NEW YORK--Is America ready for a fifth television network? The latest contender, Cafe USA, won't be your typical network. It will be broadcast for the exclusive consumption of shoppers at mall food courts. Cafe USA will air entertainment features and news programming supported by advertising time sold to national manufacturers, who can then tag specific stores in the mall. So far, General Nutrition Centers and Levi, Strauss & Co. have signed on. Cafe USA plans to pitch specialty stores such as The Limited and The Gap and, eventually, anchor stores like J.C. Penney. The idea behind Cafe USA is to motivate shoppers to shop some more. And what better place to do that than in a food court, where the captive audience of mall shoppers is reenergizing for the next round. The company hopes to install its TV monitors in 750 malls of 500,000 square feet or larger. The concept, which was tested at Haywood Mall in South Carolina, will be launched at Haywood and two other malls nextyear. According to Stephen Bowen, president and chief executive officer of Cafe USA and a former president of J. Walter Thompson, 30 million people visit malls every week. "They're a valuable audience since they're already shoppers," he said. "Food courts are the highest grossing area per square foot in the mall," said Robert H. Lenz, Cafe USA's chairman, and a founding member of Backer Spielvogel Bates. "They extend people's stay by one hour." Bowen doesn't think shoppers will have a hard time swallowing the concept. Fifty percent of Americans watch TV while eating, he said. "Entertainment is very much what the mall industry is looking at," Bowen said. "Retailers are putting pressure on developers for traffic. "Ten years ago the mall industry wouldn't have talked to us," he added. "Now, they need help." Cafe USA's programming is described as the video equivalent of USA Today--light and fluffy. There will be news updates from ABC News, local weather, and feature segments on fashion, movies, new products and mall news, hosted by Bill Boggs and Kathryn Kinley. Cafe USA will spend $8 million to $12 million a year on programming. The company also plans to install interactive kiosks as a companion to the network. The kiosks will offer store listings and coupons. Each Cafe USA multimedia installation costs about $175,000, according to Harvey S. Wilson, executive vice president of operations. The company hopes to gross $250,000 per year, per mall, in ad revenues. Cafe USA will carry eight minutes of advertising every 30 minutes.
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion