PARAMUS PARK, N.J. — The Children’s Place has begun showcasing its merchandise in a 4,500-square-foot, color-coded, in-store prototype designed for faster, easier shopping. Considering its value-priced children’s wear, the look is...
PARAMUS PARK, N.J. — The Children’s Place has begun showcasing its merchandise in a 4,500-square-foot, color-coded, in-store prototype designed for faster, easier shopping. Considering its value-priced children’s wear, the look is upscale.
The prototype — revealed this month in two U.S. locations and in the chain’s first 17 units in Canada that have been opening since February — reflects efforts to restore investor confidence after a difficult first half, and to raise sales productivity. The 600-unit, Secaucus, N.J.-based retailer is rapidly opening stores and plans to aggressively convert existing units to the format next year.
"We’re moving up the food chain," said Ezra Dabah, chairman and chief executive, during a tour of the prototype opened two weeks ago here in the Paramus Park mall. "Our stores before didn’t have much individuality." The other U.S. prototype also opened about two weeks ago in the upscale Mall at Short Hills, also in New Jersey, indicating the $657 million company feels equally at home bringing the prototype to different demographics and income levels.
By the end of the year, Children’s Place expects 28 units in Canada and eight stores in the U.S. operating under the format. The other U.S. stores will be in San Diego and Westminster, Calif.; Dearborn, Mich.; Springfield, Pa.; Tampa, Fla., and Des Peres, Mo. The company did not specify how many existing stores would be changed over.
"Whenever a lease comes up for renewal, the store will be remodeled," Dabah said.
The Toronto design firm of Yabu Pushelberg, best known for Bergdorf Goodman and Tiffany interiors, and the W Hotel in Times Square, created The Children’s Place prototype. While the in-store shop concept has been done before by other retailers, it’s unusual for a box of modest size, with colored walls and arches defining the shops, to pull it off with merchandising clarity. There’s even a sense of spaciousness, with a 10-foot-wide "major driveway" and a secondary five-foot-wide aisle. Both aisle are wide enough for double strollers to pass through.
Aside from the bright colors, the most noticeable feature is the "marketing wall" along the left side of the store, with bold graphics and a sight line down the entire 100-foot stretch of the store. Pink is for girls, sizes 4 to 14; blue is for boys, 4 to 14; lavender designates baby girls, six months to 4T; green is baby boys, six months to 4T, and white is newborn to 12 months. The entrance is on the left side of the storefront so customers enter right by the marketing wall. There are also floor-to-ceiling closets for storage and display, play areas and fixtures in laminate and Plexiglas.Children’s Place primarily competes against GapKids, Gymboree, Old Navy, Target, Sears, J.C. Penney and other department stores.
In the second quarter, the retailer had a net loss of $10.2 million, compared with a net loss of $3.9 million last year. Net sales increased 10 percent to $128.3 million, though comp-store sales fell 9 percent. For the six months, comps fell 10 percent; and net income was $5 million, compared with $8.9 million in the year-ago period, and 80 stores opened.
“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