Handbag.com partners with The Style Show 2009Dedicated to women’s lifestyle and launched in 1999, fashion site handbag.com will be the official media partner of The Style Show, an integral part of the 21st annual Clothes Show Live. For the second year running handbag.com will be providing

online support for the duration of the show from 4th – 9th December at Birmingham’s NEC.

As the media partner, handbag.com will dedicate a 'Specials' feature developed within the homepage containing editorial copy, images, links, up-to-date video footage, brands and logos of exhibitors at the show. The renamed logo, 'The Style Show presented by handbag.com', will be positioned on the website’s homepage, and the site will host a competition giveaway for exclusive Clothes Show Live tickets. Besides the above, The Style Show will be included in handbag.com's weekly newsletter.
Handbag.com partners with The Style Show 2009
The Style Show presented by handbag.com is located within Clothes Show Live and takes place at the same time. Visitors and competition winners will be offered the chance to relax with a glass of champagne and mingle with celebrity guests before taking their seat beside the Designer Catwalk.

handbag.com Digital Publisher Sara Stephenson says: “We are very proud and excited to be the official media partner for The Style Show 2009 for a second year. Clothes Show Live is a fantastic brand and throughout the duration of the event we will be treating our readers to the latest news, video footage and photos from the NEC, not to mention the opportunity of winning exclusive tickets to The Style Show and Clothes Show Live.”

Image: Clothes Show Live


US retailers report lower November salesLeading US retailers reported November sales that were broadly lower than expected, as a post-Thanksgiving rush failed to offset earlier weak demand, reported the Financial Times. Retail Metrics, which tracks the monthly comparable sales figures,

said its index for the month rose just 0.7 per cent from last year, when sales slumped. Ken Perkins, head of Retail Metrics, said the “the bottom line is that comp store sales were very disappointing ahead of the critical December holiday shopping season”.

“The standard line from many retailers was a stronger year-on-year Black Friday [post-Thanksgiving] weekend was not enough to offset very weak sales throughout most of the month.”
US retailers report lower November sales
JC Penney, the low price department store, reported a 5.9 per cent fall in its comparable sales, in line with its forecast of a drop of 4 to 7 per cent, but on top of last November’s 11.9 per cent decline.

“Strong sales for the Black Friday weekend offset slightly weaker sales beginning mid-month and leading up to Thanksgiving,” the company said.

Target, the second largest discounter, said its comparable November sales were down 1.5 per cent against last November, with softer sales in the first three weeks “substantially offset by better-than-expected sales during our post-Thanksgiving Two-Day sale”.

The retailer said it has seen strong sales of apparel, but also said that while overall sales levels had decreased, the number of transactions had increased.

Abercrombie & Fitch, the teen retailer, reported a 17 per cent fall in comparable sales, far worse than analysts’ expected. Aeropostale sales were slightly worse than expected, with a 7 percent rise, and its shares fell over 10 per cent in New York after its quarterly earnings forecast disappointed market analysts.

Gap, the largest US speciality clothing retailer, reported overall comparable sales that were flat, but saw a 6 per cent increase at its low price Old Navy stores, offsetting comparable 4 per cent declines at its US Gap and Banana Republic stores, and a 5 per cent decline in its international business.

Luxury retailers Neiman Marcus and Saks reported comparable sales declines of 7.5 per cent and 26.1 per cent, on top of the declines of around 30 per cent seen in November and December last year in the aftermath of the Wall Street crash. Saks said it still expected comparable store sales for the fourth quarter to be down in the high-single digits.

Image: Gap shopper


Amazon looks for UK store sitesAmazon, the world’s biggest online retailer is planning a surprise invasion of the British high street, reported The Times. Property landlords said that the American company, which has a market value of $59.1 billion (£35.6 billion), had launched a secret search

for stores to support its rapidly growing website. It is understood to be scouring the country for high-profile sites just as the Borders book chain is shutting up shop.

It represents an extraordinary reversal from the dotcom boom, when there were fears that internet shopping would kill off the high street. It would also be the most high-profile move by a web-only retailer into stores.
Amazon looks for UK store sites
Amazon wants to cash in on rising customer demand for click and collect services where shoppers buy online and then pick up their goods from a nearby store. Consumers who are fed up with waiting at home for deliveries are increasingly choosing to buy online and collecting goods at a time that suits them.

One source familiar with Amazon’s proposals said: “When Amazon was just selling books and CDs that fitted easily through the letterbox it was fine to be a web-only business, but now it has branched out into everything from fashion to electricals it believes it could boost sales by having stores that offer a collection point for shoppers. It will probably be an Argos-style operation.”

It is understood that some of the sites will be out of town because of worries over parking. The company, founded in 1994 by Jeff Bezos, a former financial analyst, started out as an online book store.

Seattle-based Amazon has delivered a bumper performance during the credit crunch, smashing Wall Street forecasts with a 28% rise in sales to $5.5 billion. The company is now worth more than it has ever been and has finally overtaken a lofty 1999 valuation that epitomised the dotcom mania.

Its international arm, which includes the UK, increased sales by 33% to $2.6 billion in the three months to September 30. The US group has forecast growth of between 21% and 36% in its final quarter across the business. Amazon in the UK refused to comment on its plans to open stores here.

Image: Amazon logo Source: The Times


Mango expands in IraqFurther developing its international expansion, Spanish fashion brand Mango opens in Iraq. With this opening, the international retailer is now present in every country in the region, which it first entered in 1997 with the opening of its first store

in Kuwait. The new premises have a total surface area of 400m2 and is located at Erbil’s shopping centre, Majidi Mall.

In recent years, Mango has significantly increased its presence in the Arabic market. The company now has 37 stores in Saudi Arabia, 15 in the United Arab Emirates and 7 in Kuwait. The firm is also planning to open new stores in these countries and to open its first store in Yemen.
Mango expands in Iraq
Isak Halfon, Head of Expansion of Mango says that MANGO’s arrival in Iraq represents a challenge for the company, since this is a virgin market. However, we are confident that this opening will be a success like the other countries in this region. MANGO has been well received in the Middle East, and turnover for the Arabic market accounts for 9% of total company turnover.

Mango now has 1,360 stores in 95 countries. Throughout 2009, the chain plans to increase its number of stores by 150. Its new store locations include Belgrade, Dubai, Johannesburg, Manila, Moscow, New Delhi, New York, Paris, Beijing and Tokyo.

Forecast investment for 2010 is 100 million Euros, which will be allocated to new store openings, store refurbishments, logistics systems and IT systems. Forecast turnover for the Mango chain in 2010 is €1.512 billion, while a turnover of €1.155 billion is expected for the consolidated Group, an increase of 5% on 2008.

Image: Mango



Feiyue collaborates with Steph.CopJust in time for the Holiday season, quirky heritage brand Feiyue released a limited edition trainer. Feiyue teamed up with graffiti artist, graphic and fashion designer Steph.Cop, and is famous for co-founding the streetwear labels Homecore and

Lady Soul as well as for his designer toys Analyse.Reflex.Obsessional (ARO).

The exclusive limited edition Steph.Cops’ sneaker is directly influenced by Steph.Cop’s new work, which is inspired by Mother Nature’s gifts. Cop recently released a series of oversized chain saw carved wooden toys exhibited in various venues in France. Cop’s take on the Feiyue lo and 10N 28E is simple yet effective, black with contrasting laces and a stylised chainsaw symbol on the tongue.Feiyue collaborates with Steph.Cop

Feiyue was born in 2006 and launched in the UK in 2009 after being bought from its Chinese owners by a French team of globetrotters. However the brand dates back to the 1920s; it was the standard footwear in China worn by every social class from the politician to the countryman.

The brand is constantly evolving as the founding team is always looking for new challenges, collaborations and inspirations, teaming up with like-minded artists and brands each season. Previous collaborators include luxury house Celine and artist Bret Westfall to name a few.

The limited edition Feiyue x Steph.Cop ARO is available is for £52 and the 10N 28E for £75.

Image: Feiyue x Steph.Cop


Department stores benefit from late online shoppingExperian Hitwise has revealed that 'Cyber Monday' December 7th and Sunday December 6th were the joint busiest days for online retailers so far this year. This means that the pre-Christmas peak in visits to online retailers has moved one week

closer to Christmas this year compared to 2008, when the busiest day for online retailers was Sunday November 30th.

“Many industry observers consider ‘Cyber Monday’ to be the busiest day of the year for online retailers, but the Sunday before Cyber Monday is just as important in terms of Internet visits. Many consumers spend time browsing and comparing products and prices on the Sunday, before making their actual purchases on Cyber Monday itself,” commented Robin Goad, Research Director at Experian Hitwise. “This year, the pre-Christmas online shopping peak moved a week closer to Christmas – over the last couple of years it has been the last Sunday in November rather than the first Sunday or Monday in December. Bargain hunting will almost certainly played a role, with many consumers leaving it later to order in the hope of finding better deals.”
Department stores benefit from late online shopping
Department stores and supermarkets have been the biggest beneficiaries of the shift towards later online shopping this Christmas. Most of the top 10 websites that experienced the largest increases in visits when comparing this year’s peak in traffic (December 6th) to last year’s (November 30th) were either department stores or supermarkets. Amazon UK experienced the biggest increase in visitors between the two dates, and was joined in the top 10 by high street names including Marks and Spencer, John Lewis and Littlewoods.

“The popularity of established names and stores with a high street presence the closer we get to Christmas clearly illustrates a preference for multiple delivery and dispatch options,” commented Goad. “For retailers to win trust at this time of year they must provide customers with both flexibility and security in this area”

Jonathan De Mello, Experian’s Director of Retail Consultancy adds: “Retailers have been determined to learn from mistakes made last year by investing in a more focused multi-channel strategy this year – offering both online and off-line order fulfilment. The more traditional bricks and mortar retailers have invested heavily in their websites and this has clearly paid off for them, as they have managed to substantially increase their online ‘share of wallet.’ This has been to the detriment of the high street, as according to the BRC November, like-for-like sales rose at a slower rate than anticipated and this is backed up by our own Experian FootFall data, which has recorded a drop in footfall on the high street this week versus the same week last year. This trend will reverse in the next few weeks as Christmas approaches, and those retailers with both a high street and online presence will benefit most because products from their stores can be ordered online and delivered to the location most convenient for the customer.”

Image: Harrods Source: Retail Bulletin


british-fashion-awardsThe British Fashion Council announced Christopher Bailey as the winner of the prestigious Designer of the Year Award. Ten other leading fashion figures were also honoured at the 2009 British Fashion Awards, supported by Swarovski,

held at the Royal Courts of Justice, London.

Hosted by presenter Lauren Laverne, the ceremony saw designers, models, fashion editors and stylists, and industry VIPs joined by a glamorous line-up of guests and presenters, including Kate Moss, Victoria Beckham, Claudia Schiffer, Eva Herzigova and Dame Vivienne Westwood.

The Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator went to Creative Director of Vogue US and star of ‘The September Issue’, Grace Coddington. Having been brought up in the UK Grace began her career as a Junior Fashion Editor before rising to Fashion Director at British Vogue, where she created epic and unforgettable stories with a profound impact on readers and designers alike, throughout the Seventies and Eighties. In 1988, she moved to New York to join Anna Wintour as Creative Director at American Vogue where her passion for image-making continues to flourish and astonish in every issue.

Decided entirely by public vote, the London 25 award was created in celebration of 25 Years of British Fashion, to recognise an individual who embodies the spirit of London and is an international ambassador for the capital’s fashion industry and was awarded to Kate Moss.
It was a double celebration for Burberry, as the brand took home the Designer Brand award and Christopher Bailey was honoured with the BFC Designer of the Year award. During his acceptance speech Chief Creative Officer Christopher Bailey announced that Burberry Prorsum would continue to show at London Fashion Week in February.

Kim Jones was named Menswear Designer having presented two internationally acclaimed collections creating a renewed enthusiasm and interest in the brand, since being appointed Creative Director for dunhill.

The Swarovski Emerging Talent Awards for Ready-to-Wear and Accessories, conceived last year by the British Fashion Council and Swarovski to recognise and financially reward designers as they establish their emerging fashion businesses were awarded to Peter Pilotto who won the Ready to Wear award and Holly Fulton who collected the award for Accessories.

Following on from her being appointed the face of Hudson Jeans and the star of the Spring 2010 Versace Campaign, Georgia May Jagger collected the Model award.

Accessory designer Katie Hillier won the Accessory Designer award, in addition to working with Marc by Marc Jacobs, Luella, House of Holland and Samantha Thavasa, Katie launched the first piece of her own line earlier this year, the Hillier bunny, which has just sold to Dover Street Market and Colette and the full range will be available from February 2010.

Christopher Kane was awarded BFC British Collection of the Year as a British based designer whose last two collections have stirred huge press excitement and impressive sales around the world; who set girls clamoring for his summer 2009 instant collectibles for Topshop, and in the same year was signed by Donatella Versace to put his sexy, youthful stamp on the Versus label in Milan.

John Galliano received the award for Outstanding Achievement in Fashion Design in recognition for his extraordinary career from his graduate collection through to his most recent work at Givenchy and Christian Dior. Revered globally for his exciting, innovative and romantic designs on the runway as well as on the red carpet, Galliano has established himself as arguably the most influential fashion designer of his generation.

Swarovski, the world’s leading producer of cut crystals, takes pride in its privileged position at the heart of fashion and is proud to support the British Fashion Awards for the fifth consecutive year. For over 114 years, the company has enjoyed collaborating with the greatest names and faces in fashion, jewellery, and interior design around the world using CRYSTALLIZED™ – Swarovski Elements as the ultimate ingredient. Swarovski remains an enthusiastic supporter of the newest talents in fashion and is proud to continue their role as a patron of the most dynamic young designers in the world. With three rotating Swarovski Crystal Palace Tulsa Chandeliers, designed by Michael Anastassiades, displayed on stage through Musion technology, Swarovski not only dazzled in couture last night, it successfully transformed the main hall of the Royal Courts of Justice into a glitter box of sparkles and glamour.

Image: Jerry Hall & Georgia May Jagger


Inditex sales increaseSpanish retail group Inditex increased its net sales by 6% in the first nine months of this fiscal year, running from February 1st to October 31st. The net sales rose to 7,759 million euros, and sales in local currencies increased by 8% over the same

period a year earlier. Inditex’ nine-month net income totalled 831 million euros.

The retailer launched 266 new stores in the first nine months, bringing the Group’s total number of stores to 4,530 at the end of October. Key highlights for the period included openings in Asian markets, with 90 new establishments inaugurated by October 31st. These store openings reflect the strategic importance of Asian markets for the Group and underscore a year of growth in China, Japan and South Korea. High points of store launches so far this year include flagship locations in Japan and mainland China.
Inditex sales increase
In Japan, Zara now has a total of 50 stores, including a second flagship location in Tokyo’s Shibuya district, which is a must-see global fashion destination. Prior to this opening, Zara had welcomed shoppers at two flagship stores in Shibuya, two each in Ginza and Shinjuku, and one in Harajuku In Beijing the Group celebrated the opening of a flagship location in one of the Chinese capital’s busiest shopping hubs. The store, which opened its doors on the pedestrian Wangfujing Street, brings the Group’s number of stores in China to more than 60.

Store sales in local currencies rose 9% between August 1st and December 6th.

Image: Inditex