By  on August 9, 2007

From a updating of HSN's Web site to Louis Vuitton "spreading its winds into west London," the past few weeks have been busy on the retail front.

WWD's London bureau reported that Louis Vuitton is set to open a 3,000-square-foot store at Westfield London. The site is scheduled to open in November of 2008, and sources said the Louis Vuitton store will be in the luxury area of the mall. This would be the brand's fourth store in London

"Westfield and Louis Vuitton have a good history together, and we think it's a great opportunity for us to expand in Europe," David Slade, director of leasing at Westfield, told WWD.

Philippe Schaus, senior vice president of Louis Vuitton, said the inclusion of the brand at the luxury site in the mall, called The Village, was an "interesting experiment." He said the company does not have shops in malls in France, Italy or Spain. "And until now we haven't had one in the U.K. But Westfield's approach is completely different, and we were also able to bring our input to The Village," he told WWD in the report.

Meanwhile, the Home Shopping Network said it was relaunching its Web site with an "animated cast of experts" on its home page, "including hairstylist Ken Paves and chef Emeril Lagasse," WWD reported.

The idea is to promote the HSN brand, the company said, while spotlighting its hosts and "high-profile" guests."

"Our greatest assets are our [on-air] personalities and the fact that we are a TV studio," Matthew Siegel, senior vice president of e-commerce for HSN, told WWD in the report. "With this effort we are trying to convey that HSN is a place full of experts, and our Web site is where they live when they are not on air."

Across an ocean, WWD reported last month that Hong Kong retailer Lane Crawford is "charging into Mainland China."

The company said it has plans to open several stores in "key Chinese cities" over the next five years or so. It will kick off the initiative by opening a unit in Beijing's Seasons Place mall.The price tag on the store was said to be $38 million, and is expected to open in October. There will be 600 brands featured, including Prada and Givenchy, among many others. Other possible sites for stores include Shanghai and Macao.

Back in New York, WWD reported that this December, Free People will open the doors on a two-level, 6,000-square-foot store located at 79 Fifth Avenue, in the Flatiron District. This will be the brand's first store in Manhattan.

Owned by Urban Outfitters Inc., Free People was rolled out in the early Eighties, WWD reported, as a unit that made clothes for the Urban stores. As a stand-alone store, the first Free People was opened in 2002 in Paramus, N.J. To read the stories relating to this article, see:

HSN's Web Site Gets Animated

Lane Crawford Expanding in China

Louis Vuitton Moves Into London Mall

Free People Coming to Manhattan

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