Europe Watch: Saturation Point … Northern Spirit … Watch Weary
SATURATION POINT: George, the Wal-Mart/ASDA fashion collection that plans to open two freestanding units in Britain next month, could change the discount retail landscape should the stores be rolled out nationwide. TNS, a British provider of...
SATURATION POINT: George, the Wal-Mart/ASDA fashion collection that plans to open two freestanding units in Britain next month, could change the discount retail landscape should the stores be rolled out nationwide. TNS, a British provider of market information, said New Look and Matalan stores would be most at risk, followed by Primark and TK Maxx stores. “The recent explosion of retail discounters has led to stiff competition between operators and there are signs to suggest that the discount retail market is now becoming saturated,” according to James Hobbs, business group director at TNS’ Fashion Trak division. As reported, George is readying a 12,000-square-foot store in Leeds and an 8,000-square-foot space in Croydon, a distant London suburb, as a one-year test. The retailer — which ranks second in apparel sales in Britain — increased its market share of the total U.K. clothing market to 3.1 percent from 2.6 percent in the two years to June 2003. The most significant growth was seen in women’s wear.
— Ellen Burney
NORTHERN SPIRIT: The Danish clothing industry is seeing a rebound in exports amid a pickup in northern European markets, the Danish Textile Association said last week at its annual Copenhagen International Fashion Fair. Sales by the Danish industry to its two largest export markets, Sweden and Germany, rose by 15 percent in the first five months of the year, and total exports are expected to reach record levels of more than $2.21 billion, or 14.4 billion Danish krona, this year, the association said. Continued growth is forecast for next year, too, with exports seen exceeding $2.3 billion, or 15 billion krona. Danish clothing companies export more than 80 percent of their output. The industry attributes the rise in export sales to a tentative upturn in the global economy and growing interest in casualwear, traditionally a mainstay for Nordic producers. The Copenhagen Fair, now the largest in Scandinavia, according to its organizers, attracted close to 800 exhibitors with a total of 2,900 collections this year.
— Poul Larsen
WATCH WEARY: The watch market had a tough first half, hit by SARS and the war in Iraq. The Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry reported watch exports were down 6.6 percent to $3.38 billion in the six months ended June 30. Dollar figures have been converted from the Swiss franc at current exchange. In units, exports slipped 11 percent to 14 million watches. By geographic region, the value of watch exports to China raced up by 141.4 percent. It also increased by 33.9 percent to Russia, 10.3 percent to the U.K., 3.8 percent to Thailand and 1.2 percent to the U.S. But the exports in value terms fell in several key markets in the half: Saudi Arabia was down 22.6 percent, Italy and Germany both down 15.7 percent and Singapore down 14.4 percent.— Emilie Marsh
HOLE IN ONE: London’s Knightsbridge area might well brace for more traffic pileups: Krispy Kreme hits the Harrods food hall in October, to be announced with a flashing “Hot Doughnuts Now” sign. “Harrods is delighted to be the first retailer in Europe to offer its customers the Krispy Kreme experience,” Peter Willasey, the store’s corporate communications director, said. “The level of excitement the announcement has already generated around London suggests that the partnership of these two brands will be a huge success.” Krispy Kreme will even get its own designated entrance, open from 7 a.m. to catch the morning coffee crowd (Harrods generally opens at 10 a.m.). This will be the first of 25 stores that Krispy Kreme plans to open over a five-year period in the U.K and Northern Ireland. The company currently has more than 300 retail locations in 41 U.S. states, Canada and Australia.
SLOW GO: Citing restructuring costs and unfavorable currency exchange rates, the French fast-fashion group, Etam, reported second-quarter sales declined 5.3 percent to $286.4 million, or 253.4 million euros converted at current exchange, from $302.5 million, or 267.7 million euros, in the year-earlier period. For the half, sales were down 4 percent to $574.9 million from $599.2 million a year ago. On a like-for-like basis, however, sales increased 1.45 percent. Etam recently discontinued its 123 lingerie line and sold its WMK chain. With 1,468 stores, Etam group operates the Etam, 123 and Tammy chains.
— Robert Murphy
ROCCA ON: Cinzia Rocca might not be an instantly recognizable brand, but the Rocca family is working to change that. The 37-year-old designer behind the eponymous label will make her first U.S. retail appearance in early October, meeting clients at Saks Fifth Avenue stores in New York, Boston and Chicago to help with fittings and detailing, including monograms. “My sister doesn’t like to appear in public,” said ceo Jacopo Rocca. “She’s discreet and used to working behind the scenes. This is a kind of alternative way to get the brand recognized.”Cinzia Rocca, which makes tailored coats in fabrics including alpaca wool and cashmere, has been present in the U.S. since 1988. Currently, it sells at Saks, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom and Marshall Field’s, as well as 200 specialty stores. Prices range from about $600 to $2,000.
Rodel, the family-run company based in the northern Italian town of Dello, owns the Cinzia Rocca label. This year, it celebrates its 50th anniversary and expects to post sales of $45.9 million, up about 8 percent from last year. Sales in the U.S. account for about 30 percent of the total and are currently up about 25 percent on the year, according to company estimates.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews