LONDON — Boots the Chemist is speeding up its search for new management as the U.K. retail chain fights for its share of an increasingly competitive market.
Earlier this week, John McGrath, chairman of Boots, said in a statement that he would step down in July 2003. He said he wants Sir Nigel Rudd, deputy chairman of the company, to be his successor.
In response to rampant speculation in the U.K. press, he also admitted that the company was looking to replace chief executive Steve Russell. He said Russell’s successor would be named shortly. "This search was undertaken with the full knowledge and support of Steve…who has made a substantial contribution to Boots over many years and in many roles," he said.
However, a London-based equities analyst, who reports on Boots, said he doubts a management shakeup will necessarily make the retail chain more competitive. "For a while now, Boots has been subject to sustained price pressure from chains like Wal-Mart Asda in the toiletries division," said the analyst, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
"Its decision to go upmarket and focus on added value services — such as prestige products, dentistry, manicures and massages — has meant that it’s riding two horses at the same time. It offers things like three-for-two toothpaste — and $24 handpressed elderflower shampoo. Moving upmarket is not necessarily the solution because Boots runs the risk of losing is core customer."
As reported, Boots has abandoned plans to roll out 65 upscale Pure Beauty stores.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast