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A short video advert released by high street retailer Superdry featuring a free-runner walking along a steel support beam high above a cityscape has been branded "harmful and irresponsible" by the UK's Advertising Standards Authority.

The advert, which was originally released in late October, stars Harry Gallagher, a free-runner under the name of Nightscape, walking along a steel beam late at night wearing Superdry apparel. However, after receiving a complaint that the advert may encourage young children to try and copy the professional parkour's activity, which is an extreme urban sport, the UK watchdog has branded the advert as "harmful and irresponsible."

The ASA ruled the advert was socially irresponsible as it encourages "unsafe practice" because it did not present the free-runner's activity as part of a particular sport activity or state that this was an activity which should only be undertaken by trained athletes. In particular, the ASA found that a short part of the clip with the text 'this is the jacket that gives you a different view' gave viewers the impression that free-running was a normal thing to do.

Superdry countered that the short video advert featured its range of jackets and that it was not targeting children as Gallagher was wearing products clearing designed for adults. However, the ASA argued that social media influencer chosen to star in the ad is associated with youth culture. "While we acknowledged the lack of ease of access to such a location meant it would not be an easy activity to emulate, we considered it was likely to appeal to some young adults as an act of dexterity and daring," said the ASA.

"For those reasons, we concluded that the ad was harmful and irresponsible."

John Lewis is set to extend its Click & Collection order cut off by 24 hours. Customers now have the chance to place their orders in time for Christmas until 8 pm on Saturday, 23 December.

Afterwards, they can collect their parcels in store until closing time on Christmas Eve. The British department store group, which operates 35 stores across the country, is set to remain open as usual on Christmas Eve in accordance with normal Sunday opening times.

"With Christmas Eve falling on a Sunday this year we're expecting to see a gifting surge right up until the last minute," commented Dino Rocos, Operations Director, John Lewis. "We make very specific commitments to deliver for our customers - and this promise is all the more important at Christmas when people are looking to share gifts with their loved ones."

"Our decision to extend Click & Collect cut off times this Christmas means that for our customers the stress of Christmas shopping is a thing of the past, allowing them to spend more time with their families and less time chasing parcels at this important time of year. In addition, our Click & Collect process is managed internally within the John Lewis network which helps us to maintain our high level of customer service."

Colette: 20 key facts on the most iconic Parisian concept store INFOGRAPHIC

London - On December 20th, the world most iconic Parisian concept fashion store is set to close its doors for good. Located at 213 rue Saint-Honoré, Colette truly is one of a kind. The store, which was founded in 1997 by Colette Roussaux and her daughter Sarah Andelman.

Over the course of 20 years, the store became something more than just another luxury fashion store - it pioneered limited-edition collaborations between luxury fashion houses and street-wear designers, offered unique gadgets, design, and music related products next to fashion and hosted in-store events. Now with the retirement of one of its founders, Colette is too remain open until 7 pm tonight for the very last time. Its online store will be taking orders until 23:59 pm and then will also cease to trade.

Colette to shut doors for good on December 20th

In honour of Colette’s impact on the fashion industry, Yankeemagazines has gathered 20 key facts about the Parisian concept store you may not have known and share them with you below.

Colette: 20 key facts on the most iconic Parisian concept store

See our interactive story map here:

Style mourns as cult Paris store Colette closes

They may not yet be weeping in the streets, but for French fashionistas, the closure Wednesday of Colette, the concept store which has become a Paris style institution, ranks nothing short of a national tragedy.

"I cannot believe it is closing," said style commentator Melody Thomas in one of a blizzard of articles and blog posts mourning the passing of the mother of all lifestyle stores, where Madonna, Kim Kardashian and Katy Perry shopped for quirky objects of desire.

The three-storey boutique on chi-chi Rue Saint-Honore, founded by Colette Roussaux 20 years ago, was far more than a gadget or design store to its many celebrity fans. It pioneered limited-edition collaborations between luxury brands and street fashion stars, and cheekily poked fun at Saint Laurent with the T-shirt "Ain't Laurent Without Yves" when the label stopped using its founder's first name.

With a basement Water Bar where you could sip iceberg melt water or anti-ageing spirulina seaweed cocktails, it soon sparked imitators across the globe. But for regular browsers like Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld, it was never bettered. "It's the only shop where I go because they have things no one else has," he said.

"If Paris is the centre of the (fashion) world, Colette is the centre of Paris," said fashion documentary maker and Twitter wit Loic Prigent. "When Rihanna comes to Paris she goes to Colette. It's the same for Beyonce and Madonna and the others. Colette is a centrifuge," he said.

With the shop still booming, the store announced in July that Roussaux wanted to bow out at the top.

'Coolest shop in town'

She had got to "the age to take your time -- and Colette cannot exist without Colette," the store said. "All good things come to an end." While style lovers applauded her for not selling out, they were heartbroken that she and her daughter Sarah Andelman would no longer be at the helm of what Vogue critic Suzy Menkes called "the coolest shop in town".

Ironically, the building is being taken over by Saint Laurent, which once threatened to sue Colette over that cheeky T-shirt. "We are totally disappointed it is closing. It's a mythic place," shoppers Gabriel and Kevin told AFP on the eve of its closure.

"You come to Colette's to find something really exclusive," said the Parisian friends who now live in Canada, recalling the tiny run of 1,000-euro (1,180 USD) trainers Chanel made with the singer Pharrell Williams.

With only hours left before Colette closed for good, shoppers thronged the store, flitting between its trademark mix of humble and luxury wares -- a novelty sponge selling for four euros next to a 9,990-euro Saint Laurent jacket. (AFP)

Photo: Courtesy of Colette

How Filippa K aims to become 'the most relevant Scandinavian brand'

INTERVIEWAmsterdam - Although Filippa K may not be the most well known Swedish brand, it is one of the fashion labels which helped established the now-iconic Scandinavian, minimal look back in the early 90s. Best known for its high-quality, well-fitting and sustainable styles, Filippa K has expanded across Northern Europe over the past 25 years, setting up shop in cities such as Stockholm, Amsterdam, and Berlin. Now with the return of its founder, Filippa Knutsson, as its creative director, the brand aims to continue its success story by becoming "the most relevant Scandinavian brand on a global stage."

In order to learn more about Filippa K plans for the future, Yankeemagazines spoke with the brand's CEO, Kristofer Tonström and Brand Director Karl-Johan Bogefors at the opening of the label's latest flagship store in Amsterdam.

How Filippa K aims to become 'the most relevant Scandinavian brand'

"Filippa has been out of the business over the last five years and there has been a lot of internationalization during that time," explained Tonström. "But now we see a huge opportunity to be at the forefront of the digital world as well as grow even more internationally." Knutsson rejoined the company one year ago, after realizing that the brand was in danger of drifting off the course she'd envisioned for it. She helped restructured the company's internal organization, first hiring Tonström as CEO before convincing Bogefors to return to the company as brand director this fall.

Kristofer Tonström: 'The main focus is to be a relevant, consumer-focused Scandinavian brand on a global stage'

"I think it is great to have Filippa back at the company in a leading role - I feel like the brand has always been at its best when she had her hand in it, so I am excited for the future," said Bogefors, while giving a tour of Filippa K latest flagship store, which features its full women's, men's and Soft Sport collections. Knutsson asked him to rejoin the company after a ten-year absence and since coming back on board Bogefors has noticed that Filippa K is even more entrepreneurial than before. "There is real potential to continue growing the brand and its collections - especially Soft Sport." The rise of athleisure and an increasing interest in health and fitness has led to a more demand for Filippa K sub-label, which offers functional, comfortable yoga and loungewear.

In Filippa K’s new flagship store on the Utrechtsestraat, the upper mezzanine is dedicated to the brand's Soft Sport, underlining the growing importance the label has in the Filippa K world. "There is a real opportunity to look at the brand and it's business and how to grow it creatively,” said Tonström. His vision to ensure Filippa becomes the 'most relevant Scandinavian brand' stems from his strong belief that Filippa K is one-of-a-kind. "Filippa K is different from the majority of fashion brands out there on the market today because it promotes mindful consumption through its minimalistic and clean design aesthetic which is designed to last years." The brand's strong style signature has helped it win loyal fans across Sweden, Denmark, Belgium and the Netherlands, but now the new CEO is keen to establish a strategy to ensure Filippa K's ongoing expansion.

How Filippa K aims to become 'the most relevant Scandinavian brand'

"We have the chance to really look at the brand and company and ask what do we have to do now and for the next 25 years. So if we were to start this company again how would we think about the future. It’s really been like starting out with a blank sheet of paper." Tonström sees a number of opportunities for Filippa K's future growth in Northern Europe, as he acknowledges traditional retail, is facing a number of challenges at the moment. "We want to be much faster to respond to them, and so we have made some changes in order to achieve this."

Filippa K to expand its digital presence throughout Northern Europe

In addition to restructuring its management team, Filippa K has also trimmed off some of its 'middle layers' and made a number of changes to how it operations its business across Europe. Although the brand aims to become more global, Tonström does not want to spread the company too thinly by trying to be in to everywhere at the same time. Which is why the brand is focusing on strengthening its presence in its main hubs. "For us, this is our historical heart is in Stockholm. Filippa herself is based in London and Amsterdam is the third big hub where we see big potential. That is also why we have invested in our fourth store in Amsterdam,” explained Tonström.

“The overall ambition is that we become the most relevant Scandinavian brand on a global stage.” However, in order to become the most relevant Scandinavian brand, Filippa K may have to go head-to-head with other Swedish and Danish fashion giants. But for Tonström being the most relevant brand is more than just competing with others. “It is about being relevant to consumers - it’s not enough to do two nice campaigns a year, it’s about being much closer to the consumer and ensuring you have a dialogue with them on a weekly basis.” To ensure Filippa K is able to connect with their customers as well as potential new consumers this means the brand has to be present where they are, which is why the brand is heavily investing in building up their technical capabilities. “We are trying to build a company that can win globally online.”

Tonström sees real potential in developing Filippa K into a digitally led brand, as well as a one with a strong physical presence, as evident in their new store opening. “It’s about having the right stores in the right locations coupled with the right type of online presence,” he stressed. To help boost their online presence, as well as their online engagement with their customers and online revenues Filippa K has begun working with a digital marketing company. In addition, the brand has more than double its online markets from 30 to 65 over the past six months. “We are doing a lot in terms of expansion, paid marketing searches, paid social reach and working much more with affiliates and influencers. Yet it is key for us not to be tempted into things that may erode the Filippa K integrity. So we use the tactics of the pure-play e-commerce companies, but ensure they are always within the frame of the Filippa K brand.”

How Filippa K aims to become 'the most relevant Scandinavian brand'

Filippa K invests in its online channels as well as its physical retail locations

The Scandinavian label is set to triple its investment in its online and marketing channels next year to really help solidify its presence in its new markets. This is also why the business was restructured earlier this year, to help free up more resources for future investments. “It was not to save money, it was to reinvest in our growing areas. We are going to establish a completely different presence online - not only through our own website but by being out there where our customers are - that what it means to us to be a relevant brand.” Filippa K will also invest in improving its e-commerce platform by bettering its fulfillment capabilities, delivery logistics, customer service and overall customer online experience, as Tonström aims to ensure its online store is as strong as its flagship stores. “This is another area where we need to be as good as the global online multiplayers. We need to give consumers a reason to buy our products directly from us.”

But this increased focus on strengthening its digital arm does not mean that Filippa K will invest less in its physical retail channels, added Tonström. “We have been online for a few years now, but most of our focus has been on developing our physical retail side. In the last year, we have done a bit of catch up, which has led to our online sales doubling in 2017 and our ambition is to grow that 4 or 5 times over the next couple of years.” Both Filippa K online and physical sales channels are equally important to achieving the brand’s overall goal, but now the company aims to ensure its online store is as efficient as its brick and mortar locations. “At the end of the day, it has to do with being where the consumer is and where the consumer wants to shop.”

How Filippa K aims to become 'the most relevant Scandinavian brand'

So outside of its established hubs, where are Filippa K’s consumers? “If you look at Europe the next two big areas for us are definitely London and Paris,” said the CEO. “Filippa lives in London, she actually grew up there as well, so she has a strong connection to the city and the UK market.” The Scandinavian brand is also focusing on growing in Paris, where it currently operates a women’s wear and a men’s wear concession stand in Galeria Lafayette. “We have been in Paris for a very long time, but now we have the opportunity to do more there.” At the moment Filippa K does not have any plans in the pipeline to open a stand-alone store in London or in Paris, but it is exploring the physical availability when it comes to retail locations in the city.

For now, Filippa K and its team are set to focus on preparing for its first major fashion show since the return of Knutsson. “Filippa has been busy working on the brand’s AW 18 collections in London, which they are set to debut in Stockholm during a big co-ed fashion show next month,” said Bogefors. “She has always strived to make products which never go out of style and withstand the test of time. Now she is putting more effort than ever before into the company to ensure the collections are better than ever going forward.”

Photos: Filippa K, Facebook

Online retail spend on Boxing Day is expected to exceed more than 1 billion pounds for the first time, according to new research from IMRG.

The industry association for online retail is predicting that online spend will be up 7.9 percent to 1.03 billion pounds on Boxing Day, up from 954 million pounds in 2016.

In addition, IMRG is also forecasting that online shopping on Christmas Day is set to reach 844 million pounds, up 6.3 percent on the same day in 2016, when spending hit 794 million pounds.

If this forecast is correct regarding spending over Christmas Day and Boxing Day, it would still mean that Black Friday spending will still be the biggest sales day of the year, as it was recorded that 1.39 billion pounds was spent online on Black Friday, a 11.7 percent increase on the previous year.

Justin Opie, managing director of IMRG, said: “Boxing day sales remain a fixture of retail and an important day in the calendar, but Black Friday has altered sales patterns over the full peak period and is now the primary discounting event of the season. And perhaps, as with Black Friday, we’re seeing Boxing Day spend become more online-focused.

“Although going out to the shops on that day has long been a British tradition, footfall was reportedly down 7.3 percent on Boxing Day last year.”

Opie added: “It’s likely that spend on Christmas Day is pulling some of that order volume forward as well, as shoppers have the ability to browse and buy from the sofa on mobile devices during quiet moments at home and visiting family, redeeming the huge numbers of gift cards and coupons that they receive in place of presents each year.”

Affluent Chinese shoppers are influencing Harrods 200 million pounds renovation

London - I last visited Harrods a fortnight ago, to look at the fashion collections and as part of my annual tour of department stores pre Christmas. En route to the lower ground, where designer menswear is housed, I passed the Diana and Dodi memorial at the base of the Egyptian Escalator, where a horde of Asian tourists were taking photographs and obligatory selfies.

I mention this because Harrods is prime destination retail for Chinese shoppers, and as London's largest luxury shopping mecca - trading over 1 million square foot - the store is making all the necessary adaptations to its Knightsbridge flagship to capitalize on the trend.

Last month Harrods announced it was undergoing a 200 million pound, three-year renovation project, the first of its kind in its 180-year history. Speaking to the South China Morning Post, managing director Michael Ward said the revamp is aimed at maintaining Harrods’ appeal for tourists.

Affluent Chinese shoppers outspend the British

“Our Chinese and Asian customers are extremely important to Harrods, and so are considered part of our redevelopment plans,” he told the Post. Affluent Chinese shoppers have long been outspending their British and European counterparts.

Ward reported in Jing Daily that the refurbishments were designed to accommodate their global customer, but specifically stated the Chinese shopper is becoming increasingly “discerning”, especially in the fine watch and jewelry departments. To cater to Chinese customers, the department store has more than 200 Mandarin speaking staff and more in training, and they accommodate Chinese payment service Alipay for shoppers. Tencent’s WeChat Pay will also soon be introduced to the store.

While this new evolution of Harrods will involve many transformations, the brand is still more focused than ever on promoting itself as an essential part of a famous UK tourist destination. Chinese tourism to Britain experienced an uptick following the Brexit referendum as shoppers sought to benefit from the declining value of the pound. In the first six months of this year, Chinese spent more than 231 million pounds in the UK, according to VisitBritain.

“We do not make large adaptations specifically aimed at Chinese customers, because we want to celebrate our brand identity and Britishness,” Ward said. “If you come to London, you don’t want to see something that’s from your country: you want to celebrate everything that’s British, and we think that’s important.”

According to Jing Daily Harrods maintains a presence on WeChat where they share promotions and videos of events at its London location. Ward cites its recent Dolce & Gabbana fashion show, broadcasted on its WeChat and Weibo platforms, as a particularly successful example, especially in connecting with its Chinese millennial customers.

Ward said Harrods is also looking at expanding its print magazine to mainland China next year after already pivoting to shoppers in Asia, specifically making it available to consumers in Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia. The brand is considering an online format for the mainland Chinese expansion of Harrods Magazine Asia to accommodate the increasingly digitally savvy consumer.

“It’s all about having personal relationships with the store,” he said. “There is no length we won’t go to for our customers—from securing the most coveted products from leading luxury brands to creating inspiring concepts in-store and making sure our customers have whatever their heart desires, no matter where they are in the world.”

China is currently the largest international market for Harrods, while Hong Kong is its largest Southeast Asian market and fastest growing. Harrods claims that research shows one in every 5 pounds spent by Chinese visitors to London is at Harrods.

Photo credit: Photo: By user: Sokkk y (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

House of Fraser to launch localized pop-up scheme using AI

House of Fraser has launched a pop-up concession scheme in a number of its branches in a bid to drive footfall and tackle "dead" floor space.

The British department store group has partnered up with data-driven tech firm Popertee, which uses artificial intelligence to pair retailers with vacant storefronts. The company offers start-ups space to launch their brands and test out new products while helping larger retailers fill empty retail space with relevant brands that will appeal to their demographic.

Popertee's technology will be used to analyse House of Fraser's customer profile at selected stores and then match the data with the new brands which align within the target market. The partnership sees House of Fraser offering pop-up space in its Birmingham, Bluewater (Kent), Bristol and Manchester stores to relevant brands in an attempt to attract new customers. Under the new partnership, retail start-ups and House of Fraser will both pay Popertee a commission fee.

"This is a fantastic opportunity for House of Fraser to trial a series of pop-ups, and to present its customers with new brands and experiences on a regular basis across key stores," said Martin Shires, Head of in-store experience, House of Fraser. The move comes as House of Fraser continues to invest in attracting new customers while making the best use of its retail space.

Earlier this year the department store group revealed its five-year strategy which focused on improving the overall customer shopping experience by downsizing certain areas and launching new areas, such as champagne bars and yoga studios.

Photo: House of Fraser Manchester, via Popertee

Christmas delivery delays led to a potential loss of 3.9 billion pounds for retailers in 2016, according to new research, with a total of 20 million UK shoppers encountering problems last year during the festive period, up by 13 percent on 2015.

According to research commissioned by The Institute of Customer Service, these experiences have influenced customers’ perception of retailers, affecting whether they return for their Christmas shopping this year.

Of the 2000 people surveyed for the research, 38 percent said they received their Christmas deliveries later than expected in 2016, with over half (52 percent) up to five days late. Of those experiencing delays, the proportion of customers missing out on high-value items is significant, with 42 percent spending over 300 pounds with a retailer who consequently failed to deliver the gift on time.

The research also highlights the correlation between punctuality and reliability of deliveries and customer retention, with almost three-quarters (71 percent) stating that they are less likely to shop again with retailers who fail to deliver on time, clearly indicating that delays will lose customers.

Jo Causon, chief executive of The Institute of Customer Service said: “Late deliveries are a recurring problem, and it is getting worse year on year. There are several components involved in getting the customer’s delivery delivered on time and it should be a priority of the delivery service and the retailer to ensure that this is done. Both businesses need to take responsibility, or face further financial losses next year.

“In an increasingly competitive market online – both throughout the festive season and beyond – retailers should prioritise providing customers with a consistent and reliable delivery service.”

Barnsley town centre reveals redevelopment plans

Detailed designs of Barnsley town centre's proposed 8 million pounds public realm development, which aims to modernise the Northern town, has been granted approval by the council.

The proposals, which are part of the 130 million pound Glass Works retail scheme, were given the green light by the Barnsley Council and will now move forward to a public consultation to inform the submission of full planning application.

The regeneration of the town centre’s public realm will cost over 8 million pounds and includes a new public square and improvements to the existing public realm on May Day Green and Kendray Street, Cheapside, Queen Street, Peel Square and Midland Street.

The aim is to make the flagship main square at the heart of The Glass Works more attractive and to create a local amphitheatre to host various events and performances. There will also be a cascading water pool, family-friendly outdoor dining venues and some permanent outdoor market stalls, for visitors to enjoy.

If planning consent is approved following consultation, the phased programme of works will begin in April 2018 on Cheapside and May Day Green, and be completed in 2020 along with the opening of the retail and leisure phase of The Glass Works.

Councillor Roy Miller, said: “We are delighted the new public realm plans are going to consultation. A quality public environment can have a significant impact on the economic life of our town and has always been an essential part of our regeneration strategy. Businesses are attracted to locations that offer well-designed, well-managed public places and these, in turn, attract customers and services.

“The new public areas will connect The Glass Works development with the rest of the town centre and create an overall sense of place. The main square will create a new location in the heart of the town for people to socialise and relax.”

The Glass Works sits within a 3.8-hectare site in the very heart of Barnsley Town Centre and will feature 25 shops, a cinema, bowling and 10 restaurants, alongside a new library, refurbished markets, new public realm and up to 500 car parking spaces. Phase 1 is opening spring 2018, with phase 2 expected to be completed in spring 2020.

Image: courtesy of The Glass Works