing, Westfield UK and Europe, said: “We are delighted to announce that Primark will open in the UK in 2018 at Westfield London. The arrival of this much loved brand will be hugely popular amongst customers as one of the most requested new stores to the centre. Primark has attracted millions of visitors to Westfield Stratford City, and the expansion of Westfield London has enabled us to provide large-scale modern retail space for this important retailer.”

Primark to open 70,000 square foot store within Westfield London extension

In addition, Westfield London also named additional retailers that will join the line-up of stores including women’s lingerie retailer Bravissimo, which has secured a 4,800 square foot unit, while men’s fashion brands Frencheye is taking a 1,302 square foot store and Emperor will be launching its first store in the UK with a 581 square foot unit. Luxury beauty brands Space NK and Urban Decay has also signed up, as well as Currys PC World.

These new retailers will join the already announced 230,000 square foot full line John Lewis department store within the expansion, alongside Chinese fashion brand Urban Revivo’s 22,000 square foot flagship to mark its first outside of Asia.

Mabbett added: “London continues to be an attractive destination for major international retailers and we’re working closely with brands to deliver new and innovative retail spaces that create the ideal environment for a remarkable shopping and entertainment experience.”

The extension has also allowed a number of existing brands to open larger stores, whilst others have taken the opportunity to create newly configured space, with H&M, Adidas, Boots, Lush, The White Company, Monsoon, Guess, UGG and Cath Kidston all set to launch bigger stores within the expansion to coincide with the March opening. Those taking larger footprints follow the lead of Zara earlier this year, whose own expansion created the brand’s largest shop in the UK at 42,000 square foot as part of Westfield’s new concept, The High Street of Flagships.

The construction of the 600 million pound retail expansion of Westfield London began in 2015 and is targeted to launch in March 2018. On completion, Westfield London will comprise around 450 shops across 2.6 million square foot to become the largest shopping centre in Europe.

Image: courtesy of Westfield London

PrettyLittleThing is the fastest growing global consumer brand by search interest

London - Online fashion retailer PrettyLittleThing has been ranked as the fastest growing global consumer brand in terms of growth in 'search interest.'

According to the annual Global Consumer Brand survey, search interest for PrettyLittleThing peaked from January 2016 to November 20, 2017, listing the brand ahead of luxury fashion houses Gucci and Louis Vuitton, which came in second and third place respectively.

The British brand's search interest growth is said to have been driven by its concentration on social media as well as its collaborations with a number of high profile influencers and brands ambassadors in the US, such as Kourtney Kardashian. This social media push, combined with its above the line advertising raising brand awareness among millennials and generation z, has lead to increasing search interest in the brand.

"We work very hard as a team to ensure we deliver what our target demographic aspires to," commented co-founder and CEO of PrettyLittleThing Umar Kamani. "Our youthful management team allows us to deliver this in a competitive manner. It’s a family culture at PLT and we feel this is a huge marker for our continued success."

The annual survey, carried out by the Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment, uses Google Trends to measure 'search interest'. PrettyLittleThing’s search interest score topped the growth rankings this year, increasing 134 percent between 2016 and 2017, up from 25 percent in 2016 to 58.59 percent in 2017.

Photo: PrettyLittleThing, website

Céline moves into e-commerce with launch of celine.com

London- One of the last luxury fashion houses to shun an online store has finally ventured into e-commerce: Céline. The French fashion house, owned by luxury company LVMH, is taking on an omnichannel business model with the launch of its renewed website celine.com, marking the first time the luxury label offers all its products for sale online.

Céline is first launching e-commerce in France in order to test the waters, with plans to roll out it out to Europe and the US in 2018, and later in Japan in 2019, according to WWD. Celine.com's launch will be communicated to French consumers through the means of a new digital campaign which will be unveiled in France from mid-December onwards.

The new, minimalistic design of the website links back to the luxury fashion house's sleek brand image curated by its creative director Phoebe Philo. As the only online webshop for Céline, the platform also offers a list of related customer services, such as the option for click and collection in store, in-store returns, booking in-store appointments or scheduling in an at home collection.

"E-commerce is launching as planned with ambitious business objectives, but also as a key tool to increase visibility, recruit new clients and provide a full service to our clients who are looking for a global experience, mixing digital and physical touchpoints," said a spokesperson for the brand to WWD.

The launch of celine.com comes days after speculation concerning Céline's shift online re-emerged. The move sees Céline join the likes of Gucci and Louis Vuitton in embracing e-commerce, as data from consultancy firm Bain predicts online sales of luxury goods to grow 24 percent in 2017.

Photo: Celine, website